IBRAiN Program

IBACS-BIRC Research Assistantships in Neuroimaging

DESCRIPTION

The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) is offering graduate assistantships of 10 hours per week during the Fall (2023) and Spring (2024) semesters at the Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC). During the first year, assistants will be trained in neuroimaging methods, data science, and reproducibility. Assistants will spend the remaining allocated hours at BIRC, supporting users of BIRC facilities. This could involve helping design and implement experimental procedures for fMRI, EEG, TMS etc., recruitment and prepping of participants, data analysis, or overseeing use of equipment by others. Applicants will be expected to commit to the full duration of the assistantship (Fall & Spring). Funds may be available during Summer 2024 to enable IBRAiN students to pursue their own research at BIRC. IBRAiN students also receive an allocation of 20 hours of resource time to be used at BIRC during the course of the fellowship.

Up to three students will be supported in the 2023-2024 cycle. Students will participate in common training activities, but will primarily specialize in one of three roles at BIRC. Applicants should indicate which role(s) they wish to be considered for.

1. Research software engineer. This role assists researchers in data analysis, particularly functional MRI, using existing software, and engineering and implementing new analytic tools when needed. Qualified candidates will have demonstrated proficiency in Python, MATLAB, or Julia, and Unix like computing environments.

2. User support. This role assists researchers in using BIRC facilities, including experimental design and setup, equipment training, data management, and maintaining documentation resources. Qualified candidates will have prior experience in designing and running in-person experiments. Familiarity with Python or MATLAB is preferred.

3. MR Operator. This role assists researchers in obtaining functional and structural MRI data by learning how to operate the Siemens Prisma 3T MRI Scanner to perform brain research studies. Qualified candidates will have demonstrated an understanding of MRI safety, a high level of reliability, and the ability to work with participants across the lifespan.

KEY DATES

The deadline for receipt of applications will be midnight on Friday, February 24, 2023
Advisors will be asked to submit their letters of recommendation within 7 days.

ELIGIBILITY AND CONDITIONS ON AWARDS

  • Graduate Students at UConn working on topics related to the IBACS mission are eligible to apply. Subject to funding and other constraints, these assistantships could be renewed for a further year.
  • Graduate students intending to apply who are not already IBACS affiliates should fill out the affiliate membership form available here.
  • Recipients of the IBACS Graduate Fellowship are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to 10 hours per week during the Fall (2023) and Spring (2024) semesters. This usually means that more than 10 hours of TA or other commitment renders you ineligible.

HOW TO APPLY

All applicants must submit a completed application, by any deadlines described above in the Key Dates section. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their primary supervisor will be willing to submit a supporting statement (see below):

Applicants will be asked for:

  • A summary of work carried out to date (1/2 page max)
  • A summary plan of future work and how cognitive neuroscience will form an integral part of the applicant’s graduate research (1/2 page max)
  • A summary of experience relevant to the IBRAiN program, addressing qualifications for the applicant’s preferred role(s), and a brief statement of how the applicant’s own research could benefit from the program.
  • An up-to-date CV

A copy of the application will be sent automatically to the applicant’s primary advisor for approval. The advisor will need to write a letter of support to complete the application process. The letter of support should address:

  • The student’s qualifications for the role
  • How neuroimaging might be incorporated into the advisor’s research program, or how an IBRAiN award would facilitate the next stage of an existing neuroimaging research program.

Additional details will be provided once the application has been submitted. 

Click Here to Apply!

REVIEW CRITERIA

Reviewers of full proposals will be asked to consider the following review criteria, as well as the advisor’s separate statement:

  • The applicant’s progress, achievements, qualifications, as well as potential benefits to the student and their advisor, and to the program.
  • Priority may be given to applicants whose advisor is committed to establishing a new program of research in neuroimaging, or who have experience in one or more of the methods (MRI, EEG, or TMS) in use at BIRC, or whose research might use such methods within the next year.

CONTACT

If you have trouble with any part of the application process, or you are unsure about eligibility, you can contact ibacs@uconn.edu or email our Institute Coordinator, Crystal Mills, at crystal.mills@uconn.edu.