Now Accepting IBACS Spring Seed Grant Applications

The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is pleased to announce a new call for applications to its seed grant fund. 


The seed fund is intended to fund activities in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (broadly construed) that are likely to lead to applications for external funding, or which otherwise contribute to the mission of the Institute. Note that funding is primarily intended to cover direct research costs such as supplies, participant fees, or per diems, as well as student support. The review criteria promote innovative, novel, and collaborative projects in the field of brain and cognitive sciences that require expertise across laboratories and traditional disciplinary boundaries. Postdocs can also apply, with a faculty mentor as co-PI. We have further expanded this year’s seed grant solicitation to include COVID recovery. This addition in scope is intended to provide funds to recover or restart relevant projects that were interrupted due to COVID-19. Full details on the seed grant program, including applications (letter of intent and full seed app) and allowable costs, please check our website.

Applications for small grants (less than $10,000) can be submitted at any time; applications in excess of $10,000 (but no more than $25,000) should be submitted by April 1st 

Please submit letters of intent as soon as possible, but at least 2 weeks prior to the seed grant application deadline (by 3/18/22), to allow time for review and feedback. 

The Institute also invites applications for affiliate memberships. 

Any questions should be directed to the Institute Coordinator, Crystal Mills at crystal.mills@uconn.edu.

COGS, IBACS & BIRC Colloquium: Dr. John Hale on 2/18

Please join us virtually on 2/18 for John Hale’s talk co-sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program. IBACS, and BIRC. Registration in advance is required. Details are below: 

Speaker: John Hale, Department of Linguistics, University of Georgia 

Time: 4pm, Friday, February 18, 2022 

Talk Title: Grammar, Incrementality and fMRI Timecourse 

Abstract: What is the physical basis of human language comprehension? What sort of computation makes a stream of words come together, one after another, to yield a communicative or literary experience? This question sets up a scientific challenge for the brain and cognitive sciences. With functional neuroimaging, it is possible to extract a timecourse of brain activity from particular regions and ask how well alternative (psycho)linguistic theories account for the measured signal. This can be done over prolonged periods of time, for instance during the spoken recitation of a literary text. On the basis of such timecourses, this talk argues that our conceptualization of grammar should go beyond simple word-sequences and naive phrase structure. It presents an incremental parsing strategy that is more consistent with neuroimaging data than the simple ones presented in books like Hale (2014). The overall methodology can serve as a positive example of how brain data, syntactic theory and parsing algorithms may productively co-constrain one another.


Bio: John Hale, the Arch Professor of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Georgia, is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at UGA. A computational linguist, he has made significant contributions to the theory of sentence processing over the past two decades and is the author of a valued textbook in the field (Automaton Theories of Human Sentence Comprehension, 2014). Strongly committed to cultivating the vital and also changing character of intellectual pursuit in current times, Professor Hale collaborates with DeepMind and has been active in promoting interaction between industry and academia as a way of getting to the bottom of questions about the nature of mind. 

Zoom Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvfuyrqDItG92U2pqStUoZe77wc0hO4owu 

Meeting opportunities: John will be available during the day of his talk (Feb 18) and also during part of the preceding day for individual or small-group meetings on Zoom. Please contact whitney.tabor@uconn.edu if you are interested in meeting with John. 

COGS & IBACS Colloquium: Dr. John Hale on 2/18

The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences and The Cognitive Science Program are excited to jointly host a talk by Dr. John Hale, professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Georgia.
Details can be found below but please note that the choice between an in-person or online talk online has not yet been made so please look out for further details. 
Time: 4pm, Friday, February 18
Talk Title: “Grammar, Incrementality and fMRI Timecourse”
If you have any questions or would like to meet with Dr. Hale, please contact Whit Tabor at whitney.tabor@uconn.edu. 

Call for IBACS Graduate Student Fellowship Applications

The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is inviting applications to its Graduate Fellowship Program.

These summer fellowships are intended for graduate students working on topics with relevance (broadly construed) to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences. IBACS Graduate Fellows attend a short grant-writing workshop and will be expected to submit an application to the NSF GRFP, NRSA (pre- or post-doctoral fellowship), or equivalent, in the Fall.

Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, December 3rd, 2021.

Graduate students who are not US citizens are eligible to apply and are expected to work with their advisor to develop an external research proposal if they are not eligible for graduate fellowships. Students who were fellows in summer 2020 may apply if they submitted the external grant proposal they developed last year and it was not funded, with the expectation that they will revise their previous grant or develop a new one.

Please refer to the full details here.

CogSci Colloquium: Joseph Henrich & Barbara Rogoff on 2/26

WEIRD problems and potential solutions 


Since its inception, psychology’s Western-centric bias has been an impediment to a deeper understanding of human cognition. Our speakers argue that it is time for a radical transformation of social scientific research, and our understanding of human nature as a whole. 


