USA: MIT Postdoctoral Fellowship

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Wellcome – MIT Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Infants at high risk for Autism: Affect and Facial Processing within Early Social Interaction
Expression of interest needed by April 16th, 2010

The Wellcome Trust, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), offers Postdoctoral Fellowships that provides four years’ support for recently qualified postdoctoral researchers to tackle important biomedical research questions using an interdisciplinary approach in the best laboratories. The fellowship is for four years full-time, with the fellow based at MIT for two to three years (Phase 1) before returning to a host institution in the UK for the remainder of the award (Phase 2).  Details of the scheme can be found on: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Biomedical-science/Grants/Fellowships-and-personal-awards/International-fellowships/WTX054661.htm

The Affective Computing Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory and Autism Research Group at the University of Manchester, UK are seeking a strong postdoctoral candidate to apply for this scholarship in June 2010. The proposed project will build on existing work in the MIT Affective Computing Group into face and affect recognition in children and adults with autism, and in the Manchester group into parent-infant social interactions and early intervention in infants at high risk of developing autism (siblings of children already diagnosed with the condition; ‘A-sibs’). The aim of phase one at MIT will be to develop adaptations into infancy of the existing MIT innovations in affective computing in autism and then in the UK phase two to apply these adaptations to the practical study of A-sibs within the context of ongoing developmental and intervention studies at the University of Manchester and the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings. The planned output of the Fellowship will be a set of internationally innovative research techniques and initial results from their potentially field-changing application to ongoing A-sibs research.

Deadline for the Fellowship proposal is June 7th 2010. The candidate will therefore need to be able to commit time before then to prepare the application. Our team in Manchester and MIT will support and mentor the application process and help prepare for the interview Dec 2010.

Our ideal candidate will hold a PhD in Computer Science with a strong track record building computer vision and machine learning systems, as well as a strong interest in experimental psychology and developmental disorders. Particularly desirable will be  experience in affective computing, facial analysis and recognition, and C++ programming. The postdoctoral applicant has to be UK/EEA national* or have relevant degree from a UK University and have no more than 3 yrs of postdoctoral experience by June 2010. Individuals who have previously attended or worked at MIT are not eligible to apply for this scheme. We would be pleased to give more details of both phases of the programme and the nature of the proposed area of work.

Person specification:
Residence: EEA national* (http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Biomedical-science/Application-information/WTD004113)
Qualifications: PhD in Computer Science or related field. Additional degree in psychology or related field is desirable
Experience: Affective computing, Facial analysis, C++ programming
Motivation: High motivation to apply basic computing science to autism as a developmental disorder

Please contact:
Rana el Kaliouby, Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab kaliouby@media.mit.edu
Matthew Goodwin, Director of Clinical Research, MIT Media Lab mgoodwin@media.mit.edu
Jonathan Green, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Manchester jonathan.green@manchester.ac.uk
Expressions of interest by April 16th Please email Dr Kaliouby and Professor Green a CV and cover letter.

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