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Project Scientist - Toprani Lab

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $71,500 - $107,600.

Application Window

Open date: June 13, 2024

Most recent review date: Sunday, Jul 14, 2024 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: Friday, Jun 13, 2025 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 Neurology at the University of California Davis, School of Medicine is recruiting a full-time Project Scientist at the Assistant/Associate rank in Neurology specializing in cognitive electrophysiology and intracranial EEG.

The Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in his/her academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency in cognitive electrophysiology and intracranial EEG research, including applying for grants and publishing manuscripts. Appointees with Project Scientist series may engage in University and public service. They do not have formal course teaching responsibilities, however, they will mentor junior lab members.

Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program (i.e., Professor, Professional Researcher, etc.), they are not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. The Project Scientist will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.

The incumbent will work under the supervision of Dr. Toprani and will possess the ability to work cooperatively and collegially in a diverse environment

The Project Scientist (PS) primary duties will be to collect and analyze intracranial EEG data in Toprani Lab directed by Sheela Toprani, MD, PhD, in the UC Davis Department of Neuroengineering. Various analytic techniques and software (e.g. EEGLab, MatLab, Python, and locally-developed software programs) are applied to analyze intracranial EEG data, and prior experience with most of the above techniques is required. Dr. Toprani’s work focuses on analysis of intracranial EEG in patients with epilepsy. The lab works together with a consortium of researchers (Neuroprosthetics Lab and Lee Miller for cognitive biomarkers, Alyssa Weakley for neuropsychology, Karen Moxon for computation and modeling) to understand the biological basis of how normal brain functions (cognition, mood, memory) and how disease states (epilepsy) interact in time and space using computational modeling to guide neurostimulation therapy for the syndrome of epilepsy.

The PS should also be able to troubleshoot and supervise administration of standardized and experimental neuropsychological tests and conduct analyses using different operating systems such as Linux, DOS, and Windows. The PS should be able to coordinate clinical and research synergy for this collaborative research, prioritizing lab progress. He or she will design and lead innovative research lines centered on fundamental concepts of cognition in epilepsy and will oversee training and support for junior lab members. In addition, he or she will be expected to help in the preparation of grant proposals and scientific publications related to the above work and assist in preparing materials for IRB review. This is a one to two-year position (renewable after 1 year).

1) RESEARCH (84% Effort)

Research activity (84%)
This position requires creative contributions to and collaborative development of an active research program investigating topics relevant to the research area of Cognitive Electrophysiology methods and applications. Topics include electrophysiology of cognition, mood and memory, tracking, optimization of data acquisition and processing, data handling and analysis, and consulting with physician scientists on applications of EEG and ERP research to patients with epilepsy.

The appointee will help to determine research goals in consultation with the Principal Investigator. The Project Scientist will design specific projects, including the selection of appropriate methods and techniques. In some cases, the appointee may supervise students or technicians regarding the technical aspects of the research, including methods development, trouble-shooting problems, interpreting results and planning follow-up experiments. The appointee collaborates with scientific colleagues in multi-disciplinary projects that include components falling within the appointee’s area of expertise.

Most of the appointee’s effort will be for Data analysis (55%), with some additional effort for data collection (5%) and administrative support (4%), publication (10%) and grant acquisition (10%).

These responsibilities will include:
Data Analysis- 55%
• Conduct analyses of intracranial EEG data. This data will be collected from patients with neurological diseases (mostly Epilepsy) and cognitively normal controls.
• Analyze behavioral data (e.g., standardized and experimental neuropsychological tests) collected from neurological patients with cognitive disorders and cognitively normal controls.
• Conduct data analyses using different operating systems and software. Prior experience with Matlab, EEG Lab, ERPLab, or ERPSS, and SPSS is highly recommended.

Data Collection- 5%
• Collect and analyze intracranial EEG data. This data will be collected from neurological patients with cognitive disorders and cognitively normal controls.
• Administer standardized and experimental neuropsychological tests to neurological patients with cognitive disorders and cognitively normal controls.
• Organize and backup a large amount of data stored locally and on servers.
• Interact sensitively with neurological patients, their caregivers and to other members in the laboratory.

Administrative Support- 4%
• Maintain organized lab files regarding all research data and IRB Human Subjects Documents
• Be able to maintain and organize confidential health records in accordance to HIPPA regulations
• Provide administrative support to Dr. Toprani which may include assistance with writing grant proposals, publications, presentations and other miscellaneous tasks.

Publication (10%)
The appointee will publish research in peer-reviewed journals either independently or in collaboration with the PI or other members of the research team.

Grant Acquisition (10%)
The appointee will assist in writing proposals for funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations. The appointee will prepare and assist in the preparation of reports as required by granting agencies and prepare modifications of budgets and other grant components as needed.

The candidate will participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to his/her specific field of cognitive electrophysiology and intracranial EEG instrumentation and applications and will serve as a reviewer of research proposals and scientific publications as appropriate. The candidate will attend seminars to present research results and may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups. When appropriate, the candidate may coordinate and/or give presentations at seminars, laboratory meetings or educational functions.

The candidate may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups. When appropriate, the candidate may coordinate and/or give presentations at community educational events, research seminars, laboratory meetings or other educational functions. Occasional lectures at UC Davis classes related to cognitive electrophysiology also encouraged.

This recruitment is conducted at the Assistant/Associate rank. The resulting hire will be at the assistant/associate rank, regardless of the proposed appointee's qualifications.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• At least 2 years of working experience in either an ERP, EEG, or MEG lab post terminal degree.
• Previous experience collecting intracranial EEG data (1 year minimum) is required.
• Previous experience working with EEG in a clinical population (1 year minimum) is required.
• Highly proficient in computer skills across multiple operating systems. Familiarity with Linux and DOS is required.
• Excellent scientific writing skills, and a track record of peer-reviewed publications in cognitive neuroscience or human electrophysiology are required.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Psychology or Neuroscience.

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

• Previous publications in the area of Epilepsy.
• Experience of HIPAA-compliant handling of data for research purposes
• Experience of translational and human subjects research
• Demonstrated strong organizational skills;
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Prior experience with Matlab, EEG Lab, ERPLab, or ERPSS, and SPSS.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Cover Letter

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

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

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

Sacramento, CA