Our lab includes engineers, clinicians, biologists, mathematicians, humanists, and psychologists (and many people who assign themselves to more than one of those categories). We have frequent openings for students, research technicians, and postdoctoral fellows. The only absolute requirements are that (1) you want to tackle hard problems and are prepared to expand your skills beyond what you already know to do it and (2) you’re a good human being to work with. All of our team members are expected to support each other emotionally and technically, to admit when they’re wrong, and to always be trying to do a bit better next time. We’re proud of the fact that we have some of the best colleagues in the world and that they’re people who add energy to our days.
Areas of research for which we're actively seeking new personnel, as of early 2019:
• Testing, in rodents and humans, of new electrical stimulation technologies specifically directed to circuit modification
• Recording of electrical brain signals as patients undergo clinical trials in psychiatric disorders (both non-invasive, i.e. EEG, and invasive).
• Computational modeling of behavior in both rats and humans as they search for rewards in complex environments.
• Cross-species (monkey, rat, human) studies of the neural basis of effortful self-control, flexible decision-making, and the switch from flexibility to habit.
• Developing new signal processing models for accurately tracking the phase of ongoing brain oscillations.
Specific job openings are posted through the UMN jobs site ; search for “Translational NeuroEngineering”. It is always OK to contact us about openings we may not have posted yet. If you do, include a resume/CV and a specific statement of (A) why you want to be part of our team and (B) what parts of your skills/background are most relevant. Inquiries without those will be ignored. At present, software in heavy use in the lab includes MATLAB and Python for physiology data, R for statistics, SolidWorks for design, Fiji/ImageJ for microscopy, and GIMP/Inkscape for graphics. Knowledge of any of those makes you a stronger candidate.
We can take on students from basically any department, assuming you’re a match for a current project. We give preference to applicants with stronger computational or technical skills. Summer positions are usually unpaid (though we’ll help you apply for funding) and are basically auditions for paid work, e.g. a full-time position after graduation. Post-graduation technician positions, when we have them, are always on the UMN jobs website.
We can take on students from basically any department, assuming you’re a match for a current project. Dr. Widge has existing affiliations with Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience. We give preference to applicants with stronger computational or technical skills, but we have a fair number of “wet lab” projects also. We have a good track record of sponsoring students for NSF, NDSEG, and similar fellowships. Your first step is to gain admission to one of the UMN grad programs; once you are admitted, set up a meeting and we’ll discuss rotations and possible projects.
Clinicians on research rotations are very welcome; you bring a critical perspective to the lab and insights our team members need to hear. Unless you already are very familiar with many of our techniques, that will need to be an extended rotation (generally a year or more, not necessarily full time).
Funded positions are always posted on the jobs site as soon as we know about them; if there’s not an ad up, we do not have an opening that carries its own funding. However, there are many opportunities, from government fellowships to our internal MnDRIVE programs. If you have an idea about something you’d like to do with us, or think we are the next step in your development as an independent scholar, inquire and we’ll problem-solve together.