Oculomotor Lab

Dr. Miriam Spering

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Oculomotor Lab is committed to fostering a positive lab climate that is open to diversity in people, opinions, and research approaches. We aim to 1) provide a safe, supportive, healthy, equitable, and inclusive environment through deliberate actions in recruitment and training, 2) celebrate our differences and use them to nurture creativity and ultimately improve our scientific process, and 3) respect individual needs, abilities, styles, and career goals and mentor and support each other accordingly. No form of harassment or discrimination is tolerated. For more details, please have a look at our Lab Manual.

Graduate students

Prospective graduate students who fulfill requirements of the UBC Graduate Program in Neuroscience (see below) are very welcome to contact me for open positions in the lab, however, I will not accept new students in 2024.

Potential applicants should have a strong background in psychology, neuroscience or a related discipline. Enthusiasm for scientific research and excellent communication skills are essential. Existing programming skills (e.g., Matlab, C) and an affinity towards quantitative methods are desirable or must be acquired during the PhD work.

Successful applicants will be part of a vibrant, highly collaborative, multidisciplinary community within Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and with collaborators in Computer Science, Neurology and Kinesiology at UBC; students will also be members of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at UBC, which provides multidisciplinary training and networking opportunities for around 30 graduate students per year. Applicants have to fulfill admission requirements of this program and go through the regular admissions process (Neuroscience Program Information for Prospective Students).

All trainees have access to an exceptionally wide range of world-class experimental facilities, including several eye trackers (such as a binocular dual-Purkinje image eye tracker, several Eyelink 1000, Chronos ETD, SMI 120-Hz eye glasses), motion trackers (Vicon, Ascension, Xsens), haptic devices (Phantom), KINARM and virtual reality displays (Occulus Rift, one set with an integrated SMI eye tracker).

Vancouver is spectacularly situated amidst ocean, mountains and forests and has consistently been listed as one of the most livable cities in the world by The Economist. The lab is located at UBC Hospital.

Summer students

I am generally looking for motivated undergraduate students to actively participate in all ongoing research activities in the lab.

Students who want to work in the lab and who are interested in learning about visual perception and eye movements can send a CV and brief letter of research interests to mspering[at]mail.ubc.ca. I encourage students to contact me as early in the year as possible, but definitely before April, for opportunities in the summer of 2021.

A variety of funding opportunities are generally available to UBC students wishing to gain research experience during the summer, e.g., the Summer Student Research Program (SSRP) and NSERC USRA. Both competitions usually have application deadlines in February/March of each year.

We are happy to discuss funding opportunities that may be available to undergraduate students in financial need. We encourage students from all socioeconomic, race, sexuality, gender, and cultural backgrounds to apply.


When contacting Dr. Spering for a position in the lab, please include the following information:

Reference Letter

If you have taken a class with me and have done well, or have worked in my lab, it will be a pleasure and an honor to write a reference letter for you. However, I write many reference letters each year and it is incredibly time consuming. If you want me to write the best possible reference letter for you, please help minimize the time it takes me to do so by being organized about what you need. Before contacting me about a reference letter, please carefully read and follow Dr. Spering’s Reference Letter Checklist.

Group photo 2014