The Somneuro Lab (directed by Dr. Rebecca Spencer) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is seeking a full-time postbaccalaureate research assistant 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 lab and program environment is rich and based in new research facilities. The Somneuro Lab 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 details:

Responsibilities will include:

  • conducting experiments in 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)

Minimum qualifications:

  • bachelor’s degree in psychology, neuroscience, or related field
  • previous research experience with human subjects
  • ability to work independently and keen attention to detail
  • ability to interact warmly and professionally with parents and children.
  • strong organizational, managerial, and problem-solving skills are essential.
  • reliable transportation
  • experience working with children in some capacity

Preferred qualifications:

  • demonstrated experience managing research assistants or other staff
  • experience collecting MRI, EEG/polysomnography data
  • strong computational and programming skills

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.

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. Amherst, Massachusetts is in the beautiful western part of Massachusetts with plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities and scenery. Situated between Boston, Albany, and Providence, the lab offers many opportunities to attend lectures and workshops and visit labs in the New England region. The University of Massachusetts joins Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, and Smith College as part of the Five College consortium, which facilitates academic exchanges between these neighboring institutions.

Review of applications will begin January 15, 2023 and continue until the positions are filled. The position is set to begin April 1, 2023 (with some flexibility) and a 2-year commitment is preferred with the possibility of additional reappointment. Position contingent on funding. Interested individuals should email a cover letter/research statement, CV, and names and contact information of 3 references to Dr. Rebecca Spencer at