Internship + PhD position Food concepts in preschoolers France

Call for candidate: research internship/ PhD position

(1st semester 2018: January-June / Sept. 2018- Sept. 2021):


The Center for Food and Hospitality Research at Institut Paul Bocuse (IPR) and The Laboratory for Research on Learning and Development (LEAD) invite applicants for a 6 month internship position whose aim is to lay the groundwork for a 36 month PhD position already funded by the European Union (EDULIA Project, H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks). This position would thus suit undergraduate students looking for a master project and willing to pursue as a PhD candidate. Indeed, the successful candidate will thus be in a privileged position to apply for the doctoral offer. We offer a competitive salary, an excellent interdisciplinary research network, high quality supervision, and modern laboratory facilities (special assistance for the accommodation in Lyon is also possible).


The Center for Food and Hospitality Research at Institut Paul Bocuse (IPBR) is a non-profit research unit dedicated to the scientific investigation of the various factors (social, economic, cognitive and physiological) that underlie and influence human eating behaviors. The Center stands out for its strong roots in societal and industrial contemporarily challenges. The Food Cognition axis to which the selected candidate will be attached focuses on the study of flavor perception as well as on the development, the structure and the content of food concepts/categories. The knowledge generated is intended to contribute to the resolution of public health problems by designing evidence-based interventions aiming at fostering healthy food acceptance in young children.

The Laboratory for Research on Learning and Development (LEAD) is a cognitive psychology laboratory that studies changes in information processing processes resulting from learning (implicit, didactic and professional) and development. The theoretical originality of the unit is to defend a parsimonious approach to cognition that stands out from the dominant theoretical models. Basic research is complemented by research with direct implications in the health field and, to a lesser extent, education and enterprise.


 Prof. Jean-Pierre Thibaut, Developmental psychology at Université de Bourgogne (Laboratoire CNRS – LEAD – UMR 5022)

 Dr. Jérémie Lafraire, Research Group Leader in Cognitive Science (IPBR), research associate at Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS-EHESS-ENS, Paris, Ulm)


Main missions


Familiarization with i) the literature on the development of concepts in children and

ii) the literature on food neophobia and pickiness

Experimental approach:

To design and conduct a pilot experiment on inductive reasoning (generalization of properties) in the food domain with children from 4 to 6 years of age.

NB: similar/complementary experiments are also planned in parallel in the United States by american undergraduates under the supervision of Dr. Simone Nguyen, Director of the CDL and Professor of Psychology at UNCW, and Dr. Helana Girgis, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Psychology. St. Lawrence University. Interactions with US teams are therefore planned during the internship, and subsequent joint papers are likely.


Induction tasks on conflicting triads (Gelman and Markmann, 1986)

Signal Detection Theory applied to Categorization, psychophysical indices (discriminability and bias)

Possibility to pursue as a PhD student

A call for application for a PhD position on a similar topic will be officially opened in May for a start in September 2018. The funding is already secured, this PhD project will be realized within the framework of the Edulia project: BRINGING DOWN BARRIERS TO CHILDREN’S HEALTHY EATING, H2020-MSCA -ITN-2017 (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks) under the supervision of J. Lafraire and JP. Thibaut. The recruited undergraduate student for the intership position will thus have the opportunity to pursue the project as a PhD candidate if he / she satisfies the mobility criterion decreed by the EU and described below:

3.3. Eligible Researchers

All researchers recruited in an ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) and undertake transnational mobility (see point 3.4 below). For all recruitments, the eligibility of the researcher will be determined at the date of their first recruitment in the action. The status of the researcher will not evolve over the life-time of the action, even if they are re-recruited at another beneficiary.

3.4 Conditions of Mobility of Researchers

Researchers can be of any nationality. They are required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment (see mobility rule in Definitions).

Nationality is therefore not a criterion. But the location of the researcher’s residence or main activity during the 3 years prior to their recruitment is determining.

Example: French nationals can be eligible for recruitment at a beneficiary located in France if they have resided or carried out their main activity outside of France for more than 24 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.

Deliverables :

Contribution to a scientific publication in english.

Occasional assistance (10% maximum) for the ongoing projects of the IPBR when relevant for the training of the successful candidate.


Intellectual curiosity, taste for both theoretical and empirical contemporary debates in developmental psychology and cognitive science in general, basic skills in statistics, keen to conduct experiments with French preschoolers.


Good oral and written English, some notions in French would be appreciated (but not determining). Indeed, it would make the field work easier (e.g. being able to describe properly the task to the French children, managing the recruitment, etc.).


Paid internship of a duration of six months. Start 3rd January 2018 or 1st of February 2018 depending on the candidate availability.

Salary 650 € gross/month (for the research internship)

To apply please send a cover letter, a CV, and the last marks received to:

Thank you for putting as subject of your email: food cognition internship IPBR LEAD


The student will be based by default at IPBR (Lyon, France) but the LEAD could also serve as the host laboratory if more convenient for the successful candidate


 Rioux, C., Lafraire, J., Picard, D. Rioux, C., Lafraire, J., & Picard, D. (2018). Visual exposure and categorization performance positively influence 3-to 6-year-old children’s willingness to taste unfamiliar vegetables. Appetite, 120, 32-42.

 Rioux, C., Lafraire, J., & Picard, D. (2017). Food rejection and the development of food category-based induction in 2–6 years old children. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 1-13.

 Rioux, C., Picard, D., Lafraire, J. (2016) Food rejection and the development of food categorization in young children, Cognitive Development, 40, 163-177.

 Rioux, C., Lafraire, J., Picard, D. (2017) Development and validation of a new scale to assess food neophobia and pickiness among 2- to 6-years old French children, European Review of Applied Psychology, 67:2, 67-77.

 Lafraire, J. ; Rioux, C.; Giboreau, A. ; Picard, D. (2016) Food rejections in children: Cognitive and social/environmental factors involved in food neophobia and picky/fussy eating behavior, Appetite 96, 1-11.

 Lafraire, J. ; Rioux, C.; Roque, J.; Giboreau, A. ; Picard, D. (2016) Rapid Categorization of Food and Nonfood Items by 3- to 4-Year-Old Children , Food Quality and Preference49, 87-91.

 Thibaut, J. P., Nguyen, S. P., & Murphy, G. L. (2016). Body and soul: Do children distinguish between foods when generalizing biological and psychological properties?. Early Education and Development, 27(8), 1250-1262.