Postdoctoral Associate - Psychiatry - Behavioral - Adcock Team

Work Arrangement: 
Requisition Number:  242136
Regular or Temporary:  Regular

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:  MEDICAL CENTER
Date:  Jul 16, 2024

School of Medicine

Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation's top medical schools. Ranked sixth among medical schools in the nation, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve human health locally and around the globe. Composed of more than 2,600 faculty physicians and researchers, nearly 2,000 students, and more than 6,200 staff, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing, and Duke University Health System comprise Duke Health, a world-class academic medical center. The Health System encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Health Integrated Practice, Duke Primary Care, Duke Home Care and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations.


Postdoctoral Researcher in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Motivation and Memory at Duke University  


The Motivated Memory Laboratory in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Department of Psychiatry at Duke University is seeking a full-time Cognitive Neuroscience Postdoctoral Researcher with strong interest in understanding how motivation shapes human experience to join the team and lead an NIH-funded project (PI: R. Alison Adcock). This project aims to uncover the neural mechanisms of motivation and its regulation using fMRI neurofeedback and advanced statistical modeling.

Start dates as soon as available.

Projects in the lab focus on understanding how neurobiological networks for motivation are regulated and how these networks, in turn, optimize learning. As the neural systems studied are the targets of many pharmacotherapies, work from the lab has the potential to yield methods for enhancing learning-based therapies and new biological targets.

Ongoing projects include: i) using real-time fMRI neurofeedback for endogenous regulation of dopaminergic midbrain activity, ii) understanding how midbrain neuromodulation contributes to downstream behavioral and cognitive outcomes (e.g. memory and decision-making), iii) identifying how different motivational states influence learning and memory formation.

The postdoctoral researcher will have ample support for leadership opportunities and professional development in computational psychiatry, including the opportunity to develop an independent research program under the guidance of the PI. Dr. Alison Adcock.


Required qualifications. Candidates must have a PhD in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, or a related field by the position start date. 

Required skills include the following:


Collection and analysis of behavioral and fMRI data (preferably in humans)


Work with and provide guidance to junior lab members and trainees


Ability to work effectively with mentor(s) to conduct and implement research projects


Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research - including formulating hypotheses, designing experiments,

collecting data, analyzing data, and communication of results 


Demonstrated ability to independently write manuscripts and grant application with guidance from mentor(s)


Experience with programming and troubleshooting experimental tools - preferably in Matlab and/or Python

(e.g. for stimulus presentation, data cleaning, computational modeling) 


Strongly preferred but not required qualifications.

Experience working with real-time fMRI and/or neuro/biofeedback in other modalities (e.g. EEG, Pupillometry,



Experience using advanced quantitative method for analysis of behavioral and imaging data (e.g. computational

modeling, machine learning, mixed-models)


Strong background in neuroanatomy and neurobiology


Interest in translating basic science towards clinical applications


Please include: 

  • A brief cover letter describing your qualifications, research interests, and why this position is right for you. 
  • Your CV. 
  • Names and contact information for two professional references. 
  • One representative publication. 


Review of applications will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  



R. Alison Adcock, MD, PhD (she/her)

Interim Director, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Director, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (primary)

                                     Psychology & Neuroscience

If you need to reach me about a time-sensitive issue

please text or call my cell at 919-699-7326 and/or contact DIBS staff assistant Christine Sullivan

B253/353 Levine Science Research Center
Duke University Box 90999
Durham, NC 27708 






Minimum Qualifications





See job description for education requirements.




See job description for requirements.


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