PostDoc Position Available
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I am always interested in outstanding, motivated and mature students from all over the world from the fields of Mechanics, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physical Therapy, Computer Science and related areas to contribute to our lab. Choosing a PhD research direction is a big commitment in life. Maturity, understanding your goals in life, and motivation are as necessary to a successful PhD as is intellectual ability. Therefore, plan accordingly and only apply to labs that truly meet your goals.

We have opportunities for visiting scientists and prospective students in PhD, Masters, and Undergraduate positions. Please read the instructions on this page carefully.

Formal ValeroLab Application for Pursuit of a Ph.D.

Submit all of the following to valero@usc.edu in a single PDF document.

• Explain why you are interested in our research, and refer to our papers in your explanation. (paragraph)
• Statement of Intent. Describe your goals and how ValeroLab plays into your vision for your own personal and professional growth (page)
• GPA, GRE, Class Rank, and TOEFL (attached or printed inline)
• Describe your prior research experience and why your prior research aligns you to produce great research in the future at our lab.(page)
• Prior publications (attached) (if available)
• Two references who can speak on behalf of your research capability and collaborative affability. (Contact Information)
• Webpage, CV, Resume, or Portfolio (attached or linked):
• Where do you fit into the intersection of Mathematics + Biology + Medicine? (paragraph)
• Which of those categories do you serve to improve upon the most? and why? (paragraph)
• Describe two technical skills that you aim to master as a result of pursuing a PhD in the lab. (paragraph)
• Describe two interpersonal skills that you aim to master as a result of pursuing a PhD in the lab. (paragraph)
• If you are a woman or member of an underrepresented minority in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, please make sure you mention that.

What projects are available?

As Ph.D. students are training to be independent thinkers, they are responsible for instigating new directions for their research. If our previous research literature excites you, we’ll work together on crafting a new project for you.

What do Ph.D. Students achieve during their work in ValeroLab?

We study how the sensorimotor processes in the brain control the body to produce versatile function in the context of the physical world. We study this in the context of motor skill and disability in humans, as well as innovative machines. I emphasize combining (i) analytical, (ii) computational, and (iii) experimental, approaches, tools, and goals. For example, we develop computational modeling tools and approaches. We study analytical approaches to sensorimotor function. We build machines, robots and instrumentation. We do behavioral experimental work with healthy subjects, clinical populations, and people with uncommon skill and disabilities. We often bring our projects into clinical trials and industry collaborations.

How does Ph.D. student admission work with ValeroLab and with USC?

At USC, graduate admissions are handled by committee, not individually by faculty member. If you have specific questions about research in the lab, or about how your own interests might line up with lab activities and plans, you are welcome to contact me directly. If you decide to apply to USC and ValeroLab, you must submit a formal application (see above) to ValeroLab well before you submit your final application to USC. For the USC application, you will need to submit through the graduate admissions offices of the departments, division, or programs at USC.

Financial Support for Ph.D. students

Outstanding applicants deserve support, and the units of USC mentioned above have mechanisms for this, as well as my ongoing projects.

Masters and Undergraduate Opportunities FAQ

  1. Project Internships: Individual students can apply to work in the lab. Accepted applicants are matched to a project to be completed over the course of one or two semesters, in collaboration with Ph.D. students, Post-Docs, visiting scientists, and fellow Masters and Undergraduate students. These projects culminate in a conference abstract or proceeding, and often lead to publications within the lab.
  2. Undergraduate Group Capstone Project: This is run through the USC Computer Science Department, where 4-5 students form a team to produce a deliverable to the neurobiological community by the end of one semester. If you are interested in forming a team to pursue research as a part of your graduation requirement include all of the following information in a message to valero@usc.edu.

    Name:
    Year: Attached CV/Resume and Unofficial Transcript: Explain why you are interested in our research, and refer to specific papers that you were intrigued by. (paragraph)
    Specific Skills to gain as a part of this project: If you are a woman or member of an underrepresented minority in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, please make sure you mention that.

External Collaboration Proposals

We typically host 1-2 students or visiting scientists to participate in the lab on an interdisciplinary project. These projects typically culminate in a conference abstract and/or publication of the research findings. To submit a proposal, include the following information in an email to valero@usc.edu.

Name:
Institution: Attached CV/Resume:
Project Aim:
Methods:
People within ValeroLab to involve:
If you are a woman or member of an underrepresented minority in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, please make sure you mention that.