Junior Specialist for the GAIN and BRAIN studies at the UC Davis MIND Institute

20 Jun 2018 9:10 PM | Anonymous

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Davis invites applications for a qualified Junior Specialist for the GAIN and BRAIN studies at the UC Davis MIND Institute.


This position will be involved in interdisciplinary studies focusing on questions investigating the behavioral and developmental characteristics of autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents. The studies seek to characterize clinically significant subtypes of autism to develop targets for treatments, interventions, and services to improve quality of life for children with autism.

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 the GAIN & BRAIN teams, including Dr. Christine Wu Nordahl (PI) and Dr. Brianna Heath (Project Manager). This position is full time, with flexible work hours sometimes requiring evening availability.

General responsibilities include:


  • Assist in collection of study data including recruitment and scheduling of research participants, MRI scan preparation and acquisition, and administering expressive and receptive language assessments
  • Assist in data processing including scoring of behavioral assessments, MR imaging preprocessing, maintaining subject electronic medical record, tracking subject behavioral and medical data, and training of undergraduate volunteers in proper data entry protocols
  • Contribute to research publications by designing and pursuing research questions related to behavior and neurodevelopment in autism
  • Analyze data using statistical methods and programs and interpret results by comparing data from subjects with autism to those without, and contributing to the study goal of identifying subtypes of autism


  • Collaborate with senior research personnel by assisting with data analysis and literature review
  • Help prepare abstracts for scientific conference submissions under the mentorship of the research team, with the opportunity to present posters at meetings if accepted
  • Read, discuss, and interpret relevant journal articles to the project and present in the team’s journal club meetings
  • Attend weekly and monthly meetings with members of the research team to discuss study progress and protocol implementation


  • Attending community events such as Autism Speaks walks, children's fairs, and lectures and talking about our research with community members at these events
  • Participate in the University by volunteering at special events for families of kids with autism that participate in research studies at the MIND Institute
  • Provide interpretation of study measures to participating families including summarizing behavioral assessment results and coordinating with community physicians to provide radiological reports


  • Bachelor’s degree* in Psychology, Neuroscience, or a related field with a minimum of 2 years experience in autism and imaging research
  • Experience or training in coordinating a research study, including recruitment of participants, scheduling, and running visits
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain organized databases and timely tracking of information with experience in database systems (e.g., Microsoft Access, REDCap)
  • Experience with medical record abstraction, data entry, and medical record management
  • Familiarity with common clinical behavior assessments and scoring techniques measures (e.g., Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Mullen Scales of Early Learning, Expressive One Word Picture

Vocabulary Test, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, etc)

  • Experience training and mentoring undergraduate volunteers
  • Experience with MRI research scanning with preschool-aged children, including MRI safety training
  • Experience working with preschool-aged children, particularly experience with children with autism

*Degree must be awarded by hire date; new graduates may require additional paperwork verifying their degree progress if submitting an application before degree is awarded.


Step 1 - $38,112 annual (based on full time employment), or Step II - $40,656 annual (based on full time employment), commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Short term, seasonal appointment based on the needs of the research project. Position is 100% (full time), with flexible work hours sometimes requiring evening or weekend availability.


For full consideration, applications must be received by June 11, 2018; however, the position will remain open until filled through June 30, 2019 or until filled. To apply, please go to the following link: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF02220.

Applicants should submit cover letter, CV or resume, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for at least 3-5 references. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files.


Please direct questions to Dr. Brianna Heath, bheath@ucdavis.edu.

UC 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. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct. If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

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 positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify.

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