The Cognitive Science Colloquium Series is proud to jointly present Joseph Henrich and Barbara Rogoff 


Friday, February 26th, from 2pm – 4:30pm, virtually via Zoom  



Meeting ID: 436 158 7368 

Passcode: CogSci 

2.00 pm 

W.E.I.R.D. Minds 

Joseph Henrich, Professor and Chair of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard 


Over the last few decades, a growing body of research has revealed not only substantial global variation along several important psychological dimensions, but also that people from societies that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) are particularly unusual, often anchoring the ends of global psychological distributions. To explain these patterns, I’ll first show how the most fundamental of human institutions—those governing marriage and the family—influence our motivations, perceptions, intuitions and emotions. Then, to explain the peculiar trajectory of European societies over the last two millennia, I lay out how one particular branch of Christianity systematically dismantled the intensive kin-based institutions in much of Latin Christendom, thereby altering people’s psychology and opening the door to the proliferation of new institutional forms, including voluntary associations (charter towns, universities and guilds), impersonal markets, individualistic religions and representative governments. In light of these findings, I close by arguing that the anthropological, psychological and economic sciences should transform into a unified evolutionary approach that considers not only how human nature influences our behavior and societies but also how the resulting institutions, technologies and languages subsequently shape our minds.  


3.15 pm 

What is learning? Cultural perspectives 

Barbara Rogoff, UCSC Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California in Santa Cruz 


Many people who have spent decades in Western schools take for granted a particular way of thinking of learning — as either receiving transmitted bits of information or acquiring it from an external world. In this presentation, I will argue for a paradigm shift, to seeing learning as a process of growth, as people transform their ways of participating in ongoing endeavors to become more competent and helpful contributors to the collective good of all, across time. My perspective is inspired and informed by research observations of a prevalent way of learning in many Indigenous-heritage communities of the Americas — Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors (LOPI). I will discuss some implications of these ways of conceiving of learning, based in studies of how Indigenous American communities often organize children’s learning, with associated distinctions in children’s helpfulness, ways of collaborating, and ways of learning. 

Both speakers will join us in a GatherTown social following the event. Spots are limited to 10 graduate students and 10 faculty on a first come, first serve basis. Please email Dimitris Xygalatas, xygalatas@uconn.edu, if you are interested. 

If you’d like to meet individually with Dr. Henrich during the day on 2/26, please email Dimitris Xygalatas, xygalatas@uconn.edu. If you’d like to meet with Dr. Rogoff, please email Letty Naigles, letitia.naigles@uconn.edu

Responses for both GatherTown and one-on-ones are needed by Friday, 2/19

Postdoctoral position at Harvard University

A Post-doctoral position is available for a collaborative ongoing project on Machine Commonsense Reasoning, focusing on the origins of human common sense and core knowledge in early development. We are looking to fill the position in the Fall (note the relatively short deadline). The project involves a collaboration between Harvard, MIT, IBM, and Stanford. The position will primarily be supervised by Drs. Tomer Ullman and Elizabeth Spelke at Harvard, as well as Josh Tenenbaum at MIT.

This funded position will include building models of cognitive development related to intuitive physics, intuitive psychology, and theory acquisition. We are particularly interested in candidates with an expertise in computational cognitive modeling, or research in cognitive development, with an interest in strengthening both. 

Post-docs will have an opportunity to lead projects as well as to interact with a diverse group of experts, as well as access to computational resources, online testing, and administrative support. 

Required qualifications:

·  Ph.D. in Cognitive Science, Psychology, Computer Science, or a related field

·  Experience with computational modeling / cognitive models, preferably in areas related to common sense reasoning

·  Experience gathering and analyzing data 

·  Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills

To apply, please submit an application and CV to John Muchovej [jmuchovej@g.harvard.edu]. Reviews of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  


Harvard is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

 The Department of Psychology sits within the Division of Social Science, which is strongly committed to creating and supporting a diverse workforce. Respect and fairness, kindness and collegiality, and trust and transparency are among the values we espouse and promote in our workplace culture. We work hard to ensure a healthy, inclusive and positive environment where everyone does their best work in support of Harvard’s mission.

Postdoc at Nanyang Technological University Singapore

Applications are invited for a fully funded post-doctoral research fellow position in the lab under the direction of Dr. Setoh Peipei (Nanyang Technological University, Psychology Program). Our research focuses on social cognitive development in infants and young children. The current research area of focus is on Singaporean children and adults’ intelligence stereotypes of different gender and racial groups. Information about the lab’s research is available at https://blogs.ntu.edu.sg/babylab


The research fellow will be expected to participate at all levels of the projects. The responsibilities include:

·       Conducting studies with children and adults in the laboratory, as well as offsite (e.g., schools, afterschool care, libraries, science centre in Singapore)

·       Recruiting, training and supervising undergraduate research assistants and graduate students

·       Performing various research duties (e.g., stimuli design and creation, managing the lab’s IRB protocol, database management, data processing)

·       Academic activities (manuscript preparation, presentation of findings in national and international conferences, grant writing)

·       Working with local partners (e.g., schools, afterschool care, science centre) to recruit participants and organize offsite data collection

·       Providing general support to researchers in the lab

Required qualifications:

·       Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Education, or a related field

·       Experience working with young children in research/school settings

·       Research experience in early cognitive development/ stereotypes/ education pedagogies

·       Proficiency with Stata, and/or R

·       Ability to work independently, keen attention to detail

·       Strong organizational, managerial, and problem-solving skills

·       Candidate should be willing to make a 2-3-year commitment


Preferred qualifications:

·       Experience with eye-tracking

·       Ability to interact with a diverse population of participants


About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.


