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Post-Doctoral Associate - Translational NeuroEngineering Laboratory
University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Date Posted February 04, 2020
Employment Type Full-time
Application Deadline Open until filled

You must have:

  • A doctoral degree in a relevant field. We define “relevant” very broadly, and almost any quantitative discipline should quality. A terminal masters’ degree with significant prior work experience can substitute.

  • Some prior experience with electrophysiology, in any species or preparation, OR, deep familiarity with behavioral experiments and a clear interest in learning advanced methods.

  • Strong programming and/or data analysis skills. MATLAB or Python is essential. Other languages will be useful if you know them. Prior experience with data acquisition hardware, prototyping systems (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, additive manufacturing, etc.) and/or creating real-time systems would be nice but is definitely not required.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with specific documentation of those skills through published work and oral scientific presentations.

  • Interpersonal skills appropriate for collaboration in a very multidisciplinary and highly diverse environment.

It will be helpful if you have previous experience with psychiatric patient populations, the biological mechanisms of mental illness, or medical device development. If you do not, you should want to learn about at least one of those.

Job requirements will include:

  • Transportation of bulky objects on carts

  • Standing or sitting for extended periods

  • Performance of fine motor tasks under visual guidance

  • Training and teaching of adult learners from a variety of technical and personal backgrounds

  • Independent analysis and interpretation of scientific data

  • Complex technical communication in the English language

  • Professional interactions with a diverse body of colleagues and research participants

  • Acquisition and maintenance of all necessary requirements (e.g., background checks, immunizations, institutional trainings) for work with human and animal subjects.

The Translational NeuroEngineering Laboratory (TNEL) in the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry is seeking a postdoctoral scholar for a multi-year Federally funded position using rodent electrophysiology to study the circuit basis of behavior. Our laboratory develops technologies to reverse the circuit impairments that cause mental illness, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, and addictions. More information is available at http://www.tnelab.org/ .

The specific responsibilities of this position include electrophysiologic and optogenetic experiments in awake, behaving, untethered rodents. We have recently received funding to use a new high-density electrode technology (https://www.neuropixels.org) to study hippocampus-amgydala-striatum networks involved in learning, memory, and changes in decision-making styles. The project will combine behavioral tasks and some newly invented methods for modifying brain oscillations to study the role of those oscillations in cognitive function. You will work with some of the newest tools in neuroscience, while being supported by a deep bench of colleagues from neuroscience, engineering, and mathematics. Although this posting is focused on animals, the grant does include a human subjects component and you would be welcome to be part of it if you wish.

Depending on your interests, there are also opportunities to gain experience with:

  • Computational modeling and analysis of behavior

  • Next-generation, large-scale tools for measuring and perturbing the brain

  • Medical device development and commercialization

  • Neural simulation and modeling paradigms

  • The basic neurobiology of decision-making

  • The clinical neurobiology of mental illness

We expect the work and the resulting data to be a strong springboard to a career as an independent scientist. UMN has multiple training and seed grant programs to support that transition to independence. Our laboratory includes both animal and human research components, and you will interact almost daily with other neuroscientists and engineers. There are also opportunities for collaboration and networking with clinicians, basic neuroscientists, and engineers. Our lab is very focused on mentoring and developing junior personnel, and the PI will work with you to ensure that you are submitting competitive applications for fellowships and other grants on the pathway to independence. We also have strong industry relations for researchers interested in careers outside academia.

To learn more about the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, please visit: https://med.umn.edu/psychiatry

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume. In addition to completing the online application, please send a single PDF of cover letter (with clear statement of relevant background/interests), CV including publication list, and contact information for three references to Alik Widge, MD, PhD at awidge@umn.edu .

This position is open to researchers of any nationality. We will happily sponsor a visa, but please tell us up front about your needs and current status.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail employ@umn.edu or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).



The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U: http://diversity.umn.edu.

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC)

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

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