Researcher in Mind and Brain

University of California Davis

United States

Junior Specialist- Munakata

Job #JPF03903
  • Letters and Science: Social Sciences - CENTER FOR MIND & BRAIN

Recruitment Period

Open date: December 3rd, 2020

Next review date: Tuesday, Mar 9, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Saturday, May 1, 2021 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.


Full-time Junior Specialist Position
, University of California, Davis

Professor Yuko Munakata seeks to fill a full-time junior specialist position in the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis to begin August 2021 (start date flexible). The position is for 1-2 years with the possibility of renewal based on performance and funding. The position is currently remote and may begin remotely with the expectation that the junior specialist will relocate to Davis as the lab’s work gradually transitions to in-person post-COVID.

The lab studies the development of executive functioning, investigating how children learn to achieve goals by planning ahead, stopping themselves from doing things they shouldn’t do, flexibly switching from one activity to another, and solving problems. The lab also explores social and contextual factors that shape the development of executive function, and implications for intervention.

The junior specialist will work closely with the PI and lab group to support and participate in all aspects of the lab’s research in executive function development. The position will involve collaborating with the PI, postdocs, and grad students to develop new experimental designs and procedures, analyze and interpret data, present research at conferences, and submit manuscripts for publication.

Responsibilities will include:
Research (70%)
● Make substantive contributions to study design, stimulus creation, data analysis and interpretations
● Test child and adult research participants using behavioral, eye tracking, and brain imaging techniques (if we have re-opened the lab post-COVID; otherwise studies will be run on-line)
● Interview and consent participants or their caregivers
● Make substantive contributions to presentations, publications, grant proposals, and grant progress reports
● Participate in weekly discussions of relevant literature, and conduct literature reviews relevant to the work being conducted
● Maintain budgets, order supplies
● Prepare and maintain IRB materials and ensure compliance with those protocols.
● Support outreach efforts to partner with relevant organizations in the community around common interests (e.g., developing mobile research exhibits for children’s museums)
● Prepare figures and text for presentation at research conferences and for manuscripts to be submitted for publication.

University and Public Service (30%)
● Train and mentor undergraduate students on participant recruitment, data collection, coding and analyses protocols. This will provide a university service in that they will be actively facilitating the participation of undergraduate students in research activities.

Position qualifications
Minimum Qualifications:
• Bachelor's degree
• Excellent writing and communication skills
• Excellent organizational and time management skills
• Experience working in a lab/research setting
• Ability to multitask and prioritize
• Ability to work independently under minimal supervision and as part of a team, including remotely
• Computer skills (e.g., Microsoft Excel & Word, Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Drive)

Preferred Qualifications:
• Bachelor's degree in Psychology or a related field
• Leadership or managerial experience, particularly with peers or more senior individuals
• Experience coordinating/collaborating with multiple teams
• A professional, positive, and flexible attitude
• Experience creating, adapting, and/or documenting protocols (e.g., organizational or personnel procedures)
• Experience with children and families
• Experience in any aspect of developmental cognitive neuroscience
• Experience submitting protocols to an Institutional Review Board (IRB)
• Statistical analysis skills, including experience with analytical software such as R
• Web design and social media skills
• Programming skills (e.g., with Psychopy, Python, E-Prime, and MATLAB)
The initial review date will be on March 9, 2021, and the position will remain open until filled. Starting salary for this Junior Specialist level position is $44,500/year plus benefits. If hired, a background check is required.

To apply, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to this link:
  2. Login, or Create a new account if you don't have one
  3. Upload the requested materials: cover letter, resume, transcript/proof of highest degree earned, and statement on contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.
  4. Request 2 confidential letters of recommendation to be sent to this link:

Questions? Email

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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 UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (
If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.
  • Transcript/Proof of highest degree earned
Reference requirements
  • 2 letters of reference required

In your application, please refer to


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