Young and research-intensive, NTU is the fastest-rising university in the world’s Top 50 and ranked 11th globally. NTU is also placed 1st amongst the world’s best young universities. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s healthcare district.

For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.


If you are interested, please email psetoh@ntu.edu.sg with the following documents:

·       A cover letter describing your research experience, relevant skills, and career goals

·       A current curriculum vitae with complete list of publications


Please arrange for three referees to submit a confidential report on academic standing and research directly to psetoh@ntu.edu.sg. In the subject line of the email please state Research Fellowship Application. For best consideration, please apply by 1st October 2020. Early January 2021 start date preferred. A two-year commitment is also preferred.


I will be happy to discuss further by email or via zoom.


Peipei Setoh, PhD

Assistant Professor

Psychology Program, Nanyang Technological University

Postdoctoral Fellow, BU Child Cognition Lab

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Boston University Child Cognition Lab


The Boston University Child Cognition Lab, directed by Deb Kelemen, has an opening for a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Fellow funded by the National Science Foundation Award “Evolving Minds: Promoting Causal-Explanatory Teaching and Learning of Biological Evolution in Elementary School.” This inter-disciplinary project explores children’s learning of counterintuitive concepts in context of a novel guided inquiry life science curriculum. Applicants should have particular interest in children’s and adults’ knowledge acquisition (especially biological knowledge), inquiry learning, development of scientific and religious cognition, conceptual change, and the application of basic cognitive developmental research to STEM education.


Postdoctoral fellows participate deeply in the life of Child Cognition Lab, the BU Developmental Science Program (http://www.bu.edu/psych/graduate/devscience/) and the Boston area’s vibrant intellectual atmosphere. The successful candidate will receive substantive career mentoring and opportunities for independent research and professional development.


Responsibilities include: Conducting research and supervising multi-site data collections in elementary school classrooms with teachers and students; conducting lab and online studies with children and adults; engaging with a cross-site multi-disciplinary team of cognitive developmentalists and education researchers; quantitative and qualitative data analyses (experience with Design-Based Research approaches is desirable but not required); supervision of an undergraduate research team; co-writing reports for funding agencies; presentations at conferences and workshops; authorship of publications in peer-reviewed journals.


Job requirements: Graduate training in cognitive and/or developmental psychology, cognitive science or (science) education; background in experimental and intervention research design, quantitative and qualitative data analytic methods; excellent capacity for independent, creative scholarship and strong authorship /writing skills, evidence of productivity in peer-reviewed journals. This postdoc position is for 2 years with possibility of further renewal. BU Postdoctoral Fellows are evaluated each year for renewal.


Applications:  Please email in one PDF document: a cover letter including a 1-2 page statement of research interests and explanation of suitability for the position, a CV, and contact details for 3 referees who will be contacted for short-listed candidates. Include a link to, or attach, up to 3 representative publications or manuscripts. Place CCL Postdoctoral Position 2020 in the subject line of your email application and send to: Deb Kelemen (childlab@bu.edu). Please familiarize yourself with our research before applying by exploring www.evolvingmindsproject.org and www.bu.edu/childcognition. Review of applications will begin immediately with priority given to applicants who submit by June 30.

Deborah Kelemen, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Boston University
Email: dkelemen@bu.edu or childlab@bu.edu
Child Cognition Lab Phone: (617) 358-1738
Lab: http://www.bu.edu/cdl/ccl/
Evolving Minds Project: https://www.evolvingmindsproject.org/

Postdoctoral Project Coordinator with Children and Screens


I am writing on behalf of Pam Hurst-Della Pietra and Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development. We would be grateful for your help finding the ideal candidate for a new postdoctoral project coordinator position. Please circulate the information below.
Children and Screens, an international independent research organization to advance and support interdisciplinary scientific research on the cognitive, psychological, and physical impacts of digital media on toddlers, children, and adolescents, is looking for an excellent postdoctoral project coordinator to join our team. We are based on Long Island, New York. 

This position is open to candidates in the fields of cognitive development, psychiatry, pediatrics, neuroscience, psychology, and related fields. Detailed information about the position, requirements, and application process can be found in the attached document. 
As a current Postdoc with Children and Screens, have the opportunity to connect with researchers across disciplines and around the world. In addition, I am working on projects to improve the lives of children and families and to advance research into critical aspects of development. I would be pleased to speak with any interested scholars about the position and my experience, and can be reached at gabrielle@childrenandscreens.com.
Thank you for your assistance, and I look forward to our continued partnership.
Best Wishes,
Gabrielle McHarg
Postdoctoral Project Coordinator
Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development
(252) 292-7699
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