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PhD position in psychology

Published: : 2017-09-19

Uppsala University is an international research university focused on the development of science and education. Our most important assets are all the individuals who with their curiosity and their dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting work places. Uppsala University has 40,000 students, 7,000 employees and a turnover of SEK 6,5 billion.

The position is affiliated to the Child and Baby Lab ( at the department of psychology. Uppsala Child and Baby Lab includes several independent researchers who collaborate to produce high-quality, interdisciplinary research on children’s development in both small- and large-scale research projects. At the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab, we study motor, social, and cognitive development from early in life. We employ novel research methods and make use of both experimental and longitudinal designs to examine group-level development and individual differences.

Project description: This PhD project will exploit rich existing longitudinal datasets from studies of early autism in order to address fundamental questions about the neurodevelopmental mechanisms that underpin symptom onset. The aims of the research program include i)  identifying of early markers of later autism, ii) understanding developmental mechanisms that underlie autism emergence and iii) mapping etiological factors that contribute to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This exciting project is embedded in a research context which includes a lively community of senior and junior researchers, a range of ongoing international collaborations, and generous funding to cover the period of the studentship. The projects are conducted in close collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet Center for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, providing access to a wide range of training and development opportunities.

The exact content of the PhD project can be adjusted according to the PhD student’s profile, and candidates should specify in their research plan (see below) what they wish to focus on. Multiple datasets are available:

  • The EASE project ( is a longitudinal study of infants at risk for autism and ADHD from 5 months to 3 years of age. Infants were assessed at multiple time-points with a range of brain and behavioral methods (e.g. Thorup et al, 2015, Molecular Autism).
  • iTWIN ( In this study we have tested around 700 twins with a battery of eye tracking tasks, and measured the participants’ autism and ADHD-related traits.
  • BATSS ( In this project, we will test 600 baby twins at 5 months of age using eye tracking and EEG, focusing on putative early autism markers. Data collection is ongoing, but is expected to be finalized during the course of the PhD program.

In addition, dependent on the research question, the candidate may use data from our ongoing international collaborations, focusing on infants at risk for autism ( Finally, although the focus of this PhD project is existing datasets, we encourage all our students to define shorter-term projects that can be conducted in parallel, to encourage creativity and ensure practical research experience.

Candidates are strongly advised to contact the Dr Terje Falck-Ytter ( for additional information/consultation before starting to write the research plan. Applications without a well-developed research plan will not be considered. Although the submitted research plans are an important part of the evaluation criteria, they are typically substantially revised after admission.

The sucessful applicant will be supported by an employment as a PhD for 4 full years and primarily engage in research. Other work at the Department such as teaching and administration can optionally be included (max 20%).

Rules governing Ph.D. candidates are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala university's rules and guidelines

To qualify for a doctoral position in Psychology at Uppsala University, the applicant must have a master´s degree either including or in addition a minimum of 90 Swedish study credits in psychology. Applicants who have obtained qualifications equivalent or comparable to the criteria described above abroad are also eligible to apply. For more information concerning the requirements:

Other essential criteria: Relevant computer skills, in particular programming skills (e.g. Matlab or R) is necessary. The applicant must also be able to work effectively both independently and in a team, have very good analytic skills and be fluent in English.

Other qualifications: Relevant research experience as well as experience from quantitative data analysis/statistics are advantages.

Application: The application must be designed in Swedish or English and contain a letter in which the applicant describes themselves and their research interests. The application shall also include following documents:

  1. Application for admission:
  2. CV including certified copies of merits
  3. A list of completed courses
  4. Master thesis in psychology
  5. A research plan
  6. Contact information for Academic references are desirable

For more information: 

In evaluating applicants, information from the written material as well as from the interview and reference persons can be taken into account.

Uppsala University strives to be an inclusive workplace that promotes equal opportunities and attracts qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds.

Pay: According to local agreement for PhD students.
Desired starting date: 2018-01-01 (or as agreed). A temporary position during 4 years.

Working hours: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact Dr. Terje Falck-Ytter phone: +46 (0)18-471 2522, e-post:

You are welcome to submit your application no later than October 31, 2017. UFV-PA 2017/3321.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find much information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact the International Faculty and Staff Services at

We decline offers of recruitment and advertising help. We only accept the application the way described in the advertisement.

Placement: Department of Psychology

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed pay

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2017/3321

Last application date: 2017-10-31

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