Research Coordinator Position at USC

The Cognition and Affect Regulation Lab, directed by Dr. Jonathan Stange in the Department of Psychology at the University of Southern California (USC), is seeking a full-time benefits-eligible lab coordinator position. This position will be funded by an NIH R01 and offers competitive salary and benefits.

Our lab seeks to identify cognitive and affective processes that are involved in the regulation of negative affect, in an effort to understand vulnerability factors for mood disorders and suicide. This work involves laboratory-based measures of brain activity (using fMRI), autonomic nervous system functioning (electrocardiogram and respiration), and behavior (executive functioning tasks and questionnaires). In addition, to understand behavior outside of the lab in the real world, we utilize ambulatory assessment to measure fluctuations in autonomic functioning (with wearables), sleep quality (with actigraphy), affect and regulation strategies (using ecological momentary assessment), and digital phenotyping approaches to measuring behavior (using smartphone keyboard metadata).

This position is ideal for a recent graduate from a Psychology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, or other STEM program who is interested in gaining clinical research experience in mental health and/or neuroscience in preparation for graduate or medical school.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Employing various tools and recruitment efforts to enroll and retain young adults with major depression, suicidal ideation, or healthy controls (e.g., social media, digital advertising, referral management, advocacy outreach)
  • Data management and participant tracking
  • Conducting diagnostic interviews to assess history of psychopathology
  • Interacting with participants and as they participate in the study protocols (using neuroimaging, psychophysiology, ambulatory, and behavioral methods)
  • Preprocessing psychophysiological and neuroimaging data
  • Assisting with other lab tasks (e.g., data entry, generating reports for data analysis)
  • Managing laboratory staff (e.g., undergraduate volunteers) and delegating duties efficiently

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, neuroscience, or related field.
  • Previous experience working with human subjects and conducting independent research projects.
  • Excellent analytical skills, the ability to resolve technical or research problems (troubleshooting) and the ability to critically check data to prevent errors.
  • Knowledge and adherence of clinical research methods and design, and research protocols.
  • Extremely careful attention to detail (required for data entry and processing of neuroimaging, psychophysiology, ambulatory, and behavioral data).
  • Excellent planning, organization, and prioritization skills, with the ability to independently monitor and complete a variety of complex tasks.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and excellent communication, organization, presentation and computer skills.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team (e.g., share duties with other research assistants when recruiting and running study participants; complete components of data analysis, slide presentations and manuscript preparations with the PI; supervise undergraduate research assistants).
  • Ability to complete work both remotely (e.g., computer and internet access at home) and in-person, as may be required based on pandemic guidelines.
  • Previous experience working with human subjects and conducting independent research projects.

Additional Desirable Qualifications:

  • Proficiency with database management (e.g., merging multiple data sets from various sources) across software platforms (e.g., R, Matlab, Mplus, SPSS, Excel).
  • Programming experience, ideally in Python, or ability to quickly learn this language.
  • Experience with processing fMRI and/or physiological data (e.g., Matlab, SPM, AFNI, FSL, Freesurfer, Biopac); experience running neuroimaging scanning sessions.

To apply or for more information:

Please apply at the link below. Please also submit (a) your resume/CV, (b) contact information for three references, and (c) a cover letter that details your interest in and perceived fit for the position and how it aligns with your career goals, to Dr. Jonathan Stange at

Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible. Review will be on a rolling basis until the search is successful.

Apply here:—University-Park-Campus/Research-Lab-Technician-II_REQ20143039

More information about the lab is available here:

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