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Position Summary – Project Coordinator, Developmental Social Neuroscience (DSN) Lab

We are seeking a project coordinator to work with the Developmental Social Neuroscience (DSN) Lab headed by Dr. Jennifer Pfeifer (, 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 over five years (every 18 months). 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 project coordinator will also interact extensively with Dr. Nick Allen, Co-I on the study and director of the Affective Development and Psychopathology Team (ADAPT). You can learn more about the project at: We are seeking a highly motivated individual to help with this study and contribute to day-to-day operations of the lab. Candidates should be independent workers who are quick to learn new skills and have excellent organizational skills. Given the scope of the project, a combination of the following qualities, skills, and interests are highly desirable.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, or a related discipline.
  • Prior research experience, particularly collecting data with children and/or adolescents
  • Highly efficient and organized approach to work, with strong attention to detail and thoroughness.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks; exceptional time management skills.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communicative 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.
  • Ability to learn quickly and work independently, with supervision as needed.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Some experience conducting research with clinical populations, particularly any experience with adolescent clinical populations or any experience with the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia; or strong desire to gain this experience in a research setting.
  • Some experience with acquiring, analysing, and interpreting MRI research (in at least one of the modalities listed above).
  • Strong computer, statistical, and technical skills and/or a willingness to learn (e.g., Matlab, Python, R, SPM, FSL, AFNI, or similar platforms).
  • Some experience in collecting and analyzing data relevant to pubertal development, which may include collecting biological samples for hormonal assays.
  • Interest in social cognition, self development, motivation, depression, and/or anxiety.
  • Interest in community outreach (primarily at schools).

The project coordinator appointment is an initial 12 month contract with potential to renew, depending on productivity and fit. Applicants desiring to stay for a minimum of two years are preferred. To apply, please submit a CV and a cover letter, attention: Dr. Jennifer Pfeifer, describing research interests and expertise, including at least three references, and clearly identifying your interest in the particular position at

The ideal start date is between July 5, 2017 and August 1, 2017, but this is flexible for the right candidate. 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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