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Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas
Date Posted 07/18/2021
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled


Pharmacology & Toxicology

Position Overview

Social Bonding, Conflict, and Loss (SBCL) Lab in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of Kansas is seeking outstanding, driven applicants for a postdoctoral position in neuroscience.

The SBCL Lab is directed by Dr. Adam Smith and studies the neurocircuitry of social bonding and stress. Social bonds are essential for survival and reproduction, particularly in social species such as our model species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). The driving forces that facilitate social attachments, such as pair bonding, include reinforcing social behaviors through activating the brain reward centers, the consequences of disruption or separation of close social bonds on an individual’s well-being and emotional state, and the beneficial effects of close social contact to improve mental and physical health. Still, many fundamental questions regarding the underlying neurobiology of social bonds remains unanswered. In addition, our research group has established a model of social defeat in prairie voles that produces a social anxiety phenotype and allows us to determine neural mechanisms that are distinct and convergent in males and females. This work focuses on the causative role of oxytocin in regulating social anxiety and threat assessment.

This position is being recruited to support our research focused on a novel pharmacological approach to treat social anxiety and avoidance. Our research goals are to (1) demonstrate a causal relationship between brain oxytocin receptor levels in specific regions and social anxiety and (2) screen novel therapeutics that may mimic oxytocin action in the brain without long-term hindrance to the brain oxytocin receptor system.

As we are a behavioral neuroscience lab, we are especially interested in candidates with experience in viral vector design and use, behavioral pharmacology, optogenetics. chemogenetics, various histological techniques, and calcium imaging from populations of neurons in awake behaving animals. Candidates with a relevant background are encouraged to apply. Applicants must either have a Ph.D. or be nearing the completion of their doctorate in a germane field.

This position is limited term with a typical duration of 1-5 years.

Job Description

70% -  Perform laboratory experiments in behavioral pharmacology and neuroscience, carry out library work and computer searches for literature relative to research topic; assist in the preparation and submission of all manuscripts and publications related to the research.
10% -  Laboratory maintenance and safety: help in the cleaning, organization, and maintenance of the laboratory equipment; maintain breeding colony and colony census; be knowledgeable and up-to-date with laboratory safety protocols and employ them in the course of all work.
10% -  Record keeping: keep detailed notes and records pertaining to all research work.

10% -  Other duties to include attending and participation in scientific group meetings, departmental seminars, and problem sessions; assist in the mentorship and training of graduate students.

Required Qualifications

1.  Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, or closely related discipline, conferred at the time of appointment, not to exceed six months from the date of hire.

NOTE:  Individuals who have served as a postdoctoral fellow/researcher for a total of five years in the same area of research are not eligible. To be appointed at the Postdoctoral Researcher title, it is necessary to have the PhD in hand.  Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an acting basis not to exceed six months.  Upon verification of degree the appointment will be extended to its full duration.

Contact Information to Applicants

Adam Smith

Additional Candidate Instruction

A complete application includes an online application, cover letter, resume highlighting pertinent experience relative to the required and preferred qualifications and contact information for three professional references. Only complete applications will be considered.

Review of applications will begin July 26 2021 and continue until a successful candidate is identified.  To ensure first consideration, please apply by July 25, 2021.

Advertised Salary Range

minimum 50,780.00

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


Primary Campus

University of Kansas Lawrence Campus

Employee Class

U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Conditions of Employment

Contingent on Funding, Limited Term

Work Location Assignment



The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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