Research Specialist, Computational Memory Lab

Pennsylvania, United States
Feb 09, 2021
End of advertisement period
Apr 10, 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Psychology
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Description Summary

The Computational Memory Lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania is seeking to recruit a full-time Research Specialist to assist with NIH-funded studies of human memory processes and their neural basis. The successful candidate will join a team of research scientists including PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, to assist with both conducting experimental studies and analyzing data.

Major responsibilities include managing and expanding a pool of volunteers; carrying out experiments on human memory by means of high-density scalp EEG recordings; annotating vocal responses in memory tasks; assisting the research team in processing and analyzing these behavioral and electrophysiological data; supervising a team of undergraduate research assistants; and assisting in general lab administration (grants, progress reports, IRB protocols).

This position requires an individual who possesses excellent interpersonal, organizational, and scientific skills. This individual must be able to work independently with limited oversight to maximize the amount of high-quality data collected. The position requires familiarity with Python, MATLAB, or similar programming languages, and comfort working in a Unix environment, to facilitate data analysis using the lab’s tools. Exceptional candidates will have experience with design of psychological experiments and classification methods for data analysis.

A 2-year commitment is desired.  Position is contingent on continued funding.  Please see for more information about the lab and its projects

Job Description


  • Carry out experiments on human memory by means of high-density scalp EEG recordings.
  • Assist Research Coordinator in managing and expanding pool of research participants. Duties include scheduling, maintaining database, participant correspondence, progress reports, and IRB protocols.
  • Assist the PI and research team with the analysis of behavioral and electrophysiological data. This duty requires writing custom software using the Python programming language and other software libraries.
  • General lab administration including ordering supplies, maintaining testing space, assisting lab PI, and conference planning.
  • Annotate vocal responses in memory tasks.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, or related field, and 0 to 1 year of experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience with administering cognitive tasks to research participants.
  • Python programming skills.
  • Experience analyzing behavioral data from cognitive tasks.
  • Experience with using electroencephalograhy to record and analyzing brain signals.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity MATLAB, R, or other languages, and familiarity with Linux environments.
  • A two-year commitment is desired.

Working Conditions
Office, Library, Computer Room; Requires extensive safety

Physical Effort
Typically sitting at a desk or table; Occasional lifting 25 lb. or less

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Arts and Sciences

Pay Range
$35,568.00 - $57,600.00

Affirmative Action Statement

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.