University of Wisconsin - Madison
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience
Department of Psychology
Department of Medical Physics
Department of Radiology
Wisconsin Primate Research Center
Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute & Clinics
If you are interested in applying to graduate school and working in Dr. Davidson’s lab, here are some things you should know. We appreciate the interest and hope that more students get seriously involved in this kind of work since there are so many wonderful outstanding questions remaining to be studied and understood.
Our lab relies on sophisticated neuroimaging and other related biological methods to make inferences about processes in the brain and body during emotion, in psychopathology and in response to interventions designed to change emotion and cognition, including meditation. These methods require a strong technical background to master. Among the most important skills that are required are programming and statistical and quantitative skills. Relevant programming languages used in neuroscience vary greatly depending on the focus of the research but common examples include Python, R, and Matlab. In addition, familiarity with the command line in Unix or Mac OS is essential. Knowing any programming language is better than none, and will make learning other languages easier.
In addition, significant course work in computer science, biology (neuroscience) and physics are important and highly recommended. It is not necessary that incoming students be Psychology majors. In fact, some of our most successful students have been Physics, Computer Science and Neuroscience majors as undergraduates.
It is helpful to have significant research experience before applying to graduate school. This typically means spending several years post-college in a laboratory as a research assistant. Dr. Davidson almost never accepts a student directly from college. Virtually every one of the students in our lab has spent some time (often a lot of time) following college working in a laboratory setting.
If you wish to be considered for a position in our lab, it is imperative that you have the kind of hard science, quantitative and programming background described above. Our lab is highly selective and will accept very few students over the coming years and to be considered for a graduate student position, you must be formally invited from our laboratory to apply. If you believe you meet these requirements, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your CV, along with a statement of your research interests and technical skills. While we are glad to review your material to see if you are a good fit, we do not have the resources to engage in individual communications regarding how to best prepare for acceptance into our lab or other career development inquiries.
Summer 2013: fMRI Analysis Expert
We have ongoing recruitment of undergraduates for non-specific research positions in the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior. If you are interested in applying for a position, please see Undergraduate Research Opportunities
For academic staff positions please search the UW-Madison position vacancy listings.
The Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging & Behavior is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to affective and cognitive neuroscience research with brain imaging. The laboratory includes:
The lab currently is home to faculty with expertise in neuroscience and psychology, physics and statistics. In addition, the lab includes trained personnel to facilitate imaging studies. The lab is a joint venture of the Waisman Center and the HealthEmotions Research Institute.