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Junior Specialist for GAIN Study

Application Window

Open date: May 12th, 2022

Most recent review date: Sunday, May 29, 2022 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: Wednesday, Aug 31, 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 GAIN Study at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

This position will be involved in an interdisciplinary study focusing the behavioral and developmental characteristics of autism in young children. In particular, the Girls with Autism – Imaging in Neurodevelopment (GAIN) study seeks to better understand sex differences in brain development and behavioral presentation of autistic traits in early childhood. This study follows children longitudinally throughout their development; this position will work on our early childhood (ages 2-6) phase of the study.

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 the APP collaborative study teams, including Dr. Christine Wu Nordahl (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Brianna Heath (Program Manager). Position is full time, with variable work hours including evenings and/or weekends. This position may be up to 30% remote; the remainder of work will take place on the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento.

The GAIN research program embraces the concept of neurodiversity and welcomes autistic and other neurodivergent applicants.

• Recruiting and scheduling of research participants, guiding participants through their study visits, and assisting in collection of study data
• Assist in preparation and acquisition of non-sedation MRI scans on participants
• Contribute to data processing including scoring of behavioral assessments, MRI pre-processing, maintaining subject electronic medical record, tracking subject behavioral and medical data, and training of undergraduate volunteers in proper data entry protocols
• Contribute to research publications by designing and pursuing research questions related to behavior and neurodevelopment in autism

• Collaborate with senior research personnel by assisting with data analysis and literature review
• Help prepare abstracts for scientific conference submissions under the mentorship of the research team, with the opportunity to present posters at meetings if accepted
• Read, discuss, and interpret relevant journal articles to the project
• Attend weekly and monthly meetings with members of the research team to discuss study progress and protocol implementation

• Attending community events and talking about our research with community members at these events
• Participate in the University by volunteering at special events for families of autistic children that participate in research studies at the MIND Institute
• Provide interpretation of study measures to participating families including summarizing behavioral assessment results and coordinating with community physicians to provide radiological reports


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Bachelor’s degree* in Psychology, Neuroscience, Human Development, or a related field
Experience working with preschool-aged children in a professional setting
Experience with individuals with autism and/or other neurodevelopmental disorders
Demonstrated ability to prioritize, manage and complete multiple concurrent tasks in a timely manner
Experience in a customer or patient-facing role
Demonstrated interpersonal and written/verbal communication skills to effectively communicate with families, children, and professionals
Ability to independently and effectively identify resources to solve problems
Strong demonstrated use of Microsoft Office Suite (experience with MS Access preferred)
Ability to safely work (i.e., no medical contraindications) in an MRI environment

*Degree must be awarded by hire date; new graduates may require additional paperwork verifying their degree progress if applying before degree is awarded.

Preferred qualifications

Previous research experience in related fields (e.g., psychology, cognitive neuroscience, child development, biomedical sciences, human clinical trials)
Experience with calendaring/scheduling
Experience with MRI research, including MRI safety training
Experience or training in coordinating a research study, including recruiting participants and running visits
Demonstrated ability to maintain organized databases and timely tracking of information with experience in database systems (e.g., Microsoft Access, REDCap)
Experience with AggieTravel, Connexus, or other UC administrative systems

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

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

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Job location

saSacramento, CA