The UC Berkeley Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute is looking to hire a postdoctoral researcher to work on an exciting, newly funded, five-year NIH project. This project brings together researchers with expertise in computational psychiatry, computational and cognitive neuroscience and clinical science from the Psychology Department and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley and from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. Faculty involved include Professor Sonia Bishop (Psychology & HWNI, UC Berkeley), Professor Anne Collins (Psychology & HWNI, UC Berkeley), Professor Sheri Johnson (Psychology, UC Berkeley) and Professor Peter Dayan (MPI, Tübingen, Germany). This provides an exciting opportunity for a postdoctoral candidate to work at the cutting edge of computational psychiatry research and to take on a pivotal role in this team.
The aim of the project is to use a computational approach to delineate component processes contributing to probabilistic decision-making across positive and negative valence domains, to investigate their neural substrate (using fMRI), and to relate abnormalities in these processes and alterations in associated neural function to dimensional measures of psychopathology. In addition, we aim to develop tasks and models that can be shared with the broader computational psychiatry and RDoC community. For pertinent theoretical and empirical work by team members please see: http://bishoplab.berkeley.edu/bishop_2018.pdf, http://bishoplab.berkeley.edu/Browning_et_al…, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32710256/.
The successful postdoctoral candidate will be based within the Computational Psychiatry and Affective Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory at UC Berkeley (please note, given Covid, there may be an opportunity for remote working in year 1 – feel free to enquire). The CPACN lab is located within the new Berkeley Way West (BWW) building which houses the Department of Psychology and multiple cognitive neuroscience, computational and clinical research groups, providing a rich and stimulating scientific community. BWW is within a 2 minute walk of the H. Wheeler Brain Imaging Center, located within the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences which is home to two 3T MRI scanners and one 7T scanner. There will also be the opportunity for annual collaborative trips to the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany.
The successful applicant will have the opportunity to take an early lead on studies conducted as part of this 5-year project and to contribute intellectually to their development and direction. We are looking for an individual who is strongly motivated to pursue an academic career and is excited by the opportunities for personal and career development this position can provide. In addition to regular interactions with, and training by, members of the project team, the successful applicant will be able to take advantage of the many opportunities provided by the broader scientific community at UC Berkeley, including participation in weekly seminars and advanced computational modelling and fMRI courses provided by the HWNI and Psychology Department. There are also many opportunities for more informal interactions with members of the local scientific community.
We seek postdoctoral applicants with established computational modelling skills and a PhD in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience or a related discipline. Experience with fMRI is preferred but not required. Strong programming skills (ideally in python or matlab) are required. Candidates should have a track record of productivity and show potential for success in working in a team environment. Good knowledge of the computational psychiatry, decision-making, or computational neuroscience literatures is desirable.
Qualified postdoctoral applicants should submit a current CV, a personal statement describing their experience and interests, and contact information for three references to firstname.lastname@example.org (informal enquiries also welcome). At UC Berkeley, postdoctoral salaries start at $50,760/year depending on prior post-doctoral experience, and the University offers medical insurance and benefits. The position is available at this time but a delayed start is also negotiable. An initial appointment for a one-year period will be made with potential for extension for a further two years (or longer) depending on successful performance. UC Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity.