Postdoctoral Research Associate (Monosov Lab)


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Position summary

Two Postdoctoral Research Associate positions are available in the Monosov Lab in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

By working with animals, humans, and computational models, our team aims to uncover the neuronal-basis of adaptive and maladaptive decision-making, learning, and cognition, and to reverse engineer the complex internal states that give rise to psychiatric disorders.

We are especially interested in the neurobiology of (i) risky decision-making under uncertainty, (ii) exploration and novelty-seeking, (iii) appetitive and aversive learning, and (iv) curiosity. We wish to discover how such sophisticated behaviors are controlled in health and disease.

In terms of techniques, the laboratory combines cutting-edge large-scale neurophysiology, circuit-mapping, and causal circuit-disruption approaches in non-human primates and mice. We also regularly perform human behavioral experiments, and utilize computational methods, aiming to understand the algorithms agents employ to adaptively (or maladaptively) control cognitive behaviors.

For more information on the lab, please visit

The postdoctoral researcher will join our laboratory, which is part of several cross-institution collaborative Centers funded by the NIH and DOD. These projects include clinicians, engineers, and computational neuroscientists. To participate in these teams, we also encourage a collaborative spirit and a passion for learning new perspectives and viewpoints. In addition to high-quality research facilities, career and professional development training for postdoctoral researchers is provided through the Career Center, Teaching Center, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and campus groups. Additional information on being a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis can be found at

Modern neuroscience spans systems, computational, and molecular approaches. Therefore, to improve our chances of making important discoveries candidates with a wide range of skill sets will be considered.

Primary duties & responsibilities

Trains under the supervision of a faculty mentor, including (but not limited to):

  • Manages their own project, which should lead to a first author publication.
  • Develops expertise in cutting-edge large-scale neurophysiology, circuit-mapping, and causal circuit-disruption approaches in non-human primates and mice.
  • Develops proficiency in career skills, including writing, public speaking, networking, and critical evaluation of scientific literature.
  • Presents scientific work both inside and outside the University with excellent oral communication skills.
  • Assists with grant preparation and reporting.
  • Prepares and submits papers on research with excellent writing skills. Designs research experiments.
  • Evaluates research findings and reports results.
  • Maintains conscientious discharge of their research responsibilities.
  • Maintains conformity with ethical standards in research.
  • Maintains compliance with good laboratory practice, including the maintenance of adequate research records.
  • Engages in open and timely discussion with their mentor regarding possession or distribution of material, reagents, or records belonging to their laboratory and any proposed disclosure of findings or techniques privately or in publications.
  • Maintains collegial conduct towards co-trainees, staff members and members of the research group.
  • Adheres to all applicable University policies, procedures and regulations.  All data, research records and materials and other intellectual property generated in University laboratories remain the property of the University.

Required qualifications

Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent terminal or doctoral degree.

Preferred qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree in neuroscience, biology, engineering, computer science, economics, or psychology.
  • Passion, creativity, and kindness are key qualities in applicants.
  • Experience with behavioral task design and detailed behavioral analyses, programming, neurophysiology, optogenetics, or computational psychiatry/biology.

Working conditions

This position works in a laboratory environment with potential exposure to biological and chemical hazards.  The individual must be physically able to wear protective equipment and to provide standard care to research animals.

Salary range

Base pay is commensurate with experience.

Applicant special instructions

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and curriculum vitae with contact information for three references to

Pre-employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. The screenings will include criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, an employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.

Benefits statement

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to our employees. Benefits eligibility is subject to employment status, full-time equivalent (FTE) workload, and weekly standard hours. Please visit our website at to view a summary of benefits.

EEO/AA statement

Washington University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability status, protected veteran status, national or ethnic origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation. Women, minorities, protected veterans and the disabled are strongly encouraged to apply.

Diversity statement

Washington University is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment – fostering respect for all and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Individuals with a commitment to these values are encouraged to apply.