Psychology Research Assistant Opening - Washington University in Saint Louis

We have an exciting research project and are looking to hire a full-time research assistant. This is a joint project between Jonathan Peelle, Kristin Van Engen, and Mitch Sommers  at Washington University in Saint Louis. We are looking at the cognitive and neural systems involved in understanding speech, especially when it is acoustically degraded (due to background noise or hearing loss). If you got the job you would be located in the Sommers lab in the psychology department on the main campus.

Accurately measuring individual differences in cognitive abilities typically requires a lot of data; your primary responsibility would be to collect behavioral data from our research participants (on average 1-2 participants per day). This includes scheduling participants over the phone, running the study, and transferring the data and paperwork afterwards. This is a tall order, and requires someone who is naturally very organized and good with people.

By "naturally organized" we don't need someone who understands what being organized means, or who can file and alphabetize paperwork. That's true of most of the applicants for this job. We are looking for the kind of person who intuitively designs systems to organize things in life outside of work because that's how their mind works.

It also requires being able to work independently, but in the context of our team: you’ll need to be able to move ahead on projects without asking for input from others. It is highly unlikely that you will have all of the required skills already, so being able to prioritize tasks and learn skills on your own is critical.

As one example of this, you’ll be programming experiments using EPrime and/or PsychoPy. Experience with any kind of programming, especially experiment presentation, is a big plus. If you don’t have experience then a willingness and ability to learn quickly is absolutely essential.

It is also very important that you are comfortable interacting with a range of people. First, because our university research team is spread out, you'll need to be able to coordinate and communicate with all of us. Second, and more importantly, you'll need to be able to be engaging and friendly with both undergraduates and older adults who come in for our study. It is imperative that they feel valued and enjoy their experience, but that you are also able to keep them on task. If you are highly introverted you'll need to consider whether you can keep up a high level of interaction with participants for a long period of time.

On a related note, engaging our participants in scientific communication is also a big part of the job: Compensation for participating in our experiments is usually modest, but our participants are willing go out of their way to take part in our project because they are genuinely interested in the work that we do. Therefore, you will need to communicate the purpose and eventual applications of our work to participants during their visit.

Although not required, we anticipate that having some post-undergraduate experience will be really helpful in developing the skills necessary for the job. Although research experience would be great, it's more the overall level of maturity and life experience we think would be useful.

We are asking for a minimum of a 2-year commitment—there will be a significant training period, and we want to make sure you're around to benefit from the environment, and to contribute to the project. If you are considering further education we are confident that the experience (and potential publications) you gain from this time will serve you well. We have a 5-year grant and if all goes well we would love to have you stay part of the team for a long time.

A background in psychology or cognitive neuroscience—including research design, data collection, and/or programming—will be extremely useful in understanding the project and being able to contribute to the interpretation of the results.

If you're not familiar with Saint Louis, it's a great city. None of the main investigators on the grant are natives but we all like the area: the culture, food, and beer scenes are all excellent, and the overall cost of living relatively low. Wash U is a great academic institution with good benefits and a good place to work.

In summary, we are really excited about this project and want to find the right person for the job! We think the most successful candidates will be naturally organized, excited about the project, and have excellent interpersonal skills.

For informal inquiries, please send a CV to Jonathan Peelle. In your email let us know why you think you'd be a good fit, and what might set you apart from other candidates.

We are looking for the best person for the job, not the person with the "right" background or CV. If you are interested and think you'd do well we really encourage you to apply. We won't be able to interview everyone and we may not interview you, but let us be the ones to make this decision.

An official job posting will be available shortly (we hope). We won't be able to respond personally to all inquiries so please keep an eye on the Wash U human resources page and apply officially if you are interested.

Funded postdoc in speech comprehension and aging at Penn

The Grossman Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is seeking a motivated and enthusiastic Postdoctoral Research Fellow to contribute to a range of research projects investigating the neurobiology of language. Applicants should have completed a PhD in neuroscience, psychology, or an equivalent field, and have proven technical ability in image analysis and a demonstrated publication record. This position is funded in part through a collaborative grant looking at aging and speech comprehension with Jonathan Peelle (Washington University in Saint Louis) and Art Wingfield (Brandeis University). We are interested in the neurobiologic basis of the interaction of acoustic challenges (such as background noise or hearing loss) and linguistic factors (such as syntactic complexity or semantic predictability).

