Postdoctoral position at University of Surrey, UK: LEGO® construction, Spatial thinking and Mathematics achievement

LEGO® construction, Spatial thinking and Mathematics achievement

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1A)

Start date: 1st March 2021

End date: 26th July 2022
Primary work place: School of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
Line manager & Principal Investigator: Prof. Emily Farran

The Project and the Role

You will work on a project detailing the relationship between spatial ability and mathematical cognition in primary school children. The project aims to identify: 1) the mechanisms underlying the relationship between LEGO® construction abilities and mathematics; 2) whether this differs for physical vs. digital Lego; 3) whether both physical Lego and digital Lego construction activities can be used to improve spatial abilities and measure the impact that this has on mathematics ability. You will be part of a strong team of experts in spatial cognition and mathematical cognition. You will recruit primary schools, and children, to be involved in the project and work with a graduate research assistant to administer a battery of spatial and mathematical tasks to participating children. You will be responsible for data coding and initial analyses of the data. You will also contribute to report writing, presentations, publications and dissemination to non-academic audiences.

You will have a PhD or equivalent qualification in Psychology or a related subject (or will be close to finishing your PhD), have experience in conducting cognitive behavioural studies and standard data coding as well as experience of statistical analysis using statistical packages such as R or SPSS.

The University of Surrey

The post-holder will be based in the School of Psychology at the University of Surrey. The University of Surrey is located on a beautiful, leafy campus in Guildford, just 30 miles from London and benefitting from excellent rail and road connections. We are an ambitious, research-led organization, committed to research excellence and to the application of our research for the benefit of society. The University of Surrey is amongst the highest achieving universities in the United Kingdom. The School of Psychology has a long-standing reputation for its vibrant and supportive research and teaching environment. The School of Psychology has a long-standing reputation for its vibrant and supportive research and teaching environment. The School has a strong track record of innovation in Psychology, from the discovery of the McGurk effect, to changing educational approaches to national identity, and the ongoing development of mobile neuro-assessment. The School currently houses 500+ UG students, 100+ Masters and 150+ taught Doctorate and PhD students and more than 70 staff.

In addition to your salary, you will receive pension contributions via the Universities Superannuation Scheme, a generous annual leave entitlement, an attractive research environment, and access to a variety of staff development opportunities. Our benefits package also includes an exclusive discounted membership package to the Surrey Sports Park and an on-site Nursery.

You are welcome to contact Prof. Emily Farran (, Dr. Camilla Gilmore ( or Dr. Katie Gilligan-Lee ( if you would like further information or to discuss the post.

To apply use the link below: