University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Investigating Neural Circuits for Spatial Orientation in the Rodent Brain

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate position in the lab of Dr. Sepiedeh Keshavarzi to investigate the organisation and function of neural circuits underlying spatial orientation, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

About the Lab:

The Keshavarzi lab (Brain Circuits for Sensation and Cognition) has recently opened in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN) at the University of Cambridge. We investigate the neural underpinnings of spatial orientation and self-motion. Our research aims to understand the processing and integration of sensory signals from the body and the surrounding environment within thalamocortical and intracortical circuits involved in navigation. We explore how these circuits contribute to orientation computations, perception, and behaviour.

Further information about our research questions and approaches can be found on our lab website at

Role Summary:

The project combines behaviour, electrophysiology, calcium imaging, viral tracing, and circuit manipulation across the anterior thalamus and cortical networks involved in navigation, using the mouse as an animal model. The role involves developing and conducting novel behavioural experiments to study spatial orientation abilities in mice, recording neural activity using in vivo electrophysiology and calcium imaging, manipulating activity in specific circuits and cell types with opto- and chemogenetics, as well as designing and performing the analysis of acquired data. The postdoctoral fellow will join an inclusive, supportive and multi-disciplinary research environment and closely interact with other circuit/systems neuroscience groups studying sensory processing and spatial navigation. There will be opportunities to collaborate with hardware and software engineers and computational neuroscientists. 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.

Key Experience and Competencies:

We are seeking a highly driven and skilled candidate with prior experience in cellular and/or systems neuroscience research and excellent verbal and written communication skills. Candidates should hold (or be close to receiving) a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or related disciplines. Strong experimental skills in one, and ideally more, of the following techniques are required: electrophysiology (in vivo or in vitro), in vivo calcium imaging, quantitative animal behaviour, opto- or chemogenetics. Additionally, candidates should have solid programming skills (Matlab, Python) for the design, control and analysis of behavioural and neurophysiological experiments.

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 and a cover letter highlighting how your research experience and skills match the job description, as well as your future research ambitions and career goals, and reasons for joining our lab and working on this project. Please provide the contact details of two individuals who can serve as references.

The post is available from September 2023 onwards for an initial two-year term, with the possibility for renewal.

Salary: £35,308 - £43,155. The starting salary will be within this range depending on skills and experience.

Informal enquiries about the position can be made to Dr Sepiedeh Keshavarzi (

Closing Date: 30 June 2023. We will be reviewing applications for this position regularly. We will conduct interviews on a rolling basis for shortlisted candidates until the first week of July and aim to make the final decision by mid-July.

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