Job Description

Job Title: Research Associate (Preschool Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience)
Job ID: 730590
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Shift: Day Job
Facility: Western Psychiatric Institute
Department: Perlman
Location: 121 Meyran Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15260


The Laboratory for Child Brain Development (LCBD-PI: Dr. Susan Perlman) is currently hiring a Research Associate. The applicant’s main appointment will be in the Laboratory for Child Brain Development (LCBD; The LCBD is dedicated to using multi-modal methodology to understand the trajectories of emotional development from infancy to middle childhood (with a strong preschool focus). 

Currently, the LCBD has several ongoing projects including: 1) Longitudinal development of preschool irritability as a predictor for psychopathology; 2) Interpersonal brain synchronization in autism spectrum disorders; 3) The impact of treatment for disruptive behavior on brain development and; 4) Brain development in preschool children who were born dependent on opioids, in addition to several local and national collaborations.  

The Research Associate will mostly be working on a new study investigating interpersonal neural synchronization (using fNIRS) between preschool children with high irritability and their parents, however there are opportunities for work on other projects if interested. Projects, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Brain and Behavior Research foundation, employ intensive, state-of-the-art, multi-modal, neurodevelopmental measurement including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), eye tracking, facial expression and behavioral coding, sleep actigraphy, hair cortisol, and interpersonal neural synchronization between parent and child. 

The Research Associate will be an integral member of this scientific team and will have opportunities to earn authorship on publications and present posters at scientific meetings. 

  • Assist with recruitment, scheduling appointments, obtaining written consent forms, collecting data by conducting phone or face to face interviews for research project(s).
  • Maintain accurate documentation.


  • Bachelors degree required preferably in psychology or related field.
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required. 
  • Prior related work experience in a research setting preferred. 
  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred.
  • The ideal candidate will demonstrate interest in child development, strong motivation, work ethic, and organizational skills, and will combine collaborative orientation with the ability to function well independently. 
  • Experience with a brain imaging modality (fMRI, EEG, fNIRS) and/or psychophysiology (heart rate, skin conductance, pupillometry) is preferred. 
  • Previous experience with children and families is strongly preferred.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
  • Act 33 Child Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 34 Criminal Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Salary Range: $14.12 to $22.16 / hour

Union Position: No

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