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Junior Specialist - T-PAL

Application Window

Open date: September 15th, 2021

Last review date: Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Monday, Feb 28, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis invites applications for a qualified Junior Specialist for the Translational Psychophysiology and Assessment Laboratory (T-PAL) directed by Dr. David Hessl at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

The incumbent for this position will be involved two primary activities, each requiring about 50% time. The first involves the development and evaluation of new technologies and methods to assess behavior and cognition in people with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities, with a focus on a smartphone app to measure behavior change in treatment studies. The second activity involves the recruitment, enrollment and cognitive assessment of adults with fragile X and Down syndromes to understand the potential of the NIH Toolbox to measure changes in cognition in aging persons with intellectual disability. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team. This candidate will work closely with Andrew Dakopolos, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow), Jessica Johnston (Study Coordinator), Danielle Harvey, PhD (Statistician), Michael Bass, PhD (Programmer, Northwestern University) and David Hessl, PhD (Principal Investigator and Full Professor). These studies are integrated into a larger NIH-funded project involving multiple sites in the U.S. (Northwestern, Rush University, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, National Institute of Health, University of Denver), with opportunity for developing professional contacts there.

General responsibilities include:


• Participant recruitment, pre-screening, consenting and scheduling
• Participant and teacher training of how to use the app, observe and record behaviors
• Scoring of questionnaires and assessments, data entry and REDCap database maintenance
• Preparing and maintaining study-related documentation, including documentation for review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB)
• Cognitive testing using the Toolbox and other measures
Coordinate project activities across sites with other investigators to ensure harmonization of research method and app use by families
• Research participation will result in opportunities to present at scientific conferences and potential co-authorship on peer-reviewed articles if criteria for authorship are met


• Attendance and active participation in weekly lab meetings and research-related discussions, including providing critical input on app performance, useability, and data analysis
• Assisting with preparation and analysis of data for presentations, conference abstracts, posters, publications, and grants
• Literature reviews of journal articles on topics including but not limited to executive dysfunction, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, autism, and intellectual disability, to assist with app refinement, data presentations, conference abstracts, posters, publications, and grants


• Participate in the University by volunteering at special events for children with neurodevelopmental disorders that participate in research studies at the MIND Institute
• Provide interpretation of study measures to participants and their families, including summarizing behavioral assessment results and preparing results letters


12-month term appointment from start date at 100% time (full time).

Yearly/hourly pay scales based on percentage of qualifying appointment. Step offered commensurate with the proposed candidate's qualifications and prior experience in title code.


To apply, please go to the following link:

Applicants should submit cover letter, CV or resume, and contact information for at least 3 references. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files.


Please direct questions to Dr. David Hessl,

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:

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

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

    • Bachelor’s degree* in psychology, neuroscience, human development, neurobiology, physiology, and behavior (NPB), biological sciences, computer science (possible, if applied toward app development), or a related field
    • Experience in a clinical, psychology, cognitive neuroscience research laboratory
    • Experience with data analysis in psychology and/or cognitive neuroscience
    • Experience with computer programming desired, but not required

    *Degree must be awarded by hire date

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to convey information and work effectively with lab members, clinicians and families involved in the research projects
    • Excellent social skills to facilitate communication with children, adolescents, and young adults with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families
    • Detail oriented with exceptional organizational skills to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, meet deadlines, and follow established organizational structures
    • Tracking and record-keeping skills
    • Familiarity and strengths in data management, computer/app problem-solving, persistence
    • Writing skills including accurate grammar, spelling, and punctuation sufficient to create and edit documents

Preferred qualifications

    • Experience with SPSS, R, SAS
    • Experience doing assessments with people with neurodevelopmental disorders
    • Programming experience (Angular, NativeScript)
    • Experience with REDCap
    • Experience administering cognitive assessments to children or adults with developmental disabilities
    • GPA of 3.5/4.0 or higher

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

UC Davis is a smoke and tobacco-free campus (

We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals’ with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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 UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at:

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) is committed to inclusive excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. UC Davis celebrates the multi-cultural diversity of its community by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment demonstrated through a variety of resources and programs available to academics, staff, and students. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values of UC Davis that are embedded within our Principles of Community and are tied with how to best serve our student population. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can best be fully realized by members of our academic community who share our commitment to these values, which are included in our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision, our strategic plan: “To Boldly Go,” our Principles of Community, the Office of Academic Affairs’ Mission Statement, and the UC Board of Regents Policy 4400: Policy on University of California Diversity Statement. UC Davis is making important progress towards our goal of achieving federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers a plethora of resources on their website, and the Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) has outlined similar goals in their Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan.” There are a plethora of links available on the About Us webpage where you can learn more about our Administration, Diversity and Inclusion, Rankings, Locations, Native American Land Acknowledgement, Sustainability, Visiting UC Davis, UC Davis Health, and Campus Safety.

The university is consistently ranked among the top institutions in the world for campus sustainability practices by the UI Green Metric World University Rankings. UC Davis is focused on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and repeatedly shown its commitment to preserving a healthy and sustainable environment for generations to come.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees must (a) provide proof of receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment and provide proof of Full Vaccination no later than eight weeks after their first date of employment; or (b) if applicable, submit a request for Exception or Deferral no later than 14 calendar days after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Sacramento, CA