The Training Program in Emotion Research is directed by Richard J. Davidson and funded by a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Institutional National Research Service Award training grant. The program provides specialized, non-degree training for University of Wisconsin-Madison students at both the pre- and post-doctoral levels. A total of four (4) pre-doctoral students are supported by the grant in any given year. In addition, three (3) post-doctoral trainees are supported each year.

The major activities of the training program include participation in the annual Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion, attendance at monthly meetings of faculty and students on topics in emotion research, ethics training, as well as other relevant activities on campus. Please contact the Training Program in Emotion Research administrator, Ms. Jane Lambert, at for more information.

We look for diverse candidates with strong potential for future academic success, whose research interests are well aligned with those of the program and the desired faculty mentor.

Program Research Areas & Faculty

Our training program is focused on four areas of current emotion research:

  1. Personality, temperament, and individual and cultural differences: Lifespan developmental, genetic, cognitive and biological approaches, and human-computer interaction;
  2. Affective neuroscience;
  3. Emotion, health, and wellbeing; and
  4. Emotion and psychopathology.

Trainees may work with any of the following faculty: Lyn Y. Abramson, Reid S. AlischJohn J. Curtin, Richard J. DavidsonSimon B. Goldberg, Diane C. Gooding, Ryan J. Herringa, Ned H. Kalin, Michael R. Koenigs, James J. Li, Bilge Mutlu, Paula M. Niedenthal, Seth D. Pollak, Melissa A. Rosenkranz, Carol D. RyffSarah J. Short, Alvin Thomas, Katie L. Walsh and Earlise C. Ward.

Post-doctoral Applicants

The NIMH-funded T32 Training Program in Emotion Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison anticipates (pending funding) having one post-doctoral training position starting in Fall 2023 with up to three years of support. Applications are due on Monday, February 6th, 2023.

The following faculty all desire post-doctoral candidates:

Simon Goldberg conducts research on the use of digital technology to expand access to evidence-based mental health strategies. Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Richard J. Davidson seek to co-mentor a postdoctoral fellow to assist with the analysis and publication of data resulting from a large-scale, randomized controlled trial they are conducting examining the effects of smartphone-delivered meditation training on a range of biological, behavioral, and self-report outcomes (i.e., the BeWell Study).

Ryan J. Herringa: The BRAVE Research Center focuses on neurodevelopmental mechanisms of risk and resilience in youth following trauma.  Current R01 funded studies include 1) a longitudinal neuroimaging study examining maltreatment-related trajectories in adolescent affective disorders, 2) neurobehavioral mechanisms of parent-child fear learning and extinction in pediatric PTSD.  Candidates with interest and experience in neuroimaging analyses as well as advanced analytical skills such as machine learning will be strongly considered.

Ned Kalin: The major aim of the Kalin Lab is to understand the early life factors that contribute to the risk to develop stress-related psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on the preadolescent period. Our research program is composed of 3 highly integrated research areas which include human studies of children with anxiety disorders, nonhuman primate studies and molecular studies. Dr. Kalin seeks to mentor a post-doctoral fellow to assist with analysis and publication of data related to translation studies of the neural and biological correlates of anxiety across children and nonhuman primates. 

Mike Koenigs: The goal of our research is to improve mental healthcare and promote well-being for individuals who are currently or formerly incarcerated. Our research approach includes community engagement, clinical trials, as well as basic studies on psychological and neurobiological functions relevant for emotion and decision-making.

Melissa Rosenkranz: My program of research is focused on investigating the biology of the bi-directional mind-brain-immune pathways through which emotion and inflammation are mutually influential. I use a wide range of tools for this purpose, including functional and structural neuroimaging (MRI and PET). Behavioral interventions, such as meditation, are an important aspect of this work, where the neural processing of stress and emotion are examined as modifiable targets for treatment of chronic inflammation. More recently, I have begun pursuing questions related to the impact of inflammation in the body on brain health and long-term cognitive function.


Please send the following items by Monday, February 6, 2023, to the Training Program in Emotion Research administrator, Ms. Jane Lambert, at:

  1. Cover letter: Identify the program faculty member(s) with whom you wish to train.
  2. CV
  3. Research statement
  4. Three letters of reference (These can be submitted separately by the letter writers themselves, and will be accepted until Thursday, February 9th.)

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply. We are an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.

Pre-doctoral Information

UW-Madison faculty can nominate pre-doctoral students for the program, but pre-doctoral students cannot apply directly to the program themselves.

Pre-doctoral nominees must apply to or be enrolled in a degree-granting graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If your application is seriously considered by a program faculty member, he or she may decide to nominate you for consideration by the selection committee by contacting the Training Program in Emotion Research administrator, Jane Lambert, at If you are interested in participating in the program, be sure to discuss this with your prospective advisor.

According to federal funding regulations, in order to be eligible for support, all applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or lawfully admitted permanent residents. Individuals on temporary or students visas are not eligible for financial support.


This program is supported by NIMH grant 5T32MH018931, with additional funding from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School.