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Job #: R-00081829
Location: San Diego, CA
Category: Life Scientist
Schedule (FT/PT): Full Time
Travel Required: Yes, 10% of the time
Shift: Rotating
Potential for Telework: No
Clearance: Secret
Referral Eligibility: Eligible
Referral Bonus Amount: $2,000
Group: Health

This job posting is no longer active.

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Job Description:

Leidos is currently looking for a Post-Doctoral Cognitive Scientist to support research projects with a focus on distributed metacognition and the effects of fatigue on human performance in the Warfighter Performance Department at the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) in San Diego, CA.  The Warfighter Performance Department conducts human performance, physiology and psychology investigative studies that involve planning, coordinating, designing, and executing experimental protocols that meet with the overall mission of the research objectives. The primary responsibility includes working as the scientific lead for ongoing projects for the Expeditionary Cognitive Science (ExCS) group, focused on identifying decrements in cognitive and metacognitive performance and variation in trust during sleep deprivation when critical tasks are offloaded to machine systems.

Primary Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities for the Post-Doctoral Cognitive Scientist include but are not limited to:

  • Works independently to achieve day-to-day objectives with significant impact on operational results and project deliverables for the ExCS group and Warfighter Performance Department.
  • Conduct in-lab data collections. Obtain raw behavioral and psychophysiological data (e.g., eye tracking, EEG/fNIRS, research-grade wearables). Conduct appropriate statistical analyses.
  • Develop and evaluate methodologies to meet project objectives, write standards of procedure to perform appropriate methodologies, and perform quality assurance checks to ensure that appropriate methodologies are followed consistently.
  • Develop documentation and coordinate approval of related Institutional Review Board documents.
  • Work with project managers to manage resources necessary to meet project goals. Prepare periodic internal reports and status updates.
  • Develop research proposal documents for submission and collaborate with Principal Investigators to identify needs.
  • Develop technical solutions that address pertinent needs for government and military stakeholders.
  • Develop solutions to problems that are unclear and require deep understanding of distributed metacognition and related topics.
  • Ensure research projects are completed on time and within human subjects research constraints.
  • Manage local and outlying US Department of Defense collaborative relationships necessary for completion of project-specific milestones.
  • Effectively communicate results of projects to military and academic communities as lead author on presentations, peer-reviewed journal publications, technical reports, and letters to military officials.
  • Prepare summaries and publications for non-research technical and general audiences. 
  • Coach and review the work of junior researchers on the project.

Basic Qualifications

  • Candidates must have completed a Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree from an accredited US university, or international university of equivalent standard, in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, behavioral science, human factors or a related field.
  • Candidates must have at least three years of experience working on cognition or cognition-related research protocols.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of cognitive and metacognitive processes and methodology, designs, and metrics (e.g., Signal Detection Theory, metacognitive bias/sensitivity, etc.).
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the distributed/situated/embodied/embedded cognition literature.
  • Has demonstrated evidence of scientific achievement in the cognitive science domain, as shown by the publication of articles and reports, membership in scientific societies, knowledge of and experience in writing and editing technical and scientific research information, as well as the ability to speak well and concisely, and confer with professional colleagues on a peer basis.
  • Candidates must demonstrate knowledge and experience in processing, collating, and maintaining behavioral and psychophysiological research data.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of advanced statistical techniques such as mixed-effects modeling (generalized, linear, and non-linear), times-series analyses, Bayesian inference, supervised/unsupervised machine learning, structural equation modeling/path analysis, etc.
  • Demonstrate advanced statistical programming ability (e.g, in R, Python, etc.) aimed at optimizing workflows for fast and reproducible results.
  • Candidates must be a self-starter, act on objectives in an independent manner, demonstrate leadership, work independently and in a team, and effectively plan and prioritize work.
  • Candidates must demonstrate excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This includes flexibility in responding to changing demands, timelines, and priorities.
  • Candidate must demonstrate strong computer skills and experience with basic software such as MS Access, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Candidate must demonstrate the ability to operate and troubleshoot, as necessary, laboratory machinery that is computer controlled.
  • Candidate must be willing and able to work non-regular hours such as overnight and on weekends as needed for data collection.
  • Demonstrate the ability to extend and apply the knowledge of research to the missions of the NHRC Command and the Navy.
  • The candidate must be a U.S. Citizen and must be able to obtain a Secret Clearance.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience designing and implementing experiments associated with distributed cognition (e.g., cognitive offloading, strategy selection, etc.).
    Previous experience designing and implementing experiments associated with cognition under fatigue and/or stress.
  • Previous experience designing and implementing human performance experiments with high technical sophistication in military or veteran populations.
  • Preference will be given to a candidate who already has an active Secret security clearance.

Pay Range:

Covid Guidance

In order to enter Leidos facilities in the U.S. and to attend Leidos events outside our facilities, employees are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or maintain proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 96 hours of entry. In addition, we are receiving guidance from certain customers that onsite contractor personnel will need to be fully vaccinated to access customer facilities. If you are not vaccinated, please consider getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact your Talent Acquisition POC. 

About Leidos

Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company’s 43,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $13.7 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. For more information, visit

Pay and Benefits

Pay and benefits are fundamental to any career decision. That's why we craft compensation packages that reflect the importance of the work we do for our customers. Employment benefits include competitive compensation, Health and Wellness programs, Income Protection, Paid Leave and Retirement. More details are available here.

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Leidos will never ask you to provide payment-related information at any part of the employment application process. And Leidos will communicate with you only through emails that are sent from a email address. If you receive an email purporting to be from Leidos that asks for payment-related information or any other personal information, please report the email to [email protected].

Commitment to Diversity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, ethnicity, age, national origin, citizenship, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy, family structure, marital status, ancestry, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Leidos will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with relevant laws.

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