PhD position at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona funded by the TOUCH COFUND project

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PhD position at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona funded by the TOUCH COFUND project


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Offer DescriptionTopic: Psychopathic-traits and prosociality in a community sample of children: biological and emotional correlates.A PhD position is available at the -Institut Neurociències from the Universitat Autònoma Barcelona and Dynamics in Neural Networks Research Group from the Centre Recerca Matemàtica under the supervision of , (Psychobiology) and (Computational Neuroscience). We are looking for a highly motivated candidate that will investigate the biological/emotional correlates of potential psychopathic traits during school-age years.Children displaying early-onset conduct problems face the risk of enduring long-term physical/mental/social challenges, particularly when these problems coincide with callous-unemotional traits (limited prosocial emotions). While callous-unemotional traits define the affective aspects of psychopathy in adults, other psychopathic traits manifest early in development.The primary aim of this proposal is to characterize profiles and identify the psychological/biological correlates of the multidimensional psychopathy construct in children, including callous-unemotional traits, grandiosity, and impulsive need for stimulation. The study will be conducted in our cohort. At age 8-9, a subsample selected based on sex and psychopathic traits (n=200) will undergo assessment for resting autonomic nervous system activity, cognitive/affective empathy, emotion recognition, attention to the eyes, changes in pupil responses to faces, and other factors related to oxytocin and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning.Children at high risk, scoring high in all three dimensions, will be identified from a sex-dependent perspective. Advanced machine learning techniques will be employed to characterize the heterogeneity of the different profiles identified. This project carries significant preventive implications, offering personalized approaches for individuals within these profiles.The TOUCH predoc will receive training in psychometrics, eye-tracking, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, biochemical and advanced data analyses. Additional opportunities may arise for extending training through participation in other group projects. The candidate’s responsibilities will encompass conducting and analyzing data, drafting research papers, presenting results, mentoring undergraduates if needed, and active participation in group meetings.The successful candidate will be enrolled in the at the (UAB) in the framework of the project. TOUCH (“Towards the next generatiOn of excellent yoUng doctoral researchers on mental health by developing an intersectoral & transdisciplinary approaCH”) is a new excellent doctoral programme co-funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) Actions of the European Commission and led by the UAB for the recruitment and training of 24 doctoral candidates in the field of mental health and wellbeing.Dr Fuentes and Nadal belong to the Neurobiology of stress and vulnerability to Psychopathology Research Group and are part of the . The group has two co-PIs, Dr Nadal and Dr Molinuevo, involving multidisciplinary researchers at the Dept of Psychobiology/Methodology and the Dept of Psychiatry/Legal Medicine. The group includes 2 Full Prof, 2 Tenure Prof, 1 Assistant Prof and 4 grad students. In this proposal the team collaborates with the Dept of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology. Our main strategic lines are the study of: 1) Conduct disorders and difficult temperamental traits in children/adolescents, 2) Biomarkers of vulnerability to developing these problems, including those related to stress response mechanisms, and 3) Adaptation/standardization of instruments for the diagnosis and psychological assessment of externalizing disorders.Dr Hyafil belongs to the Dynamics in neuronal networks Research Group and the Computational Neuroscience Group at the which includes 3 PIs, 4 postdocs and 5 grad students. The group focuses on unveiling the computational mechanisms that underlie perception, memory and decision-making. Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, that is a center (Generalitat de Catalunya) with the distinction.We are looking for candidates with an excellent CV, ahigh degree of ambition and motivation, and with good personal qualities to work in our Team. We offer a 3-year full-time contract (37,5 hours/week) and a gross salary of 2.375 €/month (the salary will be the same for the 3 years).The candidates must fulfil the following eligibility criteria from the EC: Mobility rule: candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately preceding the deadline for the programme call. Experience rule: researchers must be doctoral candidates at the date of recruitment, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the deadline of the open calls. Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but have not yet formally awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible. Candidates must hold a degree that allows admission to the official doctoral programme at UAB.Additional requirements for a stronger application are:Essential Criteria:

  • MSc or equivalent in Experimental/Clinical Psychology, Neurosciences or related fields
  • Since the research involves working with children/caregivers, the candidate must be proficient in Spanish from the outset of the program
  • Proficiency in English (B2 level)
  • Interest in learning computational methods
  • Strong communication skills to effectively disseminate research results to diverse audiences
  • Other skills: Ability to work in a team, critical thinking, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion

Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience in working with caregivers and children
  • Training/experience in conducting and analyzing Experimental and/or Clinical Psychology studies
  • Theoretical background in Psychobiology, Statistics and Computer Science
  • Catalan oral understanding

The team welcomes informal inquiries about the position or specific requirements ( ).Interested applicants should apply through the TOUCH online platform by submitting a full CV, a motivation letter, two letters of recommendation and academic and English level certificates. The call will be open from the 1st of April to the 30th of June 2024. More information about the TOUCH project, the recruitment process, and the application platform are available on the .RequirementsResearch Field Psychological sciences Education Level Master Degree or equivalentResearch Field Neurosciences Education Level Master Degree or equivalentLanguages ENGLISH Level ExcellentLanguages SPANISH Level ExcellentAdditional InformationWork Location(s)Number of offers available 1 Company/Institute Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) Country Spain City Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona) GeofieldWhere to apply WebsiteContact State/ProvinceBarcelona CityCerdanyola del Vallés WebsiteStreetCampus UAB Postal Code08193 E-Mail[email protected]STATUS: EXPIRED

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Job date

Sun, 17 Mar 2024 07:37:48 GMT

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