Behavioral Neuroscience Fellow
Hiring Contact: Anne Marie Brady
Title of Hiring Contact: Associate Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience Minor Coordinator
This fellow will have two related main areas of responsibility in the Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory under the direction of the behavioral neuroscience faculty members: Dr. Anne Marie Brady, Dr. Aileen M. Bailey, and Dr. Wesley Jordan. First, the fellow will serve as a peer mentor to provide training to new student research assistants (SMP, directed research, and independent study students) on research techniques and equipment in the laboratory. The fellow will likely be asked to provide some introductory training to new students in the lab, to assist students with learning and practicing techniques (including animal handling, giving injections, behavioral training, histological techniques [see below], and organizing data), and to be “on-call” for last-minute assistance. The fellow will not replace the faculty members as the primary mentors in the lab, but will importantly enhance students’ laboratory experiences by providing additional leadership and expertise. We anticipate a large number of new students in the laboratory in 2012-2013, conducting SMPs, directed research, and independent projects, and this fellow will be invaluable in helping to ensure all students are well-trained and knowledgeable. Without this position, we will be unable to give first- and second-year students an introductory experience to animal research, a critical step in integrating students into the research process.
In this role, the fellow will develop teaching and mentoring skills, while solidifying knowledge of his/her laboratory skills. The faculty mentors will also encourage the development of skills necessary to provide effective peer training and mentoring; namely, broad and deep knowledge of all techniques to be taught, ability to answer questions, troubleshooting skills (in both emergency and non-emergency situations), and patience. Such training will necessarily advance the fellow’s critical thinking and oral communication skills.
Second, the fellow will be responsible for organizing, conducting, and supervising all histological procedures in the laboratory. Histology involves the sectioning, staining, and examination of rat brain tissue at the conclusion of neuroscience research studies, and is often critical to the interpretation of experimental results. The volume of research projects that students have conducted in collaboration with Drs. Brady and Bailey over the past few years has resulted in a sizeable backlog of histology work, which is substantially hindering the faculty mentors’ ability to fully interpret behavioral data, disseminate their findings, and advance their research programs. The fellow will be tasked with developing an efficient system to track histology requirements in the lab, and will participate in brain tissue preparation and sectioning, tissue mounting, staining, and immunohistochemistry, and also may receive training in the microscopic examination of tissue for confirmation of lesions and/or localization of injection cannulas. The fellow will be fully trained on all techniques that s/he does not already have mastery of. In completing these tasks, the fellow will enhance his/her organizational skills, knowledge of histological and microscopy techniques, and understanding of neuroanatomy, as well as utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Mastery of these technical and cognitive skills will significantly improve applications to laboratory technician positions, graduate and medical schools.
The fellow will be selected from students who have previously conducted research in the Behavioral Neuroscience laboratory, so as to provide the necessary mentoring on basic procedures. Ideally, the fellow also will have experience with brain histology; however, any student who is willing to work hard and learn these specific skills could apply. The student needs to have excellent organizational and time management skills, good interpersonal and oral presentation skills, and the ability to work independently.
For more information on how to apply and a list of the other fellowships available, click here.