Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychological Sciences

Job Type: 
University of Portland

The Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychological Sciences is a full-time, two-year position at the University of Portland. The Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychological Sciences is a full-time, two-year position at the University of Portland. The start date is one that is mutually agreeable between June 1, 2017, and August 15, 2017.

This position will have research duties (approximately .75 FTE) and teaching duties (.25 FTE) in the Department of Psychological Sciences. The Fellow will work under the direct supervision and mentorship of Dr. Sarina Saturn in a research project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

This position is particularly geared for an individual who would like to pursue a tenure-track position at a primarily undergraduate institution like the University of Portland. In addition to career-development and grant-writing opportunities at the University of Portland, a postdoctoral mentorship plan will provide networking activities with other postdoctoral scholars at the nearby Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU), as well as journal clubs, ethics seminars, and colloquia on relevant topics.

This position is benefitted. Benefits include: medical & dental insurance, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, sick and vacation time, and tuition remission benefits for the employee starting after 90 days of employment.

Please submit an application file consisting of: (1) a cover letter stating your professional background/research interests and your qualifications for this position, (2) a current vita, (3) samples of scholarly work, (4) recent teaching evaluations, if available, and (5) the names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of three individuals knowledgeable about your training, experience, and skills. Recommendations will be solicited for the top candidates. Please upload your PDF documents via HireTouch.

Candidates of diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. We invite applications from qualified candidates who share our commitment to diversity.

Review of applications will begin March 1, 2017, and continue until the position is filled. For additional information about the position, contact Dr. Saturn at [email protected].

A copy of the full job description is available at


Information about research duties –

The cross-disciplinary research will investigate the biology underlying prosocial emotions with a multi-method approach. This includes measures of behavior, life experiences, autonomic physiology, genetics, epigenetics, and hormone fluctuations with a focus on the oxytocin system and its connection to moral elevation, an emotional stage triggered by witnessing displays of remarkable prosociality. This study will primarily consist of laboratory studies of families, especially mother-infant-grandmother triads. The successful candidate for this position will play an integral role in conducting the afore-described research study.

Information about teaching duties –

The Fellow will be expected to team-teach General Psychology (PSY101) to a variety of majors and be the sole instructor of a class on a specialized topic based on the Fellow’s experience and background.

Other duties as assigned by supervisor or designee.


Education and Experience

Required: Ph.D. in psychology, neuroscience, or a related field by start of employment in this position.

Preferred: bench science research experience.

Preferred: phlebotomy experience.

Preferred: college-level teaching experience

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Research background in relevant or translatable multi-method approaches.

Strong methodological and quantitative skills.

Experience with writing research papers and reports, as well as with giving presentations at conferences.

Willingness to work with participants of all ages simultaneously, from infancy to old age.

Ability to oversee day-to-day management of the lab and train and mentor undergraduate research assistants.

Experience and willingness to process biological samples, including blood and saliva.

Strong orientation towards taking initiative and ownership of work.

Ability to establish effective working relationships, professional rapport, and effectively accomplish work within a University setting that includes a wide array of individuals, groups, policies, and processes.

Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with individuals and organizations within and outside the University.

Exceptional organizational skills.

Ability to multi-task in a dynamic environment.

Excellent problem-solving skills.

Ability to work independently as well as in a team setting.

Ability to exercise excellent judgment.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Polished presentation skills; strong public speaking skills.

Strong and effective interpersonal and customer service skills.

Ability to quickly learn and use new technologies and applications in depth.

Knowledge of Microsoft Office software (Outlook, Word and Excel) required.

Physical Requirements

Frequently: sit, perform desk-based computer tasks; use fine manipulation and grasp; use a telephone, write by hand; sort and file paperwork.

Frequently: stand and walk; twist; lift, carry, push, pull, and manipulate objects that weigh from less than one pound up to 30 pounds, with or without assistance.

Occasionally: ability to attend events and activities on or off campus.

Frequently: ability to interact and communicate with members of the University and others as necessary.

Frequently:  ability to collect and process biological samples and operate laboratory equipment, including the regular use of carts, pipettors, test tubes, centrifuges, and laboratory freezers.

Frequently:  ability to interact and communicate with study participants of all ages (infancy to elderly), as well as collect biological samples and physiological data from them.

Working Conditions

Work hours: in addition to regular work hours, flexible or overtime hours (including during evenings, overnight, weekends, and holidays) may be required as necessitated by research or teaching duties.

Workplace environment: while performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently exposed to moving mechanical parts, fumes, airborne particles, blood-borne pathogens, and toxic or caustic chemicals.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae, References, Teaching Evidence
A background investigation check is required before final hiring procedures can be completed for all faculty and staff positions.
For those requiring a reasonable accommodation to apply: Applicants who have a disability and would like to request an accommodation regarding the application or hiring process should contact Human Resources (503)943-8484.

Founded in 1901, the University of Portland is a private, comprehensive, Catholic university with a mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, service and leadership. The University of Portland is an Equal Opportunity employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without unlawful regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender), religion, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, marital status, and all other classes protected by law.