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Lab Manager Positions


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So, I'm starting to get nervous because I haven't gotten any acceptances and the one interview I did have ended in a rejection. I know it's too soon to write all of my apps off as rejections, but I really would like to have a back up plan. I've applied to two lab manager positions, and I was wondering how people find out about these positions other than word of mouth (or email, I guess). Are they posted somewhere? Does anyone have experience applying to these types of positions? Any advice is appreciated.

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Check the job pages on research society web pages or even on facebook! I know that Association for Psychological Science (APS), Psychonomic Society (Cognitive), and Cognitive Neuroscience Society posted stuff for lab managers or research associate positions. Perhaps SRSP will post positions in a similar manner? Also, some labs will even post it on their website, if they are really good about updating their sites.

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How many programs did you apply to? How do you feel the first interview went, have you thought about ways to improve for the next one(s)?

Having a back-up plan is a good idea (and can be useful if the question comes up in an interview, "what will you do if you don't get in anywhere?").

This has been a helpful resource for me (note: Canadian-based but mentions opportunities in the US) - http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/ugrad/mainres.htm

If you can obtain a position related to your field, that would be great; if not, embrace the opportunity to try a new field and develop the "flexibility in applying your skills/knowledge to new areas".

Best!

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Thanks for the info!

I applied to 10 programs--2 official rejections and 2 assumed rejections. I know that there are still programs that haven't made decisions, thus I still have a chance, but I still feel like I need a back up plan. The interview went decently, I thought. I think, though, I had a hard time convincing him that I wanted to do the research he was doing since my background is in social neuroscience, which is not what he does at all.

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I'm also applying to labs that are "indirectly" related to my past experiences. They key is emphasizing how through other training, like course work or research assistantships, I've developed transferable skills that when combined with my desire to do XXX research will be an asset.

Hope this helps!

Best!

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Social psych occasionally adversises lab manager/research assistant positions on the SPSP email listserv. You might need be a member to subscribe. They're typically big name people and often volunteer (e.g., "Come work at Dan Gilbert's lab this summer, for free!").

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http://cogneurosociety.org/newsletter

only thing is you have to be a paying member to see the current newsletter, which comes out at the beginning of each month. but you can see every other one. when I was looking for RA jobs, my advisor was a member so I just met with him at the beginning of each month to see what new positions were available

also http://www.hercjobs.org/home/index.cfm?site_id=793

definitely ask around! I unfortunately started the RA job search late (late march) so I didn't get any position at my undergrad institution but one of my professors, who had just moved from Pittsburgh where he worked at Carnegie Mellon, said he would ask around, and ends up a professor was looking for an RA and I got the job :)

but before that happened, I also did a google search when I woke up and then at night of the following:

1)"psychology" "research assistant" "(put whatever your field of interest is here"

2) "psychology" "lab manager" "(put whatever your field of interest is here"

when I first started I had it only display results from the last month , and when I got through all of those, I had it display daily results only.

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also check out this thread

and I forgot to mention: I kind of implied this but definitely talk to all your current and past professors and mention you're looking for a job and ask if they know of anyone who needs an RA/lab manager.

and also: if you know of any specific professor(s) you would like to work with, just email them! It's helpful if you have some tie to them that you mention in your email ("My name is X and I'm looking to go to graduate school in psychology to study Y and Z. I am currently working for/took a class with/met with Professor A and he suggested I contact you.... etc)

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Thanks guys. I have talked to my advisor about it and she sent me the few ads that she has gotten so far, but I'm kind of impatient. I don't want to email specific professors yet because the ones I want to work with might still be evaluating my PhD application!

I will definitely check those links out.

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Stereo - If you're willing to sail the seas, Dr. Quadflieg (NYU-Dubai) studies person perception and social neuroscience and was looking to hire an RA as of December. I'm not sure if the spot is already filled, but it might still be a possibility for you given your interests.

Edited by NewScientist12
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Thanks for the info!

I applied to 10 programs--2 official rejections and 2 assumed rejections. I know that there are still programs that haven't made decisions, thus I still have a chance, but I still feel like I need a back up plan. The interview went decently, I thought. I think, though, I had a hard time convincing him that I wanted to do the research he was doing since my background is in social neuroscience, which is not what he does at all.

Sign up for the SANS listserv (social affective neuroscience society)....I got like 10 emails this week from them asking for people to send graduating undergrads their way for lab manager/RA positions (but be warned, a good chunk are in Europe, mainly UK)

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Sign up for the SANS listserv (social affective neuroscience society)....I got like 10 emails this week from them asking for people to send graduating undergrads their way for lab manager/RA positions (but be warned, a good chunk are in Europe, mainly UK)

watson, can you PM me info about those RA listings? I'm also on the listserv, but I haven't received much at all. I would really appreciate it.

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Sign up for the SANS listserv (social affective neuroscience society)....I got like 10 emails this week from them asking for people to send graduating undergrads their way for lab manager/RA positions (but be warned, a good chunk are in Europe, mainly UK)

Could you please PM me the info as well? Thanks!

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I found my RA/study coordinator position based off of an email that was sent around the undergrad psych listserv at my school. The original email was dated from October 2008, and I responded WAY after it was sent around (like, June 2009). Even though the department didn't have any open positions in June, they emailed me back in July and wanted to set up an interview. If you can forward your resume to the right person (even if there aren't any official openings), you could be lucky enough to get an interview before a position's officially posted. Also, apply broadly. I ended up in a more medical setting than pure academia (I work at the medical school of a major university). I still think that the skills are transferable even if it isn't exactly the area you want to go into. Hope this helps!

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In case anyone is still trying to find lab manager positions, Greg Hickok & David Poeppel (cognitive neuroscientists) post lab manager position openings for all over the country on their neuro blog. Most of them are cognitive psych/cognitive science oriented. Here is the site:

http://www.talkingbrains.org/

Edited by cogscipixie
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You may want to check individual schools job websites for lab manager positions such as clinical research coordinators. I have a phone interview for a coordinator position this week. I got directly rejected by 4 positions through email and at least 3 were filled without me being contacted. This is the first interview for a lab manager like position. I've already implemented my backup plan , I realized many schools do allow deferment of acceptance up to one year which means if I get a job I can keep it for least a year. If i get in nowhere then my backup plan is already in the works.

Edited by quickinstinct
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I'll also add that one thing i just learned is to ask if the RA/CRC/CRA positions include education support and training programs. They offered this information to me as a "perk" in the event I was chosen. I just did a phone interview (kind of awkward!) with a really great one. It's weird because online there is little info about what you'll actually being working on, so she spent time telling me what the project was, what I'd do there, the population. It was nice because I was able to converse about research interests and how they dovetailed into what the position entailed.

They were very happy to hear that my long term 3-5 year goal was to get a clinical PhD because "We only seek out RAs/CRC/CRAs that want to get a doctorate, part of our whole goal is to provide individuals this experience and we have multiple training programs free to help support our researchers get into a great PhD program, we fully support our staff's goals."

Basically apply to a bunch of direct job postings on university websites in your area for RA, CRC, and CRA positions. You won't know much about the work based on the job description unless they seek you out but when they do phone interviews they will want to hear you are interested in pursuing a doctorate eventually it seems. And you won't know the jobs really exist unless you either hear from someone on the inside (a fellow student is a CRC at same place and while I didn't name drop, I made it known that's how I became interested through a colleague) or direct on the website. It's a shot in the dark applying as you don't know exactly what you'd do there or what they want.

The only thing is some of these positions require a 2 year contract, which might mean forgoing doctoral school for a bit or deferring an acceptance, but the trade off is getting some great contacts and experience in the field.

Now I'm off to wait with held breath to see if they invite me for a second interview. I almost choked on my drink when they told me who the lead director I'd be working under was. Big time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got this email, as a heads up:

Dear Colleagues - Please pass this note on to any bright undergraduates or recent grads who may be interested!

Full-time lab manager position at the University of Maryland Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

The University of Maryland Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (www.dscn.umd.edu) directed by Dr. Elizabeth Redcay is seeking a full-time lab manager starting this summer 2012. The DSCN lab investigates the neural and cognitive bases of social-cognitive and communicative development (e.g., joint attention, theory of mind) in typical individuals and individuals with autism. The methods used include functional and structural MRI as well as behavioral measures with adults and children (infancy through adolescence). This is an excellent position for anyone who would like to pursue graduate work in developmental, cognitive, and/or clinical neuroscience. We encourage applicants with a background in psychology, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, or related fields to apply.

Responsibilities will include data collection and analyses of MRI and behavioral studies with infants, children and adults, development and maintenance of lab imaging analysis and stimulus presentation scripts, and scheduling study participants. Additionally, the lab manager will supervise undergraduate research assistants, manage IRB protocols, and be responsible for general lab upkeep. The position will involve MRI operator training on the new 3T Siemens scanner on UMD campus. There may be opportunities for presenting data at conferences and co-authoring publications.

Experience with matlab (and other programming languages), neuroimaging analysis software (e.g., AFNI, SPM, FSL, Freesurfer), and/or linux is preferred. Applicants must have strong organizational and interpersonal skills and must enjoy working with children.

Salary will be competitive commensurate with experience and includes health benefits. The start date is flexible between mid-May and July. This is a 1-2 year position.

To apply please email your application to Daniel O’Young (droyoung@umd.edu). Application materials should include a cover letter detailing qualifications and interest, CV (with GPA), relevant coursework or transcript, and 2 letters of reference (with contact information).

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Thanks for the post watson!

So general question about applying to labs...I'm noticing a lot are asking for letters of reference. Do they want you to send the letter directly to them? Wouldn't that mean you're asking your letter writers to hand the letter to you? Is it just a matter of having it sealed? Or can they email/send them in separately? Does it work similar to grad apps? I know I could email and ask specifically what they want, but I figured I would ask here first in case any of you have experience. Also, some say, references, so would that just mean their name and contact, instead of a letter?

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If they ask for just references, it is fine to just list name and contact information. In the case of the job post above, they specified that they wanted letters of references, so you would need to ask your professors to submit letters on your behalf. Good luck!

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For the ones that specifically asked for letters, I had my recommenders email the letters to the lab. For all the others, I just included names, phone numbers and email addresses of my recommenders.

Agreed. When you send the application, just tell them to be expecting emails from Dr. X (@ email address) and Dr. Y (@ email address) shortly with letters attached...then make sure that those letters arrive asap

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