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Student Vacation Research Assistant: Neuro-Inspired Models for Future E-Commerce Web Applications (NEEDS) - Open to current University of Worcester students only*

Research Assistantships provide undergraduates and recent graduates with ‘hands on’ experience of working on a research project over the summer vacation, enabling them to gain insight into a research career, as well as enhancing their CV.


Internet and Web technologies have changed the way we live in the twenty-first century. Web and mobile applications are transforming the way businesses and organisations operate but designing and developing the right technologies for engaging with their target audience will significantly influence success.
The NEEDS project explores advances in neuroscientific and psychological research of how the brain perceives experience and uses these to construct better informed design and development models for Web systems and applications.
The main aim of the project is to investigate advances in neuroscientific and psychological research as a road map for better comprehension, legibility, and usefulness (user experience) of future enterprise-level e-commerce applications. The specific objectives are
• To understand and characterise important brain activities, processes and responses to visuals, experiences and designs by studying latest advances in mind science research
• To develop neuro-inspired models and tools for application in web applications
• To determine the performance and establish the effectiveness of neurodesign principles in real-world enterprise level e-commerce applications
• To complete a research paper

*Please note that this post is open only to students completing the penultimate or final year of an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) at the University of Worcester or partner institutions;
Students completing, or who have completed, an undergraduate degree at another university (with 1st or 2:1 predicted/achieved) who are about to commence postgraduate studies at the University of Worcester.

Closing date: Monday 29 May 2017

Reference number: STUVRA1703 - 2002

Job details

Job details

£8.44 per hour, plus £1.18 per hour holiday pay
8 weeks part time (0.5 FTE)
Responsible to
Dr Temitope Alade
Responsible for
Interview date

Worcester Business School

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Mark Richardson, Head of Worcester Business School



The University of Worcester is funding 20 Vacation Research Assistantships for the summer of 2017. These Research Assistantships will provide undergraduates and recent graduates with ‘hands on’ experience of working on a research project over the summer vacation, enabling them to gain insight into a research career, as well as enhancing their CV. These are prestigious awards, marking out a student as a future researcher and potential academic. In addition, this scheme provides UW staff leading on a research project with invaluable support in taking the project forward and experience of supporting and developing a young researcher.
On completion of the project, the supervisor and student must complete a report providing the following information:
• Objectives set
• Objectives met
• Methods employed
• Results
• Conclusions
• Outputs
• Benefits to the student including training undertaken, skills developed, etc.

Main duties

Main duties

1. Conduct a systematic literature review
2. Develop models for e-commerce web applications
3. Design and develop a single page Application (SPA) using Backbone.
4. Test and evaluate the effectiveness of an e-commerce application
5. Report and document research findings

*Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job; participate in appropriate training activities and encourage and support staff in their development and training.

*Take steps to ensure and enhance personal health, safety and well being and that of other staff and students.

*Carry out these duties in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity and supports diversity and inclusion, and takes into account the University's commitment to environmentally sustainable ways of working.
Person specification

Person specification

Please provide evidence of how you meet each of the essential criteria.


1. Experience with the use of psychology for web applications design
2. Expertise with CSS
3. Expertise with HTML
4. Expertise with JavaScript skills to create engaging, user focused and attractive content
5. Ability to communicate confidently and clearly with a wide range of people


Applications from Non EEA Workers:

Prospective applicants are advised to ensure that they are eligible to work in the UK without restriction.

Prospective applicants in points-based system immigration routes should assess their circumstances against the published criteria, which are set out on the GOV.UK website at

Visit for more information on how you can use a qualification from outside the UK to meet the requirements of the immigration rules.

Unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs

The University is strongly committed to the fair treatment of its staff and potential staff, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

In line with the University's policy on the Recruitment of People with a Criminal Record, shortlisted candidates are required to provide information of any unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice if there is any doubt about the status of a previous conviction, caution or bind-over. Disclosures will only be considered at the point when an offer of employment is made. The existence of a criminal record will not in itself prevent you from gaining employment.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. This job description is intended to enable a flexible approach to be offered working across the University as required. It is subject to review and amendment in the light of changing needs of the University and to provide appropriate development opportunities. Members of staff are expected to participate fully in discussions about changing requirements and it is the University's aim to reach agreement to reasonable change. If agreement is not possible, it reserves the right to require changes to the job description after consultation with the individual concerned.

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