As we expand into a new, purpose-built neuroscience research building, the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine offers exciting opportunities for postdoctoral training.

Our faculty are dedicated to supporting postdocs’ career growth and the institutional resources and collaborative spirit of the broader WashU neuroscience community ensure that our trainees go on to build successful careers in science.

Understanding the brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time—and we are ready to meet it. Basic research provides the essential pipeline of discoveries that go into translation, and we have a clinical enterprise at WashU deeply embedded in basic science. We invite you to join us as partners in working toward understanding the brain.

See how you fit in

Contact faculty members to inquire about postdoctoral opportunities »

Postdoctoral fellowships

CTCN Fellowship

The Center for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience offers a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship to work at interface between theoretical and experimental labs.

Fellows receive:

  • Salary $7,000 above NIH levels
  • $3,000 per year conference travel

McDonnell Fellowship & Travel Award

The McDonnell Center for Cellular & Molecular Neurobiology and The McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience have two new funding opportunities offering support for postdoctoral researchers.

The McDonnell Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellow Award provides support for the recruitment of Fellows to Washington University in St Louis. Faculty that have identified a suitable candidate are invited to apply.  Click here to learn more:

Current postdocs are invited to apply for the McDonnell Neuroscience Postdoctoral Travel Award, which provides funds to attend important conferences or courses not typically supported by a postdoc’s lab. Click here to learn more:

Outstanding science

The Department of Neuroscience is regarded as one of the premier institutions for basic neuroscience research. The expertise of our 30+ labs spans from the molecular, such as ion channel physiology, to the organismal, such as primate cognition. Our scholars are leaders in technology development, including cutting-edge optical imaging tools, and deploy computational and experimental methods to drive discovery on the fundamentals of brain function and dysfunction.

Taking advantage of the world-class resources at Washington University, our labs lead global collaborative efforts. We have been the home of the Human Connectome Project, one of the most ambitious efforts to map the brain, and we continue to push the boundaries of neuroimaging methodology. Among our many achievements, our faculty:

Members of our Department are committed to rigorous scientific and ethical standards and take a creative and holistic approach to answering  some of the most pressing questions facing the field of neuroscience. As we expand into a new, dedicated Neuroscience Research Building, we are firmly positioned at the vanguard of discovery science.

Daniel Zavitz

I chose WashU because it has a vibrant community of scientists studying neural circuits and behavior at the boundary between basic neuroscience and psychiatry. I was also excited to be a part of the growing computational and theoretical neuroscience community.

Daniel Zavitz, PhD
Postdoc in Geoffrey Goodhill’s lab

WashU neuroscience community

The Department of Neuroscience is part of a broader ecosystem of neuroscience research at the School of Medicine, where we thrive on cross-departmental collaboration. There are more than 200 neuroscience labs from three schools—Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—and across two beautiful campuses. Postdocs are highly valued members of this community and are given opportunities to lead, to pursue independent opportunities, and to form a supportive network of colleagues. Scholars develop tight networks with peers through 10+ specialized journal clubs and groups such as:

Social events such as our Neuroscience TGIF and annual Neuroscience Retreat provide opportunities for networking. We value inclusion, strive for equity, and are a diverse and international community.

Professional development support

Postdoctoral alumni from the Department of Neuroscience go on to have successful careers in academia, medicine, industry, and beyond. Our faculty mentors are dedicated to their trainees’ career development and each postdoc is encouraged to organize a mentoring committee. Our Department also provides support with reviewing job applications and chalk talks and hosts works-in-progress seminars in which postdocs present annually and receive one-on-one feedback from two faculty members.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and WashU Postdoc Society are strong advocates for postdocs, who receive generous benefits. These include:

  • health and dental insurance
  • paid parental and caregiver leave
  • free public transportation
  • tuition assistance
  • resources for child care, including WashU-affiliated daycare
Aditi Maduskar

I was drawn to WashU for its excellent research facilities and to the Department of Neuroscience specifically for the opportunity to engage with a faculty committed to trainee development and because I saw many international trainees already in the department (representation matters!).

Aditi Maduskar, PhD
Postdoc in Yao Chen’s lab

Cutting-edge facilities and resources

Washington University Neuroscience Research Building under construction with a crane overhead

New Neuroscience Research Building

open July 2023

In an ever-more technologically advanced research landscape, we consider it critical that scientists have professional support, and these include 80+ comprehensive core facilities such as cellular imaging, genome services, protein and mass spectroscopy, stem cell biology, high performance computing, and animal husbandry. The 600,000 sq ft Neuroscience Research Buildingamong the largest dedicated to neuroscience in the US, designed to enhance collaboration—is a state-of-the-art facility featuring a vertical vivarium with specialized animal behavior suites, a neurotechnology hub, and a microscopy center. The Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging is a full-service provider for cryo-EM, light microscopy, data analysis and more.

Profiles of former postdocs

Neuroscience philosopher: A profile of David Kaplan, PhD

Neuroscience philosopher: A profile of David Kaplan, PhD

The cognitive neuroscientist at Macquarie University got his first wet lab experience as a postdoc at WashU, and now addresses those same questions about hand-eye coordination and sensory-motor integration in his research on surgeons’ skills.