The University of Pennsylvania is a leading center in human brain imaging, with access to advanced MRI and PET imaging. The lab studies language and cognitive processing in healthy adults, normal aging, and neurodegenerative disease using converging evidence from multiple methods. There may also be opportunity for outstanding candidates to develop new projects and obtain competitive funding based on their own research interests, in alignment with the goals and interests of the lab. Philadelphia is an outstanding city with extraordinary cultural resources.

Primary responsibilities in this position include the analysis, interpretation, and writing up of functional and structural MRI data relating to the neural systems supporting speech processing in young and older adults. Previous experience in all of these areas is helpful, and the successful candidate will benefit from demonstrated independence in conducting analyses and interpreting results. Thus essential skills are motivation, critical thinking, and a strong record of scientific communication (papers, posters, and talks). Background knowledge in speech or aging, fMRI data analysis, experience with scripting languages (such as Matlab), and familiarity with behavioral statistical analyses (e.g., in R) are highly desirable. The anticipated start date is August 2016.

Informal inquiries can be directed to Murray Grossman (mgrossma@mail.med.upenn.edu).

 

Cognitive psychology research assistant job opening at Washington University

UPDATE: Position filled.

(Alternate title: Meet lots of cool people and learn great science at the same time!)

(This is an unofficial announcement for an upcoming opening—an official HR posting will follow at some point, but with less helpful details. We've taken the unusual step here of just writing down what we actually want in a research assistant—it might be a little on the long side but hopefully useful. Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested!)

We have an exciting new research project and are looking to hire a full-time research assistant. This is a joint project between Jonathan Peelle, Kristin Van Engen, and Mitch Sommers at Washington University in Saint Louis. We are looking at the cognitive and neural systems involved in understanding speech, especially when it is acoustically degraded (due to background noise or hearing loss). If you got the job you would be located in the Sommers lab in the psychology department on the main campus of Wash U, working closely with all 3 co-investigators.

Accurately measuring individual differences in cognitive abilities typically requires a lot of data; your primary responsibility would be to collect behavioral data from our research participants (on average 1-2 participants per day). This includes scheduling participants over the phone, running the study, and transferring the data and paperwork afterwards. Running this many participants is a tall order, and requires someone who is naturally very organized and good with people.

By "naturally organized" we don't need someone who understands what being organized means, or who can file and alphabetize paperwork. That's true of most of the applicants for this job. We are looking for the kind of person who intuitively designs systems to organize things in life outside of work because that's how their mind works.

It is also critical that you are comfortable interacting with a range of people. First, because our university research team is spread out, you'll need to be able to coordinate and communicate with all of us. Second, and more importantly, you'll need to be able to be engaging and friendly with both undergraduates and older adults who come in for our study. It is imperative that they feel valued and enjoy their experience, but that you are also able to keep them on task. If you are highly introverted you'll need to consider whether you can keep up a high level of interaction with participants for a long period of time.

On a related note, engaging our participants in scientific communication is also a big part of the job: Compensation for participating in our experiments is usually modest, but our participants are willing to go out of their way to take part in our project because they are genuinely interested in the work that we do. Therefore, you will need to communicate the purpose and eventual applications of our work to participants during their visit.

Although not required, we anticipate that having some post-undergraduate experience will be really helpful in developing the skills necessary for the job. Although research experience would be great, it's more the overall level of maturity and life experience we think would be useful.

We are asking for a minimum of a 2-year commitment—there will be a significant training period, and we want to make sure you're around to benefit from the environment, and to contribute to the project. If you are considering further education we are confident that the experience (and potential publications) you gain from this time will serve you well. We have a 5-year grant and if all goes well we would love to have you stay part of the team for a long time.

There are other skills and background that would be useful but not required:
Any sort of computer programming, statistics, or research design is very relevant, although in practice we appreciate not everyone has had the chance to get this experience. A background in psychology or cognitive neuroscience will be extremely useful in understanding the project and being able to contribute to the interpretation of the results. We'd love if you had all of these qualities but they aren't strictly required for the daily performance of your job.

If you're not familiar with Saint Louis, it's a great city. None of the main investigators on the grant are natives but we all like the area: the culture, food, and beer scenes are all excellent, and the overall cost of living relatively low. Wash U is a great academic institution with good benefits and a good place to work.

