Position category: Research Assistant (Junior Specialist/Post-baccalaureate)

Lab: TEEN and HERD labs at UC Davis

Supervisors: Dr. Amanda Guyer and Dr. Paul Hastings

Closing date: September 15, 2020



Dr. Paul Hastings and Dr. Amanda Guyer at the Center for Mind and Brain seek to fill a full-time position at the Junior Specialist level starting Fall 2020. This position is for one year. The successful candidate will work on a study being done in collaboration with faculty in Nutrition at UC Davis and the University of Ghana on the neurobiological and psychological functioning of young adolescents in Ghana who had received nutritional supplementation in infancy. This is the first study to examine the effects of early nutrition on nervous system development through combining methods to assess neurophysiology in both the central and autonomic nervous systems, including structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with diffusion tensor imaging and measures of autonomic nervous system activity, including electrocardiography (ECG) and impedance cardiography (IMP).

The successful candidate will have completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Human Development, Physiology, or a related field, and will have experience working with cardiac physiological (ECG, IMP) and/or neuroimaging (MRI) data. The principal investigators will provide additional training in the collection of physiological and/or neuroimaging data from adolescents and in the processing and analyses of these data, as well as guidance in how to train others in these data collection and processing procedures remotely or in person. Responsibilities will include remote training of colleagues and staff in Ghana on neurobiological data collection, training teams at the University of Ghana and UC Davis on processing neurobiological data, processing and analyzing data, collecting and reviewing journal articles, engaging in discussions on research and the interpretation of research results, and contributing to the writing up of results for publication in scholarly journals and presentations at conferences. Where appropriate, the individual would be co-author or first author of these presentations and publications. Travel to Ghana for working directly with team members and research participants may occur, depending on global health conditions. There also may be opportunities to work on other studies and datasets, contingent on the pace of the research in Ghana.

Responsibilities will include:

Research (85%):
   (a) Conducting research

  • Train students and staff in Ghana on physiological and/or neuroimaging data collection procedures with adolescent participants.
  • Train team members at the University of Ghana and UC Davis on processing and preparation of physiological and/or neuroimaging data.
  • Processing of physiological and/or neuroimaging data to provide feedback to data collection team in Ghana about quality of data and improving procedure administration.

   (b) Developing research materials

  • Develop experimental stimuli and other research materials using E-Prime and other software and programming environments. These duties involve creative and scholarly input which will have a direct impact on the experimental design—for example, making decisions about the features and counterbalancing of stimuli.

   (c) Activities Related to the Dissemination of Research

  • Participate in weekly discussions of relevant literature, and conduct literature reviews relevant to the work being conducted
  • Attend live or remote conferences to present the results of the research.
  • Conduct independent data analysis.
  • Contribute to the writing and preparation of manuscripts for publication.

   (d) Preparation of public-facing reports and briefings

  • Drafting and formatting accessible summaries of research findings for broader university and public audiences.

University and Public Service (15%):

   (e) Undergraduate research assistant training and mentoring

  • Train and mentor undergraduate students on data coding and analyses protocols.

Position qualifications include:
Required: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Human Development or a related field.
Prior experience working with ECG and/or MRI data. Availability to work flexible job hours. If hired, a background check is required. 

Preferred: Previous research experience with Mindware hardware and ACQ, HRV and IMP software; Phillips or Siemens MRI scanner; AFNI software.

Salary: Step I – $44,500 per annum

This posting will remain open until September 15, 2020. To apply, please go to the following link: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF03678.

Applicants should submit a cover letter of interest describing relevant skills, a resume/ curriculum vitae (CV), contact information for 2 or 3 references, and a statement on contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files. Visit http://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/diversity/equity_inclusion/index.html for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested. 

Questions: Please direct questions to . If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department at .

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify.

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