We are seeking a postdoctoral scholar to work with the Developmental Social Neuroscience (DSN) Lab headed by Dr. Jennifer Pfeifer (https://uodsnlab.com/) on an NIMH-funded prospective longitudinal study of risk for adolescent-emergent mental health problems in girls as related to pubertal, neural, and social development. We are looking for a highly conscientious and motivated postdoc with excellent writing, analysis, and coding skills as well as particular expertise in resting-state functional connectivity. In a community sample of 200+ girls (initial age 10-13 years), the project collects information about: i) levels of adrenal and gonadal hormones associated with pubertal development, as well as anthropometric data and secondary sex characteristics; ii) brain structure, anatomical connectivity (diffusion tensor imaging), and resting-state functional connectivity; iii) brain functioning and behavior related to social processes (self-evaluation, mentalizing, and affiliation); iv) mental health symptoms (particularly of depression, anxiety, and self-harm); and v) daily diary data. These data are acquired approximately every 18 months; we are now launching wave 6. The multilevel dataset will be analyzed using advanced statistical modeling techniques to describe the transactional associations between development in each of these domains. The postdoctoral scholar will also interact extensively with the expanded study team, including local, national, and international collaborators. You can learn more about the project from our published protocol describing the first three waves of data collection at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.01018/full. This position is ideal for candidates interested in longitudinal developmental cognitive neuroscience, puberty, social development, and adolescent-emergent mental health.

Applicants must have a PhD in psychology, human development, cognitive neuroscience, or related field prior to the start date and a strong interest in developmental cognitive neuroscience. Experience in functional neuroimaging data analysis using standard software packages (e.g., AFNI, MATLAB, SPM, FSL, Freesurfer, HCP pipeline tools) is required and expertise in resting-state functional connectivity analysis is strongly preferred. Advanced statistical acumen in longitudinal data analysis, record of open science and reproducible research practices (e.g., use of GitHub), and programming expertise (e.g., bash/shell, python) is also strongly preferred.

Start date is flexible, with earliest start date in April 2024. In-person is preferred but applicants seeking hybrid/remote positions are also encouraged to apply. Salary is in line with NIH NRSA postdoctoral stipends and will be decided based on the candidate’s career stage. UO offers competitive benefits including health, vision, dental, short- & long-term disability, and retirement contribution options. As part of postdoctoral training, the scholar will be supported in submission of their own independent grant proposals, including NIH research supplements to promote diversity in health-related research if eligible (US permanent residency or citizenship required for most federal applications).

Interested applicants should email their cover letter, CV, sample of written work (e.g., published manuscript or dissertation chapter) and contact information for at least three professional references directly to Dr. Jennifer Pfeifer (jpfeifer@uoregon.edu). Professional references will not be contacted until a formal interview is scheduled. Please feel free to contact Dr. Pfeifer for more information about the position in advance of applying.

Minimum Qualifications:  

  • PhD in psychology, human development, cognitive neuroscience, or related field (prior to start date).
  • Extensive experience with acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting MRI research (in at least one of the modalities listed above) as part of candidate’s doctoral training.
  • Strong scientific writing skills demonstrated through record of publications (including first-author manuscripts) in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Significant history of conducting research with adolescent and/or clinical populations as part of candidate’s doctoral training.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, including the ability to function effectively as a team member and a mentor.
  • Strong computer, statistical, and technical skills (R, Python, Matlab, AFNI, SPM, FSL, or similar platforms).
  • Familiarity with implementing advanced statistical methodologies for longitudinal and multimethod data and open, reproducible science practices (GitHub, OSF).


Position Category: Postdoctoral Scholar
Lab Name: Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab
PI: Jennifer Pfeifer
Closing Date: Review of applications will begin 4/1/24, position remains open until filled