In summary, we are really excited about this project and want to find the right person for the job. We think the most successful candidates will be naturally organized, enthusiastic about the project, and have excellent interpersonal skills.

For informal inquiries, please send a CV to Jonathan Peelle (peellej at the domain ent.wustl.edu). In your email let us know why you think you'd be a good fit, and what might set you apart from other candidates.

We are looking for the best person for the job, not the person with the "right" background or CV. If you are interested and think you'd do well we really encourage you to apply. We won't be able to interview everyone and we may not interview you, but let us be the ones to make this decision.

An official job posting will be available shortly (we hope). We won't be able to respond personally to all inquiries so please keep an eye on the Wash U human resources page and apply officially if you are interested.

 

Now hiring: Cognitive neuroscience research assistant (UPDATE: POSITION FILLED)

UPDATE: The position is filled.

We are looking for a full-time research assistant to start this summer. The position involves collecting and analyzing behavioral and neuroimaging data. Previous experience doing this is not necessary; it is more important that you are conscientious, well-organized, self-motivated, and able to work independently. And also have fun. We have a great team and are looking forward to expanding!

Please see the full description below.

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COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ASSISTANT POSITION

A full-time cognitive neuroscience research assistant position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Peelle in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis. The lab uses human brain imaging to study how listeners understand speech, and the ways this changes with normal aging and hearing impairment. Position responsibilities will include the collection and analysis of both behavioral and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, and working closely with Dr. Peelle to implement experiments and apply for research funding. The position comes with many opportunities for growth and training and will provide a strong foundation for individuals interested in continuing their education in graduate or medical school.

Washington University is one of the nation’s leading institutions in both neuroscience and medical research, with three research-dedicated MRI scanners and a vibrant cognitive neuroscience community across the departments of Psychology, Radiology, Neurology, Biomedical Engineering, and Otolaryngology. The Department of Otolaryngology has over 100 years of history of leadership in the treatment of disorders of the ear, nose and throat in both adults and children, including pursuing the relationship between hearing and brain function.

Preferred qualifications: Equivalent of Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, psychology, biology, biomedical engineering, computer science, or related field. The candidate must be detail oriented, able to work independently, and have strong organizational and interpersonal skills. Experience in any of the following is preferred: psychological testing, statistical analysis, graphic design, E-Prime, Linux/Unix, MATLAB, R, or computer programming.

The anticipated starting date for this job is June 1, 2014. Preference will be given to candidates who can commit to two years in the position.

Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, ethnic minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Now hiring: Cognitive neuroscience research assistant (UPDATED: Position filled)

UPDATE 2013-04-11: We have now completed this job search and the position is no longer open. Thank you for your interest. Original post remains below.

We are hiring! Our lab is looking for a full-time research assistant to start this summer. The position involves collecting and analyzing behavioral and neuroimaging data. Previous experience doing this is not necessary; it is more important that you are conscientious, well-organized, self-motivated, and able to work independently. As the lab is still relatively small there will be even more opportunity to be involved with the research than in a larger lab. Please see below for more details.


COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ASSISTANT POSITION

A full-time cognitive neuroscience research assistant position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Peelle in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis. The lab uses human brain imaging to study how listeners understand speech, and the ways this changes with normal aging and hearing impairment. Position responsibilities will include the collection and analysis of both behavioral and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, and working closely with Dr. Peelle to implement experiments and apply for research funding. The position comes with many opportunities for growth and training and will provide a strong foundation for individuals interested in continuing their education in graduate or medical school.

Washington University is one of the nation’s leading institutions in both neuroscience and medical research, with three research-dedicated MRI scanners and a vibrant cognitive neuroscience community across the departments of Psychology, Radiology, Neurology, Biomedical Engineering, and Otolaryngology. The Department of Otolaryngology has over 100 years of history of leadership in the treatment of disorders of the ear, nose and throat in both adults and children, including pursuing the relationship between hearing and brain function.

Qualifications: Equivalent of Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, psychology, biology, biomedical engineering, computer science, or related field. The candidate must be detail oriented, able to work independently, and have strong organizational and interpersonal skills. Experience in any of the following is preferred: psychological testing, statistical analysis, graphic design, E-Prime, Linux/Unix, MATLAB, R, or computer programming.

The anticipated starting date for this job is July 1, 2013.

Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, ethnic minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.