Research Fellow - Somneuro Lab

Apply now Job no: 523930
Work type: Senior/Research Fellow (Amherst Only)
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Psychology and Brain Sci
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 Research Fellow for an NIH-funded study of brain development, sleep, and memory in early childhood. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Tracy Riggins (University of Maryland).


Essential Functions

  • Conducting experiments with young children (MRI, behavioral, and sleep physiology data collection). Data processing and analysis.
  • Training and supervising undergraduate students and project assistants.
  • Performing general administrative duties, including data management, scheduling meetings, and helping with purchasing and equipment maintenance.
  • 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)

  • Bachelors degree.
  • Previous research experience with human subjects.
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
  • Ability to work independently with keen attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to interact effectively, professionally and harmoniously with a diverse population of parents and children.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize goals; ability to collaborate well to formulate plans and objectives.
  • Previous experience working with children in some capacity.


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

  • Demonstrated experience managing research assistants or other staff. Experience collecting MRI, EEG/polysomnography data.
  • Strong computational and programming skills.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • This position requires flexibility (see work schedule) and mobility (work takes place at a variety of locations – multiple locations on campus, visits to participant homes).
  • This position requires placing electrodes, monitoring EEG waves and, as such, requires a high-level of visual acuity.


Additional Information

  • The Somneuro Lab and program 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.
  • The position is set to begin as soon as possible and a 2-year commitment is preferred, with the possibility of additional reappointment. Position contingent on funding.


Work Schedule

  • This is a full-time position (40 hours/week). Work hours vary to meet the needs of research project. Often, hours are between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. However, sleep research may require intermittent overnight support (with flexibility as needed for research operations) and/or weekend testing. These hours are part of, not in addition to, the 40-hour/week.


Salary Information

  • $41,600/annual.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until the position is filled. Early submissions are encouraged.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated 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, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 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.