University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate (Full or part-time): Drosophila Neuroanatomy Biocurator (Fixed Term)

We are seeking to recruit a new member to our team at the University of Cambridge that contributes to two Drosophila databases: Virtual Fly Brain (VFB; and FlyBase ( If you are looking for a fulfilling, fly-related career away from the bench, and enjoy the challenge of organizing complex data and presenting it clearly and concisely, then this is the job for you!

Virtual Fly Brain is a resource that helps Drosophila neuroscientists map and visualize neuronal circuits, and find the experimental reagents to manipulate the circuits to reveal their role in perception, learning, memory and complex behaviours. The successful applicant will aid this process in three ways: 1) by annotating the expression of Gal4 drivers within the adult brain, using data from large scale datasets and the primary research literature; 2) assisting in the integration of data from single-cell RNA sequencing datasets; and 3) leading the effort to assess the functionality of improvements to the website, by recruiting members of the local neuroscience community and working with them and other VFB members to perform usability testing of the website. Much of the curated data will also be integrated into FlyBase, the primary community resource for Drosophila genetic, genomic and functional data. You will interact day to day with the rest of the expert scientist-curators in the Virtual Fly Brain and FlyBase team, housed in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, and VFB colleagues in the Cambridge area and Edinburgh. Members of VFB and FlyBase will provide appropriate training.

Essential skills/experience: - a biological sciences degree, or preferably a PhD for appointment at Research Associate level - post-graduate research experience in neuroscience and/or Drosophila - the ability to identify and organize specified data - the ability to work efficiently (i.e both quickly and accurately) - good communication skills, including excellent written and spoken English - strong self-motivation as well as the ability to work in a team

Useful skills/experience include: - familiarity with Drosophila neuroanatomy - experience with databases and ontologies - knowledge of molecular genetics - experience with Unix and Python

  • Fixed-term: the length of appointment will vary depending on level of appointment and whether part-time or full-time, with the maximum limit of tenure being 30 September 2021 in the first instance. Funding beyond that date depends on a successful grant renewal.

Informal enquiries to Prof. Nick Brown ( or Dr Gillian Millburn (

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure you upload your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are suited to the position.

Closing date for applications: 2 June 2019. We anticipate interviewing shortlisted candidates the week starting 10 June 2019.

Please quote reference PM19005 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online