Research Assistant
Vanderbilt Osher Center (Nashville, TN)

Post Vanderbilt University

The Contemplative Neuroscience and Integrative Medicine lab (CNIM) at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center invites applications for a research assistant position. The mission of The Osher center’s CNIM research laboratory is to alleviate suffering and improve well-being through rigorous investigation of the mind. 

Under the direction of David Vago, PhD , the CNIM utilizes a translational approach to identify and characterize neurobiological substrates mediating psychopathology, to better predict outcomes and clarify potential biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for those suffering with mental illness and chronic pain. Mixed research methods of systems biology, multi-modal neuroimaging (fMRI, MRI, DTI, EEG-fMRI), genomic and neuroendocrine science, innovation/ technology, psychological, cognitive-behavioral and first-person phenomenological analyses are used in a number of research initiatives that focus on the basic science and clinical applications of mind-brain-body and integrative medicine techniques.


In this pivotal, rewarding role, you will be responsible for assisting with study coordination including, but not limited to, roles such as: working directly with patients; collecting behavioral, electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and neuroendocrine data; scheduling and coordinating appointments; assisting in both structural and functional MRI scans of patient populations; data entry; and preparation of manuscripts, presentations, and/or grants. This position is oriented towards supporting Integrative Medicine Research with a focus on supporting basic neuroscience and clinical trials protocols for studying the effects of meditation, yoga, and other integrative health modalities in a health care setting.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Collect and organize data from a variety of reference sources
  • Prepare charts, graphs, and tables according to accepted research practices
  • Perform preliminary analysis
  • Assist in investigating and gathering data
  • Route questionnaires, record information and distribute results using established procedures
  • Assist with recruiting and interviewing study participants
  • Provide appropriate documentation for research
  • Update manual and/ or automated database file and maintain records
  • Assist in the preparation of materials for publication
  • Edit and/or type manuscripts according to accepted practices
  • Keep abreast of trends in field of study
  • Read professional journals and attend meetings and/or seminars
  • May supervise student assistants
  • Plan and assign work
  • May assist in lab maintenance
  • Order supplies and equipment
  • Monitor and maintain inventory control

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences, Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, or a related discipline
  • Experience with wet lab preparations
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • High attention to detail
  • Strong organizational skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Interest and/or experience in research, contemplative practice, integrative medicine, and/or neuropsychiatry
  • At least 2 years of related experience, preferably in a health-related field involving human subjects or in a medical environment
  • Some experience with research programming languages such as Python, Matlab, SPSS, or R
  • Familiarity with REDCap programming and database management, programming in E-Prime, Presentation, PsychoPy
  • Background in personal meditation practice

Position Shift:

This term position has full-time hours with a standard day-time Mon-Fri schedule; flexibility requested and extended based on business needs. A Term position is a staff position that exists for a period longer than six months but is not expected to last beyond one year. Although a position may exist for a specified or indefinite period, staff who accept term positions are not guaranteed employment for the entire period; they are employed for indefinite periods within the limit of the appointment. There are no guarantees of continued employment, either within the term or when the term ends. However, this department is experiencing growth, and based on your performance, there may be additional opportunities!

To Apply:

Click here to learn more about the position and submit your application.