University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant 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 Research Assistant will support various projects in the lab, combining 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 setting up and controlling behavioural and neural recording experimental setups to study spatial orientation abilities in mice, as well as collecting and analysing neurophysiological and behavioural data. The postholder 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.

Exceptional candidates will have the opportunity to take charge of an independent, designated research project, and receive support to develop their research assistantship into a PhD program.

Key Experience and Competencies:

We are seeking a highly motivated and skilled research assistant with prior experience in cellular and/or systems neuroscience research. Candidates should hold (or be close to receiving) a first degree (or higher) in a relevant subject, such as neuroscience, biology, biomedical engineering, or a related discipline, with outstanding academic performance. They should also demonstrate a strong knowledge of the field of neuroscience. It is highly desirable for candidates to have experimental skills in one or more of the following techniques: electrophysiology (in vivo or in vitro), calcium imaging, quantitative animal behaviour, opto- or chemogenetics, and stereotactic rodent surgery. Additionally, candidates should possess strong programming skills (Matlab, Python) for the design, control, and analysis of behavioural and neurophysiological experiments.

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 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 application deadline is June 20, 2023. We will conduct interviews on a rolling basis for shortlisted candidates until the end of June and aim to make the final decision by the first week of July.

The post is available from August 2023 onwards for one year in the first instance with the possibility for renewal.

Salary: £28,929 - £33,348. 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 (

Please quote reference PM36808 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