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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Circuit/Systems Neuroscience - Investigating Neural Circuits for Spatial Orientation (Fixed Term)


Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate position in the lab of Dr. Sepiedeh Keshavarzi at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (https://www.pdn.cam.ac.uk/), University of Cambridge.

The position involves investigating the neural circuits underlying spatial orientation and is funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project provides the opportunity to combine behaviour, electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and circuit manipulation across the thalamic and cortical networks involved in navigation, using the mouse as an animal model. Further information about our research questions and approaches can be found on our lab website at https://www.keshavarzilab.com/.

Key Experience and Competencies:

We are seeking a highly motivated researcher with prior experience in circuit/systems neuroscience research. Applicants should hold (or be close to receiving) a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or related disciplines.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Experimental expertise in electrophysiology (in vivo or brain slice) or calcium imaging (in vivo).
  • High level of competence in data analysis and analytical skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of circuit/systems neurobiology and evident interest in the lab's research program.

Preference will be given to candidates who additionally demonstrate the following desirable skills and achievements:

  • Proficient programming skills in Python (or alternatively Matlab).
  • Expertise in analysing large-scale neurophysiological/behavioural data.
  • Expertise in designing, building and controlling bespoke experimental setups for behavioural studies and neural recording.
  • Expertise in developing quantitative behavioural tasks for rodents.
  • Expertise in circuit manipulation techniques (opto- and chemogenetics).
  • A strong track record of research output and achievements, including high-quality publications, preprints and international conference proceedings.

Role Summary:

The role involves developing and conducting novel behavioural experiments to study spatial orientation abilities in mice, recording neural activity using electrophysiology and/or calcium imaging techniques, manipulating specific circuits and cell types with opto- and chemogenetics, as well as designing and performing data analysis. In addition to research activities, the postholder is expected to present research findings at conferences, contribute to writing articles, and provide training and supervision to students and other junior lab members.

Research Environment and Training Opportunities:

We are a welcoming and inclusive group, strongly committed to providing mentoring, training, and support for the career development of all lab members. The postdoctoral fellow will join a multidisciplinary research environment, closely interacting with other circuit/systems neuroscience groups studying sensory processing and cognitive functions. The regular symposiums and seminars held at the Department and various scientific and networking events organised by the Cambridge Neuroscience Network will further provide excellent opportunities for scientific discussion and networking with fellow researchers and the wider neuroscience community at the University.

Training opportunities in experimental and computational approaches new to the applicant will be available. Additionally, regular interactions with the principal investigator will ensure close and continuous career mentorship and support, along with scientific supervision. The position also offers possibilities for collaboration with hardware and software engineers and computational neuroscientists, as well as support for attending international conferences and workshops.

How to Apply:

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

Please submit a CV, including a list of your publications, along with a cover letter. In your cover letter, please address the following points:

  • How your research skills align with the job description.
  • Your reasons for wanting to join the lab.
  • Your future research ambitions and career goals.

Additionally, please provide the contact details of two individuals who can serve as references.

The post is available from February 2024 onwards for an initial three-year term, with the possibility for extension.

Informal enquiries about the position can be made to Dr Sepiedeh Keshavarzi (sk2244@cam.ac.uk).

Salary: £36,024 - £44,263. The starting salary will be within this range depending on skills and experience.

Closing Date: 15 January 2024. Please note that we will be reviewing applications on a regular basis. We reserve the right to close the position early once the available position is filled.

To learn more about this position and what the University offers please see the Further Particulars.

Please quote reference PM36807 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 Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience particularly encourages women and candidates from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background to apply for this vacancy.

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

Further information

Apply online