Cognitive Psychologist

Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury - SP4 0JQ , Dstl Portsdown West, Fareham - PO17 6AD
£40,514 - £47,007
01 Jul 2022
17 Jul 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

Do you have a background in psychology, with post-graduate experience in cognitive psychology or neuroscience?

Are you passionate about applying your expertise in real world settings?

Do you care about delivering high impact research which makes a difference? If so, the Human Sciences Group want to hear from you.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Cognitive Psychologist to join our Human Performance team.

The commercial world has developed a range of novel tools and techniques that they claim will enhance human cognitive performance. Brain training apps and commercial off the shelf neuro-stimulation are two examples of technologies that are marketed as having positive effects on human performance. Additionally, industry and academia are investigating other novel methods, such as manipulating the gut microbiome or using transcranial electrical stimulation, as techniques to enhance cognitive performance. To ensure Defence and Security leverages this research to best effect, we need to be able to objectively evaluate these tools and techniques; understanding their capabilities and the impact they could have on training, incident response and operations.

As a Cognitive Psychologist you would work with industry, academia and international partners to design and deliver research to evaluate the possible benefit these tools and techniques could deliver for Defence and Security personnel. This will enable Defence to leverage innovative developments that help operators to thrive in future complex environments, and out-manoeuvre and out-perform their adversaries.

We are looking for someone who has:

  • Experience in leading and influencing the technical direction of trials and/or studies, to ensure high impact research is delivered
  • as well as experience of assuring and overseeing the work of others
  • Consultancy skills to support customers define their research requirements; provide constructive challenge; and understand what outcomes they want to achieve
  • Experience of leading, overseeing and motivating researchers to deliver high impact research and of managing its technical direction
  • The ability to engage and influence others at various levels of seniority to maximise the impact of research
  • The ability and resilience to handle changing requirements, to manage customer expectations and communicate effectively with colleagues to support reprioritisation, often at pace and in periods of high pressure
  • Build your network of contacts (including clients and other researchers) and engage with them to support the exploitation of high quality, novel research
  • A commitment to professional development and to the mentorship of others.

A Human Factors degree (or a degree in a relevant Human Science) and experience of applying Human Factors methodologies and tools is essential, alongside the ability to influence the technical direction of projects and effectively communicate study findings to non-human factors specialists. If you have these skills you could be part of a team delivering high impact research and advice for Defence.

Our work cross cuts many areas. Currently, we would particularly like to hear from you if you have knowledge, skills, experience and interest in the following:

Cyber Human Factors. Supporting our exciting programmes delivering cyber systems and capabilities in this increasingly important. This involves being responsible for understanding user needs, applying human factors expertise to system design, and for instigating HF Integration across systems. This will involve working across technical disciplines as part of a pan-government HF team. This role will be based at Dstl Porton Down.

Human Interaction with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomy. The use of AI and Machine Learning within autonomous and semi-autonomous systems is an area of significant and growing importance to Defence. The successful integration of and interaction between Humans and Autonomous systems is highlighted as being a key determinant of success in this domain. There is significant multi-disciplinary research being undertaken in this field with human factors practitioners working alongside software engineers, mathematicians, ethicists and other specialist to deliver cutting edge research, innovation and experimentation.

Maritime Human Factors. We also apply our human factors expertise to the maritime domain, including all of the systems, equipment and personnel that support that. Some of our maritime work involves research into the optimization of information presentation and displays, exploration of future operations room layouts and the use of novel technology concepts within future naval platforms. This work ensures innovative ideas are designed with the human operator in mind to maximize performance, safety and effectiveness.