Postdoctoral Science – Chrastil Lab – Spatial Neuroscience

June 30, 2024

Dr. Liz Chrastil, PI of the Spatial Neuroscience Laboratory in the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, is seeking one or more postdoctoral researchers for the coming year. The Spatial Neuroscience Lab is funded by NIH and NSF, and uses dynamic and interdisciplinary research methods to answer questions about how the human brain processes information to keep us oriented as we navigate through a complicated world. In addition to navigation, our research is deeply connected to the fields of learning, memory, and decision making, with aging, clinical, and translational applications. Our primary techniques are fully immersive virtual reality (VR) and human brain imaging using multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (structural MRI, fMRI, diffusion imaging, resting state) and electroencephalography (EEG).

We are seeking highly creative and motivated researchers for postdoc positions in the following areas:
1) Individual differences in navigational ability, with a focus on multimodal imaging techniques. We have large deep phenotyping datasets of multiple navigation tasks, as well as episodic memory and other cognitive function, which include corresponding anatomical (cortical thickness, hippocampal subfields, diffusion weighted imaging) and functional (resting state, grid-cell like neural correlates) imaging.
2) Navigation abilities across the adult lifespan, working with similar datasets across age groups, with an emphasis on sex differences and the role of sex hormones.
3) Behavioral and/or fMRI investigations of cognitive mapping compared to graph-like topologies, including spatial and abstract graphs of relational information and abstract distance coding.

Chrastil Lab:

Qualified candidates should submit curriculum vitae along with the names and addresses of three references to the following on-line recruitment URL:

The salary range for this position is $64,480-$77,327. The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by experience level. See Postdoctoral Scholar Scale for the salary range. “Off-scale salaries”, i.e. a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated experience, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.


Requirements for the position include: a Ph.D. in neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, or related field by the time you start the position. Demonstrable skill in one or more programming languages (e.g. Matlab, R, or Python) and exceptionally strong statistical skills are highly desired. A strong background in MRI data analysis including multivariate methods (multivariate pattern analysis/representational similarity analysis) or multimodal imaging is highly preferred. Experience with programming virtual environments in Unity is very desirable. The successful applicant would have a strong first-author publication record and a demonstrable interest in navigation, learning, memory, or decision making. Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, are a must. A desire to mentor and teach graduate and undergraduate students in the lab is also a plus. Beyond qualifications and skills, the successful applicant should be collaborative, resourceful, and productive, and must be able to manage multiple research projects with ease and have an eye for common approaches and themes.

Numerous opportunities for exploration and the development of creative data science approaches are available. A very strong statistical background is highly desired. Lab and institutional resources include a new research-dedicated 3T Siemens Prisma scanner, a large ambulatory virtual reality space with wireless tracking, the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, an active Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and a newly established sleep center. There are abundant opportunities for collaborative work with other researchers across the university. In addition to working on new projects, there are also opportunities to work with existing data across multiple research programs.

In addition to lab funding, candidates may also qualify for support through T32 institutional training grant mechanisms, postdoc NRSA, and collaborative projects. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. Salary is based on experience. Start date is flexible. Initial appointment is for two years at 100% time, with a comprehensive benefits package. Continuation beyond one year will be based on performance and availability of funding.

Qualified candidates should submit: 1) cover letter describing your qualifications, 2) Curriculum Vitae detailing your research experience, and 3) names and contact information for three references who can provide letters upon request.

Submit applications electronically at

For more information about this position, contact Dr. Liz Chrastil at For information on the Spatial Neuroscience Laboratory, go to

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.