Research assistants wanted

The Active Vision Lab is looking for voluntary research assistants to get involved in ongoing research projects in the lab. As a lab we are interested in how humans coordinate complex everyday behaviour. A key component of human behaviour is getting visual information form the world around us: getting the eyes to the right place at the right time to gather the information we need to complete our goals. We use a variety of experimental approaches and tasks, ranging from controlled laboratory-based paradigms to studying vision ‘in the wild’ as people carry out everyday activities.

We are currently looking for voluntary research assistants to work on ongoing projects in the following areas:

Surveillance and multiplex viewing: we are increasingly exposed to displays that contain more than one scene, in films, news broadcasts and in some professions such as CCTV surveillance. Trying to monitor and understand multiple scenes at the same time is a huge challenge for the visual system and we are yet to understand how people manage this.

Reading comics: Words and images are frequently used together to communicate information to the viewer, in signs, instruction manuals, adverts and comics. We are exploring this issue and testing theories and assumptions from comics creators to better understand how people view and understand words and images together.

Natural behaviour: How do humans organise and monitor complex real world behaviour? We consider not only how people use their eyes to coordinate their actions but also how the actions that people make (or intend to make) influence their perception and memory of the world around them.

What you will do: We are looking for people to be primarily involved in running experiments and analysing data. You will also have the opportunity to be involved in writing up any papers that come from the work you have contributed to and to be involved in planning and carrying out follow-up experiments if you want to.

What we offer: As part of this, we will offer a series of mini training workshops that cover all aspects of the research process, from planning an experiment to writing it up. Whatever project you are involved in, we will give you the chance to learn about all of the equipment and experimental approaches we use in the lab. By the end of the semester you will have been shown how to use our laboratory-based (EyeLink 1000) eye tracker and our mobile (Positive Sciences) eye tracker and how to extract and analyse the data you collect with them. These will be useful skills to add to your CV and will help you decide whether research is something you might want to pursue in the future.

Duration and commitment: We are looking for assistants to join the lab for the duration of the semester, with an option to continue for longer if you want. How much time you commit is up to you and depends on your workload but we would expect a commitment of at least 3-4 hours per week during semester time.

For more information to apply for a position please contact Professor Ben Tatler ( You can also find out more about what we are doing at  

Please also see a sample of potential research topics organised by research themes. Postgraduates interested in pursuing any of these topics should contact the specific faculty member for further details about the research topic or regarding other research that the member is currently conducting.