Contemplative Neurosciences Research

Job Opportunities

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory

RE: Trainee Position in Contemplative Sciences

This opportunity will provide training in contemplative science research in the context of a unique long-term (20-year) follow-up contemplative education study of 3rd through 5th grade children exposed to mindfulness-based skills compared to their peers. The study has been funded by the 1440 Foundation and is a partnership with Jon Kabat-Zinn. The mixed methods, multi-site study is half complete, with promising initial results.  Within the context of this ongoing study, the trainee will receive hands-on training in subject recruitment, data organization, interrogation and interpretation, and reporting/dissemination of results under the supervision of David R. Vago, PhD, a faculty Investigator in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Department of Psychiatry, Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. 

The trainee will also gain exposure to all aspects of contemplative science research headed by Dr. Vago, who investigates the neurocognitive processes, systems-based brain networks, and biological trait markers supporting mindfulness-based practices and other wisdom-based traditions of contemplative practice including forms of meditation and yoga-based practice in expert and novice practitioners and in clinical contexts. The trainee will also gain some exposure to additional ongoing research in the FNL, and will be encouraged to take advantage of the many conferences and educational opportunities available in the Longwood Medical Area/Harvard Medical School.

 The FNL has multiple research initiatives in the contemplative neurosciences with an emphasis on clarifying adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric disorders.  The overall aim of the FNL, under the direction of Dr. Emily Stern and Dr. David Silbersweig, is to develop and apply new methods of imaging for the detection, localization, and characterization of final common pathways of major psychiatric disease expression, as a foundation for clinical advances. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies address schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, mood, personality, cognitive changes associated with chemotherapy, sex differences in brain function in health and disease, normal cognitive and emotional function, and methodological development. 

A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Neuroscience or a related field is required. Background in contemplative practice is preferred, but not required. 20-40 hrs/week commitment is expected.  Expected duration for training is 1 year.

To apply please send cover letter and CV to:

David Vago,  (617) 732-9113


Leave a Reply