Neuroimaging Research Position Opportunities

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7+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2011
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I have a BS in cognitive science and previous experience as a research assistant in a neuroimaging lab and really enjoyed that area of research (functional connectivity, default network, DTI, fMRI analysis in SPM, etc.). I want to advance my career but don't think a PhD is the best fit for me. Is there a way I can continue this work at a higher-level? I worry that there's either work for entry-level RAs only a few years out of college, graduate students working on their PhD degree, or bio-statisticians, but not someone with more years of experience in the field. If I get a masters degree, I'm not sure that will open up more opportunities either. If I become a clinical coordinator or nurse researcher, I fear that I won't be able to be involved in that kind of analysis, but will be more on the management/regulatory side of clinical trials. Any insight would be appreciated.


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Feb 19, 2007
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You are right that this is a tricky spot...the research world is pretty top and bottom heavy, with limited roles in the middle.

Some things to ponder:
- Why no PhD and are you absolutely sure? Have you considered all options? Imaging research is diverse these days. Could be anything from philosophy to physics. Don't feel like you have to go neuroscience. If certain no PhD, why not? Big difference if you don't like the academic lifestyle versus imposter syndrome.
- What about imaging appeals to you? Just analysis? Are you interested exclusively in imaging or research more broadly?
- Open to industry? GE, Siemens, etc. likely have more "middle ground" options than academia. Folks developing automated pipelines for clinical scans and the like
- Not sure where you were but many of the big academic imaging centers have staff analysts. We have 5-6. Seems like a pretty cush gig. Would guess they make 60-70k and my area has a pretty modest cost of living. You won't get rich, but they definitely make a livable wage here. And seem to work a boatload less than I do without any of the pressure. Most have kids/homes/etc.

Feel free to PM more details if you want.
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