Research Associate


Posting Details

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Position Number F66890 Position Type Teaching and Research Faculty Rank Research Associate Working Title Research Associate School/Unit College of Humanities and Sciences Department Psychology Number of Months 12 Tenure Status Non-Tenure Eligible Grant funded position? Yes - Continuation of this position depends on funding of the grant.
Mission or Goal of Unit

The Vision: The Department of Psychology strives to be a national leader recognized for generating knowledge about psychological processes through scientific research and for disseminating that knowledge to our colleagues, our graduate and undergraduate students and society at large.
We lead the way by integrating effectively teaching, scholarly inquiry, and service, thus creating an exemplary learning environment for our graduate and undergraduate students.
Psychologists, as social scientists, are suited uniquely to address societal issues by finding ways of addressing human problems, by developing knowledge and technology, and by educating people to be productive citizens and effective psychologists.
We achieve excellence by measuring continuously our performance and productivity individually as scholars, teachers, contributors to society, and collectively as a Department, in order to meet effectively the changing needs of our consumers, whether they be students, staff, faculty, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or society.
In all our endeavors, we strive to use resources cost-effectively so that we can best achieve this mission and the missions of the College of Humanities and Sciences and of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Values: Our work is created by scientific rigor, committed in excellence and dedicated to improving the quality of life. Our productivity is maintained in an environment of fairness, mutual respect, and enjoyment.

Scientific Rigor: We seek to create and disseminate knowledge. We value independence of thought and the right to disagree.

Excellence: We strive for excellence based on clearly defined performance indices that are applied objectively.
Improved quality of life
We contribute knowledge, education, and labor in order to solve human problems in our increasingly diverse society.

Fairness: We are committed to creating and enhancing mechanisms for the recognition of people’s contributions and to providing access to growth and advancement for faculty, staff, and students.

Mutual Respect: We strive always to value and refuse to devalue other people, including our staff, faculty, students, members of our University community, and all other constituents.

VCU is a premier urban, public research university that boasts a diverse student body and community-engaged and research-intensive designations.

Chief purpose of this position in support of above mission or goal

We invite applications for a Research Associate (faculty-level, non-tenure track) position in the EDGE laboratory (Examining Development, Genes, and Environments) at Virginia Commonwealth University (edge.vcu.edu). The primary focus in the EDGE lab is studying genetic and environmental influences on the development of substance use and related behavioral outcomes.

The successful applicant(s) will have the opportunity to work across gene identification studies; longitudinal, community-based samples with genotypic data; and twin studies. Current projects for which there is active grant funding include (1) The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, a large family-based study of alcohol use disorder and related outcomes, aimed at gene identification and mapping risk and recovery across the lifespan; (2) the Externalizing Consortium, focused on multivariate analyses aimed at gene identification for externalizing outcomes, and characterizing the risk associated with identified variants across development and in conjunction with the environment; (3) the Finnish Twin Studies, population-based samples of Finnish twins and their families who have been followed longitudinally from ages 12 through mid-life; and (4) the Genetics, Marriage, and Divorce project, which leverages molecular and latent genetic methods to understand the indirect, ‘outside-the-skin’ pathways through which genetic risk for alcohol problems is transmitted and exacerbated in families. Across these projects, we are examining issues such as how genetic and environmental influences change across development; trajectories of risk associated with identified genes; environmental factors that alter risk pathways; genetic influences on subtypes and intermediary phenotypes associated with substance use problems; and the mediating and moderating mechanisms involved in gene-behavior associations.

This position is grant-funded and the continuation of this position is based on the availability of future grant funds.

Position Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the successful applicant will include the following:
• Conduct, with a high degree of independence, research aligned with the scientific aims of the group under the direction of EDGE Lab PIs and in collaboration with other members of the team, to include developing/refining research questions, pre-registering analytic plans, conducting analyses, and preparing manuscripts for peer review and for conference presentations.
• Provide support and consultation to other members of the research team, to include staying current with latest theories and methods related to the scope of the lab (e.g., substance use, development, psychiatric and behavioral genetics).
• Work as part of a multidisciplinary, translational team.

Required Qualifications

• PhD in Psychology, Human Genetics, or closely related field and at least 1 year of postdoctoral experience OR a Master’s degree in Biostatistics or closely related field with 3+ years of experience in a medical/health research setting.

Preferred Qualifications

• Prior experience with structural equation modeling and other statistical methods for the analysis of longitudinal data, or prior experience with quantitative or statistical genetics
• Prior experience preparing and submitting grants


Date Posted 10/22/2020 Open Until Filled Yes Application Deadline Date Proposed Hire Date 01/25/2021 Type of Search National Application Process/Additional Information

As a preeminent national, urban, public research university and academic health center, Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational diversity, equity and inclusion – an environment where all can thrive in their pursuit of excellence.

Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (typically between 150-300 words) providing your career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through this statement, you can share how your lived experiences; and past, present, and future academic and professional activities have or will contribute to VCU’s mission of promoting equity and inclusion.

Note: Examples include working with others to further the goals of equity and inclusion; leading in any capacity that tangibly promotes an environment where diversity is welcomed, fostered, and celebrated; creative activity, research and scholarship that promotes equity and parity; teaching and mentoring students, and/or engaging with faculty and/or staff from traditionally underrepresented groups to create a positive and successful organizational experience

In addition, please include a CV, the names and contact information of two references, and uploaded as “Other Document” a statement of research experiences that also delineates how your training/background will contribute to your ability to carry out the responsibilities identified above. Please note, references are automatically sent recommendation letter requests and instructions as soon as an application is submitted.

Posted Salary Quick Link http://www.vcujobs.com/postings/101303 Diversity Statement Information For more information on diversity statements, including guidelines, please click here . Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. How did you hear about this job?

    (Open Ended Question)

Applicant Documents
Required Documents
  1. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  2. Other Document
  3. Diversity Statement (Required for all Faculty)
Optional Documents

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