The Bergelson Lab at Duke, a federally funded lab in Duke’s Psychology & Neuroscience department, is seeking a Research Technician II (i.e. a lab tech) with excellent programming skills for a summer start date.  Applications will be reviewed beginning mid-June and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected (likely in July). 


Start date will be mid-summer with some flexibility.  This is a one year grant funded position with possibility of renewal.



The Bergelson Lab studies language acquisition, with a focus on early word learning. Research projects in the lab investigate both the relation between word learning and other aspects of linguistic representation (phonetics, syntax, prosody) and the interface between word learning and socio-cognitive development writ large.


Research in the lab centers around corpus methods, used to analyze the SEEDLingS Corpus (a rich longitudinal audio/video/comprehension/production corpus), behavioral methods (e.g. eye-tracking, discrimination, and production studies), and neuroscientific methods (EEG) to query infant language development.


The Research Technician II will also have the opportunity to be part of international collaborative projects, involving speech-technology, computational modeling, and naturalistic recordings.


The Research Technician II will work alongside full-time lab staff, PhD students, postdocs, undergrads, and the PI to maintain our existing codebases (Bergelson Lab GitHub repo, SEEDLingS GitHub repo), create and document new scripts and workflows (Bergelson Lab GitBook), and provide support for working with experimental and naturalistic data in the lab. There are often 1-2 undergraduate RAs directly supervised by the Research Technician II in this role.


Our lab staff typically go on to excellent research positions and/or PhDs (n=5) at top institutions and have taken advantage of opportunities to co-author research publications and presentations in their own areas of interest and in ongoing projects in the lab.


Desiderata include:

* strong programming background (python along with some combination of R, matlab, ruby, bash, html, Go, C++, java, and LaTeX)

* experience with Python’s scientific libraries (Pandas, NumPy, SciPy) and  IPython Notebooks

* experience with R’s tidyverse. experience with RStudio’s Shiny application framework is a plus.

* high skill level and comfort with Github

* command line chops (Linux, Linux subsystem for Windows, or other POSIX-compatible shell)

* familiarity with basic IT (networks, VPNs, basic hardware knowledge)

* familiarity with relevant software (e.g. Praat, Python, Audacity, Datavyu, R, FFmpeg)

* coursework and research experience in algorithms and data structures, data science, machine learning, human research design and implementation (cognition and/or developmental psych, cogsci, linguistics, and related fields)


Duke Psychology and Neuroscience has a strong community of researchers (see primary faculty here). Colleagues with highly relevant research in the department notably include Drs. Michael Tomasello, Rita Svetlova, and Makeba Wilbourne. We are part of Duke CHILD Studies.


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.