University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term)

A postdoctoral position is available to study the neural mechanisms for food reward and reward-based decisions with functional MRI in humans in the research group of Fabian Grabenhorst, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. The candidate is expected to hold a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology or a closely related field. Candidates without a PhD will also be considered if they have a strong background in a relevant research field and would be appointed as a Research Assistant. There may be a possibility to apply for post-graduate study at Cambridge. Anyone interested in this route should email Dr Grabenhorst at

Our work investigates neural signals underlying the processing of rewards, in particular sensory food components, and related behavioural processes, including value-based decision-making, reinforcement learning, and social interactions. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and quantitative behavioural testing in human volunteers. Our human imaging work is informed by closely related single-neuron recordings in behaving animals, which we conduct in parallel to the human work. We aim to relate fMRI and single-neuron data with biologically realistic computational models. Our projects benefit from collaborations with experimental and computational neuroscientists in Cambridge and abroad, in particular the group of Wolfram Schultz with which we are associated. Relevant recent publications include: Grabenhorst et al., eLife 2016; Zangemeister et al., Current Biology, 2016; Hernadi et al., Nature Neuroscience, 2015; Grabenhorst and Rolls, Human Brain Mapping 2014.

Postdoctoral candidates should have published experience in human fMRI, related human imaging techniques, or human behavioural testing. Programming experience in Matlab is essential. Additional knowledge in neuroeconomics, reinforcement learning, animal behavioural neurophysiology or computational neuroscience would be an asset, as is experience with quantitative behavioural testing, multivariate fMRI analysis and regression models. Training will be provided in all areas necessary for successful project completion.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a security check.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your full Curriculum Vitae (CV) including a list of relevant publications and a half page description of research experience specific to the post (including computer programming) and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 6 August 2017.

Please quote reference PM12591 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online