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Research Specialist (Sleep, Affective Neuroscience, and Development)


Join the Sleep, Affective Neuroscience, and Development laboratory team! ( This Research Specialist position involves assisting with multiple aspects of Department of Defense and NIH-funded research studies examining how sleep-circadian processes affect performance and mood in young adults.

This individual is primarily responsible for leading recruitment, screening, scheduling, and data collection for a DoD-funded protocol. This protocol evaluates the efficacy of a light therapy device to help young adults adjust to jet lag and shift work. Data collection involves questionnaires, computer tasks, and sleep-circadian assessments. This research specialist will perform similar duties, as needed, on a NIH-funded protocol testing the impact of sleep-circadian rhythms on mood outcomes. This individual will work closely with a lab coordinator, other research staff, and the data manager, as well as with the staff of the Sleep and Behavioral Neuroscience Center.

Ideal candidate is highly organized; detail-oriented; possesses strong interpersonal skills including teamwork, dependability, flexibility, and leadership; and has at least one domain of relevant research experience (sleep-circadian rhythms, collecting/processing behavioral task data, research project coordination, etc.). Weekend and evening hours will vary.

This position is grant funded.


  • Screening, recruiting, scheduling, and consenting young adult participants.
  • Conducting study visits and leading data collection for protocols involving questionnaires, sleep-circadian assessments, and computer tasks. Ensuring accurate and complete data collection.
  • Maintain a flexible schedule to ensure adequate numbers of assessments as outlined in the protocol.
  • Project administrative tasks, including managing participant payments, data entry, and oversight of undergraduate students.
  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with laboratory-wide study investigators and staff.
  • Demonstrate respect and sensitivity to study participants.
  • Handle sensitive clinical and research data in compliance with University, State, and federal requirements.
  • Complete and pass on-line ethics and research practice training modules as required by the University of Pittsburgh and the National Institutes of Health. Completes other trainings as required by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  • Perform in accordance with system-wide competencies/behaviors.


  • Bachelor's degree required, preferably in Psychology, Neuroscience, or related research field.
  • Minimum of one year of work experience in a research project and/or related clinical setting is required.
  • Familiarity with computers and common software packages required.
  • Working knowledge of research methodology strongly preferred.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including occasional weekends and evenings.
  • Prior experience collecting and organizing sleep/circadian or computer task data is preferred.
  • Must have excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and ability to prioritize among multiple tasks.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCMC)
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting with renewal
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct