Nov 14, 2018

Full-time 3-yr Postdoctoral Research in Child Development and Violence

  • UCONN School of Medicine
  • West Hartford, CT
Postdoc Addictive Behaviors Biopsychology Child/Adolescent Development Physiological Postdoctoral Psychopathology PTSD Training Violence/Aggression

Job Description


Drs. Damion Grasso and Margaret Briggs-Gowan at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry invite applications for a full-time postdoctoral research scholar position in their Child Development and Psychology Research laboratory. The position is supported by an NRSA/T32 Institutional Research Training Grant awarded to the UCONN Alcohol Research Center by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as well as a 5-year research grant awarded to Drs. Grasso and Briggs-Gowan by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; 1 U01 MH113390-01A1), undertaken in collaboration with investigators at Northwestern University and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Drs. Grasso and Briggs-Gowan are at an early stage of a large, NIMH-funded study examining biobehavioral indicators of threat reactivity in young children (4-6 y.o.) as a link between early interpersonal violence exposure and emerging psychopathology. The study will employ methods for assessing event-related brain potentials (ERPs), autonomic indicators, attention bias to threat, and observed behavior in the context of laboratory stress paradigms. Aims are to: (1) Map biobehavioral threat reactivity profiles to dimensional patterns of fear and distress in young children with varying exposure to interpersonal violence; (2) Test whether threat reactivity profiles serve as intermediate phenotypes in explaining the link between interpersonal violence exposure and symptoms over time; and (3) Test the hypothesis that maternal responsiveness to child negative affect will play a unique role in shaping threat reactivity pathways over time. The study will provide critical insight into the etiology of violence-related psychopathology with key implications for developing novel approaches for identification, prevention, and intervention. This study, along with rich existing longitudinal datasets offer numerous opportunities for the post-doctoral scholar to lead manuscripts investigating developmental pathways of child psychopathology in the contexts of genetic, psychophysiological, and familial risk factors, including alcohol/substance abuse.

The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in developmental or clinical psychology, neuroscience, or a related field, strong computational skills, and a strong record of previous research experience. Expertise in ERP or psychophysiological methods and/or advanced statistical modeling is highly preferable, as is strong writing skills. The successful candidate will engage in multiple research activities that include administering clinical interviews, facilitating laboratory paradigms, acquiring and processing physiological data, data analysis, manuscript preparation, and mentoring student interns. The position is initially funded for 3 years but is subject to annual review and renewal. Trainees must attend seminars focusing on developmental psychopathology, addiction, and the responsible conduct of research. It is expected that trainees will author and co-author peer-reviewed journal articles throughout the training period on both interpersonal violence in children, as well as addiction and related topics.

Start time may be negotiated. Candidates who have completed all requirements for their PhD, but the degree has not yet been conferred, will be considered. The grant provides an NRSA stipend, health insurance, tuition for mini-courses/workshops, and travel to conferences.  

For inquiries and/or to apply for this position, please contact Dr. Damion Grasso at Applicants must provide: (1) a letter of interest describing training goals, career plans, and research experience, (2) full curriculum vitae, (3) two letters of recommendation, and (4) an official transcript. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.


University of Connecticut School of Medicine



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