Posting: Postdoctoral Scholar Position – University of Oregon Sleep Lab

April 27, 2022

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Submit a cover letter, vita, and the names and contact information for three professional references to the Pro Tem Research Assistant/Associate/Postdoc Open Pool at the University of Oregon. Mention the Oregon Sleep Lab and/or Dr. Casement in your cover letter. You can also contact Dr. Casement directly at

Position Summary:

We are recruiting a postdoctoral scholar to work with the Oregon Sleep Lab (OSL;, headed by Dr. Melynda Casement. The postdoctoral scholar will work on NIH-funded studies that evaluate the effects of short and late sleep on reward- and stress-related brain function and mental health in adolescents and young adults. The studies use two, complementary approaches: 1) an observational study design that will assess the degree to which short and/or late sleep predict later reward- and stress-related brain function and alcohol use and depressive symptoms (N=150: 100 short-late sleepers, 50 long-early sleepers), and 2) an experimental study design that will use sleep-circadian manipulation to evaluate the extent to which extending and advancing sleep will affect reward- and stress-related brain function and alcohol use and depressive symptoms (N=100: 50 sleep extension-advance, 50 control). Participants in the experimental study will be recruited from the observational study, the data from which serves as the baseline for the experimental manipulation. The project will collect information about: i) sleep and circadian characteristics measured via polysomnography (PSG), dim-light melatonin onset (DLMO), actigraphy, sleep diary, clinical interviews, and questionnaires, ii) lifetime and daily stressors assessed by questionnaires, iii) reward-related brain function assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioral responses during monetary incentive tasks, iv) stress-related brain function assessed via electrocardiography (ECG), blood pressure, cortisol response, and self-report during a laboratory social stressor task, and v) patterns of alcohol use and symptoms of alcohol use disorder and depression assessed using structured clinical interviews and questionnaires.

The postdoctoral scholar will assist with multiple aspects of the study, including study start-up, processing and analyzing the study data, and publishing study results via manuscripts and presentations. They will share responsibility for supervising and training study staff (research assistants, sleep technicians, graduate students), developing data processing pipelines, and overseeing data management and quality control. The position(s) are ideal for candidates who are interested in understanding biobehavioral mechanisms by which sleep and stressors contribute to mental health during adolescence and young adulthood. We are looking for highly conscientious and motivated individuals with excellent management, data analysis, and communication skills, as well as substantial experience in acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of sleep PSG and/or fMRI data.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience, Human Physiology, or a related discipline.
  • Extensive experience with acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting PSG and/or MRI data as part of the candidate’s doctoral training.
  • Significant history of conducting research with clinical populations as part of the candidate’s doctoral training.
  • Strong scientific communication skills demonstrated through a record of publications (including first- author manuscripts) in peer-reviewed journals.

Professional Competencies:

  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, including the ability to function effectively as a team member and team leader.
  • Experience working in a team environment, requiring participatory decision-making and cooperative interactions among employees.
  • Strong conceptual and technical skills in statistical analysis and software (e.g., R, M-plus, Matlab).
  • Strong conceptual and technical skills in collection, processing, analysis, and software for MRI (e.g.,FSL, AFNI, SPM) and/or PSG (e.g., Profusion).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with implementing advanced statistical methodologies for longitudinal and multivariable data (multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling).
  • Experience in collecting and analyzing data from actigraphy, ECG (heart rate variability), and/or hormone assays (melatonin onset, cortisol reactivity).
  • Conceptual and technical skills in programming software (e.g., Matlab, Python, E-prime, Github)
  • Experience in the planning, implementation, and tracking of a research project comprising multiple assessments and/or longitudinal samples.
  • Topical expertise in sleep and mental health, especially in adolescence and young adulthood.
  • Experience with equitable and inclusive recruitment and engagement of community samples.
  • Interest and experience in open science and reproducible research practices.

Apply now

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