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Research in the heart of boston

 

The Subjectivity Lab is currently looking to recruit graduate students and undergraduate research assistants. Of course, we are always interested in hearing from talented and enthusiastic prospective lab members even when we are not actively seeking them (e.g. postdocs). Feel free to send send Jorge a note if you’re interested in joining our group!

See below for more information.

Graduate Students

The lab is actively looking to recruit doctoral students in Psychology to start in fall 2023. The application deadline is December 1st, 2022. 

If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate sending Jorge an email to get in touch; please include your CV and a few lines of what kind of research you’ve done in the past and how you see your current interests fitting into one or more of the lab’s lines of research. Make sure to read our lab’s website and learn about our active lines of research (the best way of doing this is by reading our most recent papers—we have new projects, but our publications should give you a good idea of the kind of work we—you!—will be doing). Consider that you will be applying for a PhD in the Department of Psychology, through the College of Science. You should take a look at the Department of Psychology, the Psychology PhD program, and the College of Science PhD Application websites. 

Note on GRE score reports: Northeastern’s application lists the GRE as optional. If you are applying to primarily work with me, you do not need to pay to have your scores sent to Northeastern.

Note on application fees: If you want your application fee waived, please get in touch with the College of Science graduate admissions officer to request a waiver.

Postdoctoral Fellows

We don’t currently have positions available for new postdocs in the lab. However, we are always interested in hearing from enthusiastic researchers. If you have a project or approach that you feel would be a good fit with our lab’s interests, or more generally, if your research interests line up with the lab’s, please don’t hesitate sending Jorge an e-mail to get in touch!

Undergrad Research Assistants

 

AJC Merit Research Scholar Co-op Position Available!

Talented candidates who are members of the following under-represented groups in science and engineering as defined by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics are particularly encouraged to apply: American Indian/Native, African American/Black, Hispanic American/Latino.

 

Our laboratory is looking to host an AJC Merit Research Scholar for a co-op position in January-June 2023. The AJC Merit Research Scholarship provides academically talented undergraduates in the STEM fields with the opportunity to participate in a full-time, research co-op in the lab of a Northeastern University faculty member – at a wage comparable to what they might earn in industry

The ideal co-op candidate for our lab is someone who is really excited by these questions, who wants to learn how to do careful, slow and (sometimes painstakingly detailed) science. The questions we ask are directed at the most basic way our minds work, and to get answers, we do very controlled experiments with very simple stimuli. The co-op student would focus either in running online experi- ments about the perception of absences or eye tracking in the lab (with regular displays and VR headsets) to discover physiological markers of conscious awareness. Because our experiments are code-based-only we do not offer positions to just “help around” since there isn’t much to do in that respect. Rather, we require co-op students to fully lead their own project. This means, however, that some experience coding is required (e.g., Python, HTML/CSS/JS) since otherwise there would not be much for them to do in our lab. The ideal co-op student does not need to be acquainted with psychological research methods, but some knack for numerical reasoning, coding, scientific rea- soning and philosophical inquiry would be quite helpful. Co-op students can be from any major, but students with training in computer science, data science or engineering might be best suited for this co-op.

For more information about how to apply, visit the AJC Merit Research Scholars Award website. The deadline to receive applications is October 23, 2022.

Special Project using Eye Tracking and Virtual Reality (VR) to measure conscious awareness is looking for advanced RAs!

        

 

We have a special project where we aim to measure conscious awareness by doing pupillometry (the measure of small, but quite meaningful, changes in pupil size). We plan to use advanced eye tracking and virtual reality (VR) equipment that requires intermediate to advanced knowledge of Python. The VR component is simple, but some familiarity with C# and/or Unity could be useful. Experience doing eye tracking or using VR is not necessary, but it would of course be useful. Initially RA-ship can start on a voluntary basis and based on progress and compatibility it can turn into a full-time paid co-op opportunity. Students from all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to apply (e.g. psychology with coding skills, computer science, engineering, etc.).

If you are interested in knowing more about this project and you think you have the required qualifications, please get in touch.

 

 

General RA Opportunities

 

Working in a lab as an undergraduate is a fantastic way to get research experience, which can be useful not only for preparing yourself for the next steps of a career in science, but also finding out whether you enjoy doing research in the first place. More importantly, research is interesting!

Most of our research is done via online experiments. This approach offers fantastic opportunities for research, but it also means that RAs cannot merely “help out” with other tasks that traditionally would have been done in person. At the same time, this opens a fantastic opportunity for self-driven and creative undergraduates: To join our lab you need to lead your own project! 

Ideally, you should come to us with a specific scientific question or idea you are intrigued about. This question or idea should be related to the topics we study in our lab: (visual) perception, consciousness, or introspection. Don’t worry if you don’t know specifically how you’d test your question, we can help with that (but if you have specific ideas of how to implement things out, we’d love to hear them!).

As you may tell, this is not the kind of RA position where you would be one small cog in a big machine. For this reason, we are interested in especially dedicated undergraduates who can devote at least 8 hours or more per week to research in the lab. You should also expect to lead your own project, which requires dedication and having or developing technical expertise. Initially RAs start on a part-time volunteer basis. Funding and compatibility permitting, you may also become a full-time co-op student (if you have work-study financial aid you may be eligible for co-op funding too).

Ideally, a research assistant in our lab would:

(1) be excited about cognitive science in general, and the topics we study such as visual perception, consciousness and introspection, in particular;

(2) have some basic familiarity with research methods in psychology (no prior research experience is required though); and

(3) be very comfortable working with computers (including spreadsheets, graphics programs, etc.); some familiarity with computer programming (e.g., HTML/CSS/JS, Matlab or Python) is ideal. It’s ok if you don’t know how to code, but then part of you joining the lab is that you learn how to code your own experiments (typically in HTML/CSS/JS, but Python (e.g. PsychoPy) or Matlab may be useful too). Learning how to code is easier than you think, but most people stop trying early on because of the learning curve. Coding can be fun and we have set up a coding challenge to help you teach yourself how to code if you don’t know yet (more about the challenge below).

If you are interested in joining our lab, you should e-mail us with answers to the following questions:

  • Do you have any experience with computer programming? If yes, what languages and at what level. If not and you’re willing to learn, please create a GitHub account and send us your user name so that we can add you to the coding challenge. There you’ll find resources and a self-paced challenge, to help you learn to code in HTML/CSS/JS.
  • How many hours a week can you commit to working in the lab? For how long can you commit to volunteer (e.g., a semester, a summer, a year)?
  • Why are you interested in getting research experience?
  • What interests you have about psychology, perception and consciousness? Broadly speaking, what would you like to study here in the lab? To answer this question, you could share a thought about one of our recent papers, or even propose a new study (whether based off a paper you read, or just out of the blue!).

Note that we are interested in having all sorts of students with different skills / backgrounds / experience. Even (or especially!) if you’re a first year student with no experience in a lab, we want to hear from you!

Other Visitors

We are also happy to consider other types of visitors to the lab. For example, we may be able to host short-term (a few months) or long-term (e.g., 1 year) visits. Though we do not currently have funding for such positions, visitors of this sort can often become official members of our department during their visits, and we may even be able to fund the research they conduct (e.g., the costs associated with subjects and equipment). People in the Boston area who want to join our lab meetings are also welcome. Visitors may also come from areas other than psychology, such as philosophy or computer science.

If this kind of visit sounds right to you, please feel free to send Jorge a note!

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