Join the lab

Requests for information and postdoc/RA/undergraduate lab applications should be submitted to David: moorman@umass.edu

Summer 2021 – Postdoc Position Available

The Moorman Lab at UMass Amherst is hiring a full-time, federally-funded postdoc to work on projects related to prefrontal cortex control of action decisions using circuit-level techniques in behaving rats.  This work will involve collaboration with the lab of Dr. Ethan Meyers at Yale University/Hampshire College to develop and apply new ensemble decoding techniques to understand the relationship between neural signals and behavior.

The postdoc will join an established team focused on understanding variation in encoding of action decisions (and other cognitive functions/behaviors) across subregions in the prefrontal cortex.  These projects involve high-density electrophysiology (Neuropixels), optogenetics, and viral-vector tract-tracing

The focus of this position will be recording and analyzing neural ensemble activity in prefrontal cortex using Neuropixels.  Neural recording will be combined with optogenetic stimulation to identify and control circuit based ensembles during behavior.  The postdoc will work in collaboration with the Meyers lab to analyze neurophysiological data.

PhD (neuroscience or a related discipline) and/or MD is required. 

Preference will be given to applicants with experience in in vivo electrophysiology and/or analysis of neural data. 

In addition, we are looking for people with at least some of the following expertise:

Rodent behavior, stereotaxic surgery, optogenetics/chemogenetics, cellular (Ca2+ or voltage) imaging, coding (Python, Matlab, R, etc.), or basic electronics/engineering skills

Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential, as are enthusiasm, motivation, and persistence.  Applicants will need to be able to work both independently and collaboratively.  We place strong emphasis on collegiality and teamwork.

We offer:

  • A fun and friendly work environment
  • A team of collaborating colleagues all excited about this and related lines of research
  • An engaged and interactive PI who will help you develop your interests and career
  • Opportunities for collaboration both at UMass and elsewhere
  • Opportunities to present your work at conferences
  • An extensive neuroscience community representing diverse research interests
  • A beautiful and affordable college town that offers an outstanding life/work balance

The position is available immediately and will last at two years, preferably longer provided appropriate satisfaction, progress, and funding.    Please contact David Moorman (moorman@umass.edu) to discuss the position further.

Spring/Summer 2021 – Full Time Research Assistant Position Available

The Moorman Lab at UMass Amherst is hiring a full-time Research Assistant to work on projects related to prefrontal cortex control of action decisions using circuit-level techniques in behaving rats.

Responsibilities include approximately 75% research (including device construction, surgery, behavior, immunochemistry, data analysis) and 25% lab support (ordering, maintaining animal colonies, general lab organization and upkeep, in collaboration with the PI and other lab members). 

The RA will train and work with postdocs and graduate students using high-density electrophysiology, optogenetics, and viral-vector tract-tracing to study how populations of neurons are connected and work together to support action control.  Particularly independent candidates will be able to perform their own research studies, likely in conjunction with a more senior person in the lab.

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in neuroscience, biology, psychology, or another relevant degree.  Preference will be given to applicants with previous experience in rodent neuroscience research, specific techniques employed, and/or computational analysis of neural data.  The successful applicant will be trained on relevant techniques as necessary.

This is a great position for people considering graduate school. We will work with the RA to develop career interests and a competitive application for graduate programs (or other programs as appropriate). Graduate school plans aren’t a requirement for the position, but our interest in / ability to help prepare for graduate studies is potentially an added benefit of the position.

The position is available immediately and will last at least one year, preferably longer provided appropriate satisfaction, progress, and funding.    Please contact David Moorman (moorman@umass.edu) to discuss the position further.

Graduate Students:

Graduate applications are through the UMass Amherst Graduate Program in Neuroscience and Behavior.

Please contact David if you would like to discuss whether or not we are currently accepting new students.

Note that, although the lab application document below is primarily for undergraduate students, it’s worth having a look to see what kind of information is useful when applying to work in a lab.

Undergraduate Students:

Please fill out the application form below and email it to David.  Please note that this will be shared with other lab members to assess potential project fit.

Moorman_Lab_Application (save link to download)

After you submit your application, I will check with current lab members to see who is available to take on new students for training.  Unfortunately we are unable to bring in new undergraduates without an established mentor, so positions will be limited.  However, submitting an application will guarantee that it is considered by the current senior members of the lab.