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Junior Specialist, Spatial Thinking Lab, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Recruitment Period

Open date: July 26th, 2019
Last review date: Monday, Aug 26, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Dr. Mary Hegarty, Director of the Spatial Thinking Lab and Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior (RECVEB) in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is seeking applications for an open, full-time Junior Specialist position with an anticipated start date of September 16, 2019. This will be a one year position with a comprehensive benefits package and with the possibility of renewal. Continuation beyond one year will be based on performance and availability of funding. The salary is based on UCSB’s salary scales.

The successful candidate will engage in specialized research projects including an NSF-funded research project studying the nature of spatial thinking and expertise in chemistry and a project funded by the Army Research Office addressing questions about navigation and spatial cognition, such as what information keeps us oriented as we navigate through a complicated world. The primary research methods include reaction time studies and studies using fully immersive virtual reality and behavioral testing, as well as some fMRI data collection.

The position is ideal for recent graduates interested in pursuing graduate work in cognitive science, medicine, psychology, or bioengineering as a way to gain experience and make scientific and scholarly contributions to psychology. This successful candidate will enable research as part of a team and, depending on experience level, may also conduct some independent research projects.

Primary research responsibilities include recruiting participants for experiments, preparing stimulus presentation scripts, data collection for neuroimaging and immersive virtual reality experiments, computer programming and configuring testing computers for behavioral testing, writing and editing code to process, analyze and visualize experimental data, and assisting the research team in processing and analyzing data from these experiments. Laboratory management responsibilities include: assisting the PI with training and supervising undergraduate research assistants, tracking study progress, and some administrative duties (e.g. IRB protocol management and overseeing lab operations).

Bachelor’s degree in psychology, cognitive science, biomedical sciences, or a related field at the time of application.

Six months to one year of experience working in a lab environment as part of a research team in a multidisciplinary environment. In addition, exceptional organizational and problem solving skills, attention to detail, and excellent written and verbal communication, as well as a strong work ethic as evidenced by strong evaluations from references and outstanding grades in relevant courses.

Experience with any of the following is highly desirable: programming (particularly Matlab and python), neuroimaging analysis software (e.g. SPM, FSL, Freesurfer), statistical analysis software (e.g. R, SPSS), experimental software (e.g. EPrime, Unity, PaychoPy).

Applications should be submitted electronically, and must include:

  1. Cover letter describing your qualifications, research interests and career goals
  2. A current curriculum vitae
  3. Undergraduate Transcripts
  4. Contact information for 3 references

Applications received by August 26, 2019 will be given priority consideration, but the position will remain open until filled. To apply please visit:

For questions about the position, contact Dr. Mary Hegarty at

For information on the RECVEB, go to

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Job location

Santa Barabra, CA

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More information about this recruitment:


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Please describe your qualifications, research interests, and career goals.

  • Undergraduate Transcripts

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)