Visual Performance & Oculomotor Mobility Lab

Dr. Miriam Spering

Graduate students & postdocs


Two Post-Doc positions are available in the lab. One of the positions will be filled with a person interested in developing an eye-movement based motion sensitivity test for application in healthy elderly and patients with low vision (in collaboration with the BC Centre for Visual Rehabilitation). The other position is for someone interested in developing models of predictive processes based on eye and hand movements. Methods could include visual psychophysics, eye tracking, motion capture, and perception and action in Virtual Reality.

Both positions are initially for 1 year, and can be renewed by 1 year. Post-Docs at UBC have full access to medical and dental benefits (including a family plan), as well as to UBC's daycare system; UBC offers excellent on-campus housing for Post-Docs and families, with close proximity to top schools.

Applicants should have a strong background in psychology, neuroscience, or a related discipline. Programming skills in Matlab and an affinity towards quantitative methods are essential. Experience with Java or Unity would be a bonus. Applicants are expected to be collaboratively minded and work highly independently.

Applications should be sent by email to Miriam Spering (mspering at mail.ubc.ca) before June 30, 2018. Informal inquiries are highly encouraged, and I will be available at VSS for meetings with interested candidates. Full applications should include a CV, a statement of research interests, and the names of up to 3 people who could write a letter of reference.

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.

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 Vancouver General Hospital, within easy reach of both UBC campus and downtown Vancouver.


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 summer opportunities. I can currently not accept any more students for the summer of 2018. If you are interested, please contact me for opportunities in the fall/winter.

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.





Group photo 2014