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Staff Scientist/Engineer at NIMH (Bethesda, MD)

HIRING: Staff Scientist/Engineer

Who we are:

Drs. Daniel Pine and David Jangraw are seeking applicants for a Scientist/Engineer position that would program and maintain experimental tasks and hardware for the study of pediatric mental illnesses in the Emotion and Development Branch. Our aims are to better understand the causes and mechanisms of certain psychiatric disorders, improve their definition and classification, and ensure the best treatment can be offered to psychiatric patients. We do this by identifying neuroscience-based phenotypes that map onto clinical phenotypes, and which can be targeted with novel treatments.

What you will do:

The candidate will help the lab apply cutting-edge data collection methods to research on anxiety and mood disorders in young people. They will work closely with post-doctoral fellows to develop new tasks in PsychoPy (some existing tasks are written in E-Prime). The candidate will discuss the post-doc’s plans, advise them on technical aspects of the task, and write the task code. Many tasks must collect behavioral data and synchronize it with physiology and brain imaging data. They will also write and maintain pre-processing and/or analysis pipelines for data from these tasks.

In addition, the candidate will install and maintain software and hardware required for data collection, including EyeLink eye trackers and Biopac physiology monitors. The candidate will work closely with the NIMH’s functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) core when dealing with specialized hardware for use during brain scans. A motivated candidate could also advance the lab’s new techniques, including wearable heart monitors and eye trackers, remote data collection with Amazon Mechanical Turk, Affectiva facial expression analysis, and iPhone app development.

This is an extremely collaborative position that requires a blend of technical expertise and skilled communication. The candidate will assist about a dozen post-docs in 3 different research groups, balancing multiple projects at any given time. They must work with the post-docs and their principal investigators to establish priorities, timelines, and expectations. They must be comfortable working with team members who have different levels of technical experience.

Who you are:

Candidates with a strong programming or engineering background who are interested in psychology and neuroscience are encouraged to apply. Requirements for this position include:

  • Bachelor’s degree or (preferably) MS or PhD in computer science, engineering, neuroscience, or a related field
  • ≥3 years of programming experience in Python (preferably) or in R/Matlab
  • Strong organization skills and an ability to balance multiple projects
  • Excellent interpersonal and written (English) communication skills

Desirable experience includes:

  • Research experience in psychology or neuroscience
  • Experience with PsychoPy or other experimental design software
  • Experience with eye tracking, physiology, or fMRI hardware
  • Knowledge of software for processing neuroimaging data

How to apply:

The successful candidate will work jointly with Drs. Daniel Pine and David Jangraw, as well as other staff and fellows in the Emotion and Development Branch. Please write to them (pined@mail.nih.gov, david.jangraw@nih.gov) with your CV, using the email as the cover letter. Other enquiries are also very welcome. The National Institutes of Health is an equal opportunity employer.

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