University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term)

We are looking for a bright and resourceful cognitive scientist who is passionate about using their understanding of human behaviour to have a positive impact on industry and the wider world. This is a unique opportunity to apply and learn new skills in a growing and globally relevant industry

The project is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between the University of Cambridge and data-visualization specialists Vizzuality. Vizzuality create tools and applications that visualise data to inspire learning and catalyse new actions or decisions that bring lasting benefit to society and the environment (examples of their work are available here: The objective of this project is to apply the knowledge and approaches of cognitive science to identify techniques that increase the effectiveness and impact of these data visualisations. The knowledge generated in this project would then help Vizzuality create experiences that leads to greater learning and action to tackle sustainability challenges around the world.

You will be based at Vizzuality in Cambridge, and will be jointly supervised by the company and by Drs William Skylark and Greg Davis from the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. You will review current approaches to visualization across the sector and within the company, and will employ user-testing to understand how users and clients use and process different kinds of visualization. Using cognitive science theory and techniques including eye-tracking, qualitative user-testing, and large-scale web-based data collection, you will develop clear insights into the consequences of different visualization decisions. Using those insights, you will help develop new visualization tools and to embed your work into the company's future activities.

The ideal candidate will have a degree and preferably a PhD in Psychology or a closely-related cognitive science discipline (e.g., human-computer interaction), with a background in human visual cognition and/or decision-making. They will have extensive experience of collecting and interpreting data from human participants, including sophisticated data-analysis skills. You would also need to have strong communication skills, including the ability to identify key points and share them in a concise and clear way.

The post holder must be keen to work in a non-academic environment; although the project involves cognitive science, it is first and foremost an opportunity to use science in a practical setting with the scope for real impact on business and society. Prior experience of collaborating with non-academic partners (e.g., businesses, government departments, or charities) may be an advantage.

Due to funding restrictions, the post holder must be able to start before August 14th, 2018.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 July 2020 in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal inquiries about this post may be sent to William Skylark or

Please note the closing date for applications is 25th June 2018. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Please quote reference PJ15791 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online