Postdoc Position Available in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Laboratory for Child Brain Development

Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Division, Washington University- St. Louis


The Laboratory for Child Brain Development (LCBD-PI: Dr. Susan Perlman) has an open postdoctoral training position through newly-NIH funded R01 project MH124266.


The applicant’s main appointment will be in the Laboratory for Child Brain Development ( in the Washington University- St. Louis, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, William Greenleaf Elliot Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (  The LCBD is dedicated to using multi-modal methodology to understand the trajectories of cognitive and emotional development from infancy to middle childhood (with a strong preschool focus) in order to predict the onset of mental disorder.


This project is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.  The Child Affect and Resilience to Experiences (CARE) Study is designed to study the biological unfolding of early-life stress as a precursor to psychopathology.  We will employ intensive, state-of-the-art, multi-modal, neurodevelopmental measurement in a sample of 225 4-6 year-old children and their parent, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), interpersonal neural synchronization between parent and child using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), facial expression and behavioral coding, hair and salivary cortisol, and measurement of inflammatory markers.  The CARE study will recruit children experiencing attachment-related stress as a model for the biological unfolding of stress, while also examining external stressors and those that occur throughout the course of the study.  In this longitudinal study, families will be followed every 6 months across a 1.5 year time period.  The postdoctoral fellow will be an integral member of this scientific team and will have rich opportunities to publish throughout the study, drawing both on CARE study data and previously collected data from the Laboratory for Child Brain Development.  The fellow will also be encouraged and supported to develop supplementary studies via the NIH NRSA and/or K Award mechanisms in addition to smaller foundation grants.  The postdoctoral fellow will develop, implement, and disseminate cutting-edge fMRI and fNIRS analysis tools through Dr. Perlman’s Laboratory for Child Brain Development and in collaboration with study team member Dr. Damien Fair (University of Minnesota).  The translational investigative team also includes experts in inflammatory and HPA axis markers of stress, Drs. Nadine Melhem and Anna Marsland (University of Pittsburgh), as well as experts in early life stress and psychopathology Dr. Joan Luby (Wash U) and Irwin Sandler (Arizona State University).


The Washington University-St. Louis, Department of Psychiatry provides an ideal training environment for postdoctoral fellows, including the Career and Research Development Seminars designed to promote the professional, career development, and grantsmanship skills necessary to launch an independent career through the NIH K Award mechanism.  Wash U is home to a thriving neuroimaging community and is a leader in developmental psychopathology research.  St. Louis and the local surrounding areas offer an affordable, diverse, and family-friendly community with rich university resources.


Position requires a PhD or MD/PhD in a neuroscience, psychology, or engineering related field.  The ideal candidate will have fluency in MATLAB, Python, or related language and expertise in fMRI, fNIRS, or EEG and will be able to implement cutting-edge neuroimaging analysis techniques such as network analyses, Multi-Variate Pattern Analysis, or hyperscanning.  Experience with HPA axis and/or inflammatory markers will be seen as a valuable skill for the candidate.  The successful candidate will have an excellent publication record with demonstrated interest in developmental cognitive neuroscience and will combine a collaborative orientation with the ability to function well independently.


The postdoctoral fellowship is open immediately, however, the position will remain open until filled.  The study team is willing to hold the position for availability of the ideal candidate (e.g. spring graduation).  The fellow will be asked to commit to a minimum of 2 years on the project, however, the position may be extended up to 5 years contingent upon progress.  Applicants will be considered until the position is filled.  To apply please send a cover letter, C.V., and names and contact information of three references to: Susan Perlman, Ph.D. at  Questions can be addressed to Dr. Perlman directly.