Postdoctoral Scholar

Oregon, United States
Salary Not specified
Apr 20, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Postdoctoral Scholar

Job no: 526122
Work type: Faculty - Other
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Psychology, Research/Scientific/Grants

Department: Center for Translational Neuroscience
Rank: Postdoctoral Scholar
Annual Basis: 12 Month

Review of Applications Begins
March 1, 2021; position open until filled

Special Instructions to Applicants
Please submit a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references.

Department Summary
The Center for Translational Neuroscience (CTN) is a center within the Department of Psychology whose mission is to translate knowledge from basic neuroscience and apply it to improve well-being, promote resilience, and mitigate the effects of early adverse experiences. The CTN employs successive iterations of neuroscience research, theory building, and practice to drive the scientific knowledge base forward and promote evidence-based policy.

The Psychology department, located within the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of the largest departments supporting significant instructional and research activities in a wide range of fields within the discipline. The Department enrolls about 1,900 students per term, with approximately 300 undergraduate Psychology majors and 80 doctoral students, and includes approximately 35 teaching faculty, emeriti faculty, research staff, graduate students, and professional/administrative staff. For more information on the Department, visit For more information on the CTN, visit

The University of Oregon and the Center for Translational Neuroscience are committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse institution and seek candidates with demonstrated potential to contribute positively to its diverse community.

Position Summary
We are seeking a postdoctoral scholar 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 collect information about: 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 processes (self- evaluation, mentalizing, and affiliation); iv) mental health symptoms (particularly of depression, anxiety, and self-harm); and v) smartphone use. These data are acquired every 18-24 months, and opportunities to participate in complementary sub-studies are also offered on a regular basis (every 6-9 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), and Dr. Kate Mills, Co-I on the study and director of the Developing Brains in Context Lab. You can learn more about the project from our published protocol at This position is ideal for candidates interested in longitudinal developmental cognitive neuroscience, puberty, social development, and adolescent-emergent mental health. Given the scope of the project, we are looking for a highly conscientious and motivated individual with excellent writing, analysis, and coding abilities with the following interests and skills.

For the purpose of acquiring additional professional skills needed to pursue a career path in the chosen field, this position will have a formal mentor plan.

Minimum Requirements
  • PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience, or a related discipline.
  • Experience with acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting MRI research (in at least one of the modalities listed above) as part of candidate's doctoral training.
  • Experience conducting research with adolescent and/or clinical populations as part of candidate's doctoral training.

    Professional Competencies
  • Strong scientific writing skills demonstrated through record of publications (including first-author manuscripts) in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong computer, statistical, and technical skills (R, Python, Matlab, AFNI, SPM, FSL, or similar platforms).
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, including the ability to function effectively as a team member and team leader.
  • Ability to work in a team environment, requiring participatory decision-making and cooperative interactions among employees.

    Preferred Qualifications
  • Familiarity with implementing advanced statistical methodologies for longitudinal and multimethod data.
  • Record of open science and reproducible research practices (including experience with online repositories such as GitHub).
  • Experience in collecting and analyzing data relevant to pubertal development.
  • Experience in the planning, implementation, and tracking of a research project comprising multiple assessments and/or large samples.
  • Topical expertise in self-development, social cognition, peer relationships, depression, anxiety, and/or self-harm during adolescence.
  • Experience in collecting biological samples for hormonal assays and analyzing the resultant data.
  • Interest in community outreach (primarily at schools).

    The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit

    The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at or 541-346-5112.

    UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

    In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at

    To apply, visit


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