Research Assistant in Cross-cultural Psychology

Research Assistant in Cross-cultural Psychology

Published Deadline Location
21 Nov 10 Dec Leiden

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The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Institute of Psychology, the Cognitive Psychology Unit has available a

Research Assistant Position (0.8 fte) in Cross-cultural Psychology (with possible extension)

Vacancy number 14290

Job description

Title: research Project: Cross-cultural perception of emotion expressions. A study in rural Uganda.

Join Our Team in Investigating the cross-cultural perception of emotions in a cross-cultural setting!

Are you fascinated by the way humans communicate and manage their emotional states during social interactions? Do you have a keen interest in understanding these emotional processes and whether they may vary cross-culturally? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you!

We are seeking a Research Assistant to contribute to our ongoing studies in the field of cross-cultural emotion perception. In this role, you will play a vital part in unraveling the mysteries of how these emotional processes work, often outside of conscious awareness.

Using innovative experimental and eyetracking techniques, you will be an integral member of our team, helping to shed light on these intriguing topics. Our research is at the cutting edge of the field, employing state-of-the-art techniques within a cross-cultural multidisciplinary framework. This project takes an evolutionarily-grounded approach to delve into the origins of emotion perception, offering a unique opportunity to contribute to our understanding of this fascinating aspect of human behavior. The project focuses on how humans attend to facial features of emotions, whether this depends on the social context and whether this varies cross-culturally. Join us in exploring the depths of emotion perception and make a meaningful impact on the scientific community's knowledge in this area.

As part of an international and local team, the research assistant will conduct cross-cultural behavioural and eyetracking research in rural Uganda. The role will require helping to set up and program eyetracking experiments, and collect data at the field site. Further, some administrative duties such as assisting in the local supervision and coordination of the research, making plannings, and writing progress reports to the different parties involved.

The role will involve approx. 6-8 weeks fieldwork to our established research site in Budongo, western Uganda. This is a rural tropical area with basic living conditions and facilities. Although conditions are basic, email, phone/whatsapp communications are possible. The researcher will work closely with local field assistants, who form part of the Budongo Families Project (a collaborative community research initiative, directed by Profs Zanna Clay & Katie Slocombe). Supervision will be provided.

This project is supported by funding from an ESRC/NWO-Open Research Area grant to Dr. Mariska Kret (Leiden University) and Dr Zanna Clay. The project will run in parallel with ongoing projects in the CoPAN lab, directed by Dr. Mariska Kret (; see also our Copan Leiden Facebook page).

Selection Criteria
  • B.Sc. or M.Sc. in experimental psychology, biology or related field;
  • Experience with field-work or basic conditions;
  • Experience living or working in cultural settings other than one’s own;
  • Organizational skills and professional work attitude;
  • Committed, trustworthy and punctual;
  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team;
  • Excellent social and communication skills (including local Uganda staff and local participants);
  • Flexible mindset, (in terms of willingness to travel to different zoos, changing plans if the situation requires it etc.).


Leiden University


Other preferred skills/ bonus points
  • Experience in programming and conducting eyetracking research; (i.e. Tobii Pro);
  • Experience in editing video clips or photos (i.e. Photosho);
  • Experience conducting research in cultural settings other than one’s own;
  • Technical expertise;
  • Programming experience (e.g., Matlab, R, e-prime).

The tasks in this position may involve different skills for which the candidate may need to be supported initially. Therefore, not all skills above are expected. However a willingness to work in a cross-cultural environment in rural Africa is essential. The successful candidate is expected to keep a proactive and open attitude to acquiring and developing new skills. The position is ideal to gain hands-on experience for candidates interested in pursuing a career in research.

Conditions of employment

Terms and condition
We offer a 0.8 fte, fixed-term position for 3 months (with possible extension). Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Preferred starting date: flexible, but no later than Jan 2024. It is also possible to for example first start with one day per week and to scale up later. The pay scale for applicants with a master degree will be pay scale 7 (position OOM 4). For those still studying, it will be scale SA4. Students are welcome to apply and it is possible to combine this position with writing a thesis (in which case the number of paid versus unpaid hours need to be discussed).

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.


Universiteit Leiden

Our faculty/Institute
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises four institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology and Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology. The Faculty also includes the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 7,000 students and 1025 members of staff. Our teaching and research programmes cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behaviour. For more information, see

The Institute of Psychology comprises six units for teaching and research: Health, Medical and Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Social and Organizational Psychology, and Methodology and Statistics. The Institute of Psychology offers a stimulating environment that promotes collaboration within and between units. For more information, see


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2693—€3636 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14290



Leiden, 2312TT, Leiden

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