Graduate Students (Clinical, CNS, or NACS)

Candidates are being considered for graduate student positions in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Shackman in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland at College Park for Fall 2018. Candidates are welcome to apply via the Clinical Psychology area group, the Cognitive and Neural Systems (CNS) area group, or the trans-departmental Neuroscience & Cognitive Science (NACS) Graduate Training Program.  

LAB MISSION. The overarching mission of the lab is to have a deep impact on the allied fields of affective and translational neuroscience. To that end, we do our very best to perform innovative studies that can lead to important discoveries, to disseminate our discoveries as widely as possible, and to mentor trainees to become top-notch scientists. Clinically, our work promises to enhance our understanding of how emotional traits and states modulate risk for the developmental of psychiatric disease, facilitate the discovery of novel intermediate phenotypes and biomarkers, and set the stage for developing improved interventions. From a basic psychological science perspective, our research begins to address fundamental questions about the interplay of emotion and cognition and the nature of personality and temperament.

OPPORTUNITIES. The position will provide opportunities for working on on-going projects in the lab as well as developing independent projects. It will include support for research (funding and access to research assistants, computational infrastructure, etc.), advanced methods workshops, and professional travel as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other trainees and faculty affiliated with the Maryland Neuroimaging Center (MNC), Department of Psychology, NACS Program, Department of Human Development, NIMH, and elsewhere. This is an excellent opportunity for receiving top-notch mentorship in affective/translational neuroscience. My aim is to that all of my trainees are happy and develop the broad spectrum of skills necessary to secure positions at top-tier universities in a timely manner.   

CRITERIA AND EXPECTATIONS. Applicants should have a Bachelors degree and substantial expertise in cognitive, affective, or translational neuroscience. Candidates with expertise in electrical engineering, computer science, statistics, economics, or related fields are also strongly encouraged to apply. Relevant post-baccalaureate experience is highly desirable. Applicants must show evidence that the relevant degree will be completed before the start of the position. A strong track record of prior publications and/or conference presentations is desirable, but not necessary. Familiarity with Unix/Linux, scripting languages (e.g., Java, Python), Matlab, Eprime, or neuroimaging software packages (AFNI, ANTS, BrainVoyager, Freesurfer, FSL, GIFT, or SPM) is highly desirable.

The ideal candidate would have prior experience with managing people and projects, the ability to clearly and honestly communicate with a wide range of audiences, and expertise in applied multivariate statistics and/or advanced neuroimaging techniques. Candidates must be able to work well alone and with other members of our team. The bottom line is that we are looking for a talented early-career imager who is smart, productive, sensible, passionate, rigorous, fearless in the face of technical and logistical hurdles, hardworking, blessed with a creative vision, and who can actively contribute to a positive lab environment (fun!).   

DETAILS. The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative-Action Employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, citizenship status, Vietnam era or special disabled veteran’s status, or sexual orientation. The University of Maryland strongly encourages applications from candidates who would enhance campus diversity.

CONTACT. For additional information, email Prof. Shackman. You should also take a look at the relevant sections of the Department of Psychology website (, the Clinical area group website (, and the Neuroscience training program website (