Post Doctoral Research Associate - Somneuro Lab

Apply now Job no: 518173
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Psychology and Brain Sci
Pay Grade: No Pay Grade
Categories: Laboratory & Research, Research, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Somneuro Lab (directed by Dr. Rebecca Spencer) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is seeking a full-time post-doctoral scholar for an NIH-funded study of brain development, sleep, and memory in early childhood. This project, in collaboration with Dr. Tracy Riggins (University of Maryland) will provide an opportunity to bridge domains of brain development, sleep science, and cognition. The project provides opportunity for the scholar to pursue their own research questions from the rich dataset.


Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Conducting experiments in young children (MRI, behavioral, and sleep physiology data collection).
  • Data processing and analysis.
  • Training and supervising graduate students, undergraduate students, and project assistants.
  • Assisting with research protocols and compliance.
  • Contributing to data dissemination (poster presentations, manuscript submissions).


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • PhD in psychology, neuroscience, or related field.
  • Experience collecting and analyzing MRI or related data in developmental populations.
  • Proficiency in statistical software (e.g., R, SPSS).
  • A record of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Excellent communication skills, keen attention to detail and strong organizational and problem solving skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit developmental populations for research.
  • Reliable transportation.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience working independently.
  • Demonstrated experience managing research assistants or other staff.
  • Experience collecting and analyzing EEG/polysomnography.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

  • Flexible.


Salary Information

  • Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.  


Additional Information

The Somneuro Lab is in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences and the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences and part of the Neuroscience & Behavior Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The lab research broadly focuses on sleep’s role in memory across development and aging. We are particularly interested in neural mechanisms underlying sleep benefits to cognition and apply multiple tools to address these questions (MRI, EEG/polysomnography, behavioral assessments). See for more details.


  • Position is set to begin April 1, 2023 (with some flexibility).
  • Two (2) year commitment is preferred with the possibility of additional reappointment.
  • Contingent on funding.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a cover letter/research statement, CV, and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.

We are committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive research environment. We seek to recruit, support, and retain members from diverse backgrounds and groups that have historically been underrepresented in the sciences. We encourage individuals of all racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, and gender identities to apply.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations.  (


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.