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Postdoctoral Position

The LIVELab ( at the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University is inviting applications for a fully funded postdoctoral position for two years with the possibility of extension.


The postdoctoral fellow will join a diverse vibrant group of researchers, graduate students and postdocs investigating the perception, performance, neural processing, impact and health implications of music (see the LIVELab website for a list of research projects). Applicants will study human interaction and/or music cognition with broader implications for one or more of the following: child development, aging, hearing loss, cognition, brain function, mental health, communication and disorders of communication, and movement and movement disorders.

The successful candidate would collaborate with others in the LIVELab, a fully functioning flexible 106-seat performance-research space. The LIVELab was built as an acoustic blank slate (with < 10dB background noise and very low reverberation); it contains a Meyer Constellation sound system, consisting of 28 microphones and 75 speakers, that can instantaneously recreate the size and reverberation characteristics of almost any space, and present sounds that move around the room in 3-D space. The LIVELab contains technology to measure behavioural responses (100 tablet system), movement (motion capture), brain responses (EEG) and physiology (e.g., heart rate, galvanic skin responses, breathing, muscle tension) in multiple performers and audience members simultaneously. The space contains a Disklavier piano that can record and playback the exact velocity and timing of all key presses during a performance, a video wall, and studio-quality sound recording equipment. The high precision time synchronization between equipment systems in the LIVELab enables cutting edge multi-faceted analysis of complex questions of human interaction related to music, hearing, vision, movement, and learning.

The position may involve research questions related to interactions between people as measured by motion capture, and role of movement in music perception and performance and requires a background in motion capture/motor control. We are particularly interested in using measures of synchrony and information flow to understand non-verbal communication between interacting musicians and others in complex real-world situations. Other specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to, measuring and analyzing EEG and other physiological measures of interaction to answer questions such as how the brains of musicians anticipate what each other will do, altered states of consciousness when improvising with others, how to improve the experiences of live music for those with hearing loss, how music affects interactions between infants and caregivers, how rhythms organize perception, and therapeutic uses of music.

In addition to conducting research, the postdoctoral fellow will work with graduate and undergraduate students, including helping to train them.



Ideal candidates would have most or all of the following:

  • PhD in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, computer science or related field

  • Knowledgeable in the fields of auditory perception, music cognition and neuroscience of music

  • Expertise in sound measurement and analysis

  • Expertise in complex EEG signal processing and/or in modeling complex movements

  • Advanced programming skills (Python and/or Matlab)

  • Machine learning/modeling skills

  • High verbal and written communication skills

  • Strong publication record

  • Ability to work effectively both independently and in collaboration with other investigators


About McMaster University

McMaster University is one of Canada’s most research intensive universities. It is particularly strong in science, engineering, health science and interdisciplinary research, including the intersection of arts (music) and sciences. McMaster is located in Hamilton, Ontario, which is part of the “Golden Horseshoe” region of southern Ontario. Hamilton is located between Toronto and the Niagara/Buffalo area. It sits on the shores of Lake Ontario alongside the Niagara escarpment, and boasts an abundance of waterfalls, hiking trails, and green space. McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement. In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity. The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of visible minorities, and LGBTQ+ persons.


Interested applicants should submit a (1) cover letter, (2) CV, (3) 2-3 sample publications, (4) short statement (less than 1 page) on their approach to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, (5) names and contact information for three references (letters not required at this stage).

Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.  Please send applications to:

Dr. L. Trainor

Director, McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind

McMaster University

Inquiries prior to application submission are welcome.