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Position Summary – Post Doctoral Research Associate, Developmental Social Neuroscience (DSN) Lab

We are seeking a postdoctoral research associate to work with the Developmental Social Neuroscience (DSN) Lab headed by Dr. Jennifer Pfeifer (http://dsn.uoregon.edu/), on an NIMH-funded prospective longitudinal study of risk for adolescent-emergent mental health problems in girls as they transition through puberty. In a community sample of 170 girls (initial age 10-13 years), the project will assess: i) levels of adrenal and gonadal hormones associated with pubertal development, as well as anthropometric data and secondary sex characteristics; ii) brain structure, anatomical connectivity (diffusion tensor imaging), and resting-state functional connectivity; iii) brain functioning and behavior related to social process (self-evaluation, mentalizing, and affiliation); and iv) mental health symptoms (particularly of depression, anxiety, and deliberate self-harm). These measures will be collected three times, with 18 months between each assessment. The first wave of data collection has been completed and the second wave is currently underway. The rich multilevel dataset will be analyzed using advanced statistical modeling techniques to describe the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between developmental patterns in each of these domains. The postdoctoral research associate will also interact extensively with Dr. Nick Allen, Co-I on the study and director of the Affective Development and Psychopathology Team (ADAPT). Given the scope of the project, a combination of the following qualities, skills, and interests are highly desirable.

Minimum qualifications:

  • PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience, or a related discipline.
  • Extensive experience with acquiring, analysing, and interpreting MRI research (in at least one of the modalities listed above) as part of candidate’s doctoral training.
  • Significant history of conducting research with adolescent and/or clinical populations as part of candidate’s doctoral training.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, including the ability to function effectively as a team member and team leader.
  • Experience working in a team environment, requiring participatory decision-making and cooperative interactions among employees.
  • Strong computer, statistical, and technical skills (Matlab, Python, R, SPM, FSL, AFNI, or similar platforms).

Preferred qualifications:

  • Strong record of publications (including first-author manuscripts) in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Familiarity and comfort with implementing advanced statistical methodologies for longitudinal and multimethod data.
  • Record of open science and reproducible research practices (including experience with online repositories such as GitHub).
  • Experience in collecting and analyzing data relevant to pubertal development.
  • Topical expertise in social cognition, self, motivation, depression, and/or anxiety.
  • Experience in the planning, implementation, and tracking of a research project comprising multiple assessments and/or large samples.
  • Experience in collecting biological samples for hormonal assays and analyzing the resultant data.
  • Interest in community outreach (primarily at schools).

The postdoctoral appointment is an initial twelve month contract with potential to renew for one or more years, depending on productivity and fit. Applicants intending to stay a minimum of two years are preferred. Please use the following link to apply: http://careers.uoregon.edu/cw/en-us/job/521077/pro-tem-research-assistantassociatepostdoc-psychology-open-pool

Once you have applied please let us know by sending an email to Jennifer Pfeifer (jpfeifer@uoregon.edu).

The target start date (flexible) is between August 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Prospective Undergraduate Research Assistants

Thank you for your interest in our research! Assisting with research is a great way to get the practical experience required to pursue graduate study in psychology. The DSN Lab is seeking dedicated and highly motivated research assistants to aid the lab’s ongoing research.

Students interested in receiving course credit or volunteering their time are encouraged to get involved by filling out this form.

Prospective Graduate Students

The University of Oregon Department of Psychology offers doctoral and individualized masters programs for students interested in both research and clinical psychology. Accepted graduate students are encouraged to build collaborative relationships with faculty and students outside of their primary areas of interest. Application materials for the doctoral and individualized masters psychology programs, along with additional information about the department and faculty, can be found at the Psychology Department website.

Graduate students in the DSN Lab pursue research studying the developmental trajectories and neural correlates of topics such as: self-evaluation, perception and understanding of others, emotions, motivation, decision-making, and self-regulation. For more information, please see our recent studies and publications.

Other Collaborations

If you are interested in projects currently going on within the lab, or have ideas for projects and/or collaboration, please contact Dr. Pfeifer. The University of Oregon provides an excellent environment for collaboration across disciplines and we encourage you to get in touch with your ideas!



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