The NeuroimagingResearch Assistant (RAI) will be part of the Neuroimaging and Brain Dynamics Lab, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. Responsibilities will include participant recruitment and coordination, assisting in fMRI and EEG data collection, programming/scripting for data analysis and data management, contributing to research studies and publications, and assisting with general laboratory operation. It is anticipated that the applicant will receive valuable scientific experience and contribute to published manuscripts. This position may be an excellent opportunity for pending or recent college graduates seeking research experience before applying to graduate school or medical school.
The Neuroimaging and Brain Dynamics lab uses functional neuroimaging (including fMRI and EEG) and computational methods to investigate human brain activity in health and disease. We are a collaborative, inter-disciplinary team with connections across engineering and medical center research labs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Participant recruitment and coordination for brain imaging experiments. This will involve:
advertising via emails and flyers;
communicating with research participants about the experimental logistics, and ensuring that paperwork is completed;
reserving time for the experiments on the MRI scanner through the scheduling website;
meeting participants at the Imaging Center when they arrive for the studies;
managing consent forms
Through these duties, the Research Assistant will ensure that participants are informed about the expectations and procedures of the experiments, and that the logistics run smoothly, thereby facilitating data collection. Responsiveness and clear, prompt communication are essential. The Research Assistant should demonstrate strong inter-personal skills, organizational skills, and maturity to carry out this role effectively.
Assisting with setup / cleanup for EEG recordings. This will involve helping to place and prepare the EEG cap on the research participant at the beginning of the experiment, and cleaning up / storing the EEG system components at the conclusion of each experiment. The Research Assistant will be trained in these functions by the lab PI and other qualified investigators at the Imaging Center.
Oversee collection of MRI data. While the MRI scanning itself is performed by technologists at the Imaging Center, the Research Assistant is expected to be present at the scans and communicate with the technologists to ensure that the specific details of our study are carried out in accordance with the lab's experimental protocols.
Data transfer and management. Following an experiment, the Research Assistant will transfer all MRI and EEG data files to the lab computers, and make sure that the files are clearly organized and readily accessible by others in the lab.
Place orders for lab supplies when needed
Data pre-processing and quality assurance. The Research Assistant will be responsible for running computer programs for pre-processing the data, and communicating with the PI and others in the lab about any potential data quality issues, to ensure that high-quality data is being collected for our studies. Careful attention to detail is imperative.
Participate in research, and in preparation of manuscripts, proposals, and presentations. This may include preparation of figures and diagrams, data analysis, attending project meetings, assisting with background literature review, and assisting with programming/scripting tasks. The RA should demonstrate cooperation, teamwork, and productive collaboration with lab members. Ideally, the candidate will also take the initiative to provide intellectual input into the projects, present their own findings at lab meetings and conferences, and participate in exchanges of ideas to advance the scientific aims of the lab.
Profile of an Ideal Candidate
Bachelor's degree in an engineering, computational, or basic science field is required by the start of the position.
Excellent communication, organization, and inter-personal skills are strongly preferred.
Applicant should be reliable, honest, highly organized, and independent; should be detail-oriented and demonstrate problem-solving skills.
Experience programming in Matlab or Python is strongly preferred.
An interest in neuroscience is desirable.
Applicant should demonstrate responsiveness to feedback and challenges.
Experience with Unix/Linux is also preferred, to facilitate data management.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.
Internal Number: 2000326
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.