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Junior Specialist Neural Mechanisms Underlying Cognitive Control of Emotions Study

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis invites applications for a qualified Junior Specialists focusing on tDCS-induced changes in the frontal-limbic network during cognitive control of emotion in recent-onset schizophrenia under the supervision of Dr. Laura Tully, Ph.D.


The incumbent for this position will be part of an interdisciplinary set of studies examining the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive control of emotion and response to social stress in healthy individuals and individuals experiencing psychotic illness. The incumbent’s primary role will be the study coordinator for a new study using fMRI to examine the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on neural mechanisms of cognitive control of emotion during negative social evaluation in individuals aged 16 – 30 with psychotic illness. Successful candidates will also assist with additional neuroimaging and behavioral studies, and will be involved in all aspects of publishable research activities in the PEP lab, inclusive of literature review, study design and implementation, data analysis and presentation, manuscript preparation, and conference submissions.

General responsibilities include:

General duties include working closely with the PI to assist in study design and implementation, literature reviews and data analysis for manuscript preparation for conference presentations and meetings, and writing manuscripts (e.g., methods and results sections, table and figure generation). 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 Dr. Laura Tully, Ph.D.

• Recruitment of study cohorts, including individuals at risk for psychosis, individuals with first episode psychosis, as well as demographically-matched healthy individuals.
• Conduct phone interviews with potential study participants to evaluate eligibility based on medical and psychiatric inclusion/exclusion criteria.
• Administer clinical and cognitive behavioral batteries to all study cohorts.
• Administer tDCS in individuals with psychotic illness.
• Collect fMRI data in all study cohorts, including individuals with psychotic illness.
• Analyze behavioral data and fMRI data.
• Maintain clinical IRB protocols. Ensure IRB and HIPAA compliance.
• Manage study data, including clinical ratings, medical and demographic information, intelligence assessments, cognitive performance data, and fMRI data.

•Participate in computer science/software programming coursework (e.g. MATLAB programming and data visualizations, SPM training)
• Present data in poster format at regional/national meetings in relevant fields *(e.g. Society for Research in Psychopathology).

• Assist in mentorship of volunteer undergraduate research assistants.
• Participate in lab meetings, including presentation of preliminary data analyses, study proposals, and discussion of journal articles.

• Bachelor’s degree in cognitive science, psychology, or a related field by September 2017 with a minimum of 1 year experience in conducting research studies in a cognitive science discipline (e.g., undergraduate thesis).
• Experience in human subjects research.
• Experience using complex formulas and calculations in excel (or similar).
• Demonstrated ability to work within a team to meet project goals.

• Demonstrated ability to manage data sets in spreadsheet programs or similar (e.g., excel, csv, jmp, spss)

• Experience in collecting fMRI and/or EEG data in human subjects
• Experience with fMRI data analysis software (e.g., SPM, FSL, AFNI, neuroelf)
• Experience conducting semi-structured interviews with human subjects (e.g., clinical assessments).
• Experience conducting cognitive batteries in human subjects (e.g., intelligence assessments, neuropsychological evaluations).
• Experience manipulating datasets in MATLAB and programming experimental tasks using MATLAB and PsychToolBox software
• Experience writing/submitting manuscripts for peer review.

This position is open effective October 1, 2017; for full consideration, applications should be submitted by October 15, 2017. The posting will remain open until June 30, 2018 or until filled.

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

Qualified applicants should upload a Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae or Resume, and contact information for 3 to 5 references online at: Documents should be uploaded in pdf format.

Please direct questions to Dr. Laura Tully: LMTULLY@UCDAVIS.EDU

The University of California, Davis commits to inclusion excellence by advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. 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.

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.

Job location

Sacramento, CA




3-5 references required (contact information only)