Postdoctoral Researcher, Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

ID: 7063495
Posted: February 13, 2020
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Web Announcement
Postdoctoral Researcher, Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction

The Department of Psychology within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at George Mason University is searching for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to examine mechanisms of social cognition in human-robot interaction using neuroscientific measures, such as EEG, fNIRS and fMRI. We are seeking a highly motivated, skilled and experienced postdoctoral researcher with a research focus on computational modeling of cognitive processes involved in action-perception coupling and social cognition in the context of dynamic interactions with human and robot interaction partners.

The successful candidate will work in the Department of Psychology’s Social and Cognitive Interaction (SCI) Lab (PI: Eva Wiese), which focuses on examining the causes and effects of mind perception in human-human and human-robot interactions. The research has a strong interdisciplinary focus and the position is open to applicants from a range of disciplines, including computer science, engineering, psychology and neuroscience. The ideal candidate should have strong programming (e.g., Python, Matlab) and data analysis (e.g., R) skills, as well as, experience with neurophysiological measures (e.g., EEG, fMRI).

The candidate will use neurophysiological measures (e.g., EEG) to examine social cognitive processes (e.g., mentalizing, empathizing, imitation, trust) in real-time, dynamic interactions with humans and social robots. There are opportunities to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, apply neurophysiological methods to human-robot interaction, apply AI-oriented techniques to human-robot interaction, and develop adaptive EEG-based interfaces. For more information regarding current research projects, please visit our website:

One of the Psychology Department’s ( overarching long-term priorities is to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels in our department and more broadly, in our field. This mission is facilitated by our location in one of the most diverse regions of the country and by George Mason University’s status as the most diverse university in the state of Virginia ( Our department is eager to contribute to the preparation of postdoctoral fellows who share our goal of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field. In line with George Mason’s Carnegie classification as a Research I university and its strategic goal of conducting research of consequence, our department’s other long-term priorities are to conduct high quality, rigorous applied research, and to train future scientists to be able to conduct such research.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will be part of a broader cohort of fellows in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Pathways to the Professoriate Program ( This program provides a cohort of fellows with enhanced professional development support via the Postdoctoral Fellow Seminar Series and a formalized mentoring plan that goes beyond research training to include a focus on issues such as work-life balance and effective communication within academic settings. Fellows also have access to annual professional development funds to support attendance at conferences, workshops, and other development opportunities. The position is a 12-month position with the possibility of renewal. Funding is available for at least 2 years.

Required Qualifications:

PhD degree in human neuroscience, experimental psychology, computer science, engineering or other related field;
Experience with EEG (e.g., time-frequency analysis, event related potentials);
Proficiency in statistics and statistical analysis tools (e.g., R, MATLAB, Python);
Experience with software for programming experiments (e.g., PsychoPy);
High interest in social neuroscience;
High interest in human-robot interaction;
Ability to conduct research independently;
Interest in working in interdisciplinary teams;
Motivation to combine computational and neuroscientific approaches;
Excellent spoken and written English.

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience with programming social robots (e.g., NAO, Pepper, Furhat);
Experience with eye tracking;
Experience with motion tracking.
Special Instructions to Applicants
For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number F513Az at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, research statement, and a CV. In addition, three letters of reference should be e-mailed to, Dr. Eva Wiese, Associate Professor, George Mason University, MS 3F5, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. Review of applications will begin on March 16, 2020, and continue until the position is filled.


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