Join the lab

Interested in joining our lab? We are always looking for talented students at all levels with an interest in the speech motor system.

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Masters, capstone, and undergraduate students

We welcome masters, capstone, and undergraduate students to participate in the lab. Students are involved in a range of lab activities, including data collection, data analysis, participant recruitment, and experiment design. Students typically participate in the lab for course credit, though depending on lab needs, as well as the student’s status and prior research experience, some hourly positions may be available. Students interested in working in the lab should fill out the survey found here. Be prepared to submit a letter of interest as well as a resume. You will need to be logged in to Google with your UW–Madison NetID to access the form.

Ph.D. students

New graduate students interested in joining the lab should apply through the Ph.D. program in the  Communication Sciences and Disorders department or through the Neuroscience Training Program. Students in other labs or programs the University of Wisconsin–Madison are also able to have an affiliation with the lab if interested. Interested students should email the lab director, Ben Parrell (, for more details.

Postdoctoral researchers

The Speech Motor Neuroscience Group at the University of Wisconsin–Madison invites applications for two postdoctoral research positions in the field of speech motor control and learning / speech motor neuroscience. The group consists of two research labs, the Brain, Language, & Acoustic Behavior (BLAB) lab (directed by Carrie Niziolek) and the Speech Motor Action + Control (SMAC) lab (directed by Ben Parrell), both funded through grants from the NIH and the NSF. Both postdoctoral scholars will additionally have opportunities to interact with vibrant research communities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, including the Waisman Center (which houses both labs) and the Neuroscience Training Program.

Position 1: We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to investigate the influence of the linguistic system on speech motor planning. This research involves behavioral testing of sensorimotor adaptation using altered auditory feedback. The postdoc will be expected to take a lead role in experiment design, execution, and analysis.

Position 2: We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to investigate the role of the cerebellum in speech motor control. This research involves behavioral and neuroimaging experiments with individuals with cerebellar ataxia and healthy controls. The postdoc will be expected to take a leading role in the implementation and execution of these experiments, including coordinating with our collaborators at UC, Berkeley and UC, San Francisco. 

As a postdoc in the Speech Motor Neuroscience Group, you will also be encouraged to develop additional lines of research in related topic areas, including predictive coding of self-produced vocalizations, feedback-driven speech learning, dynamics of native and non-native speech production, speech motor control in individuals with neurological disorders, computational modeling of the speech motor system, and comparisons of speech and nonspeech motor control systems.  Additionally, there are opportunities for developing new studies employing structural and functional MRI, MEG, and TMS. The initial appointment for both positions will be for one year, with potential extensions for additional years. 

Required qualifications:

  • PhD or equivalent in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, linguistics, communication sciences and disorders, or a closely related field
  • A documented history of research productivity 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Leadership and organizational skills 

Useful qualifications:

  • Experience collecting and analyzing human behavioral data, MEG, EEG, MRI, and/or TMS data
  • Computational skills, including MATLAB
  • Advanced knowledge and expertise in statistics

Salary and benefits are based on NIH guidelines, commensurate with experience and qualifications. The positions are open until filled. The preferred start date for Position 2 is on or earlier than September 1, 2021.

Interested candidates should email both PIs, Carrie Niziolek <> and Ben Parrell <>, with “Postdoc Job: (YOUR FULL NAME) in the subject line to submit (1) a current CV, (2) a one-page cover letter describing qualifications, interests, and career goals, and (3) a list of names and contact information for three references.