University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Postdoctoral Research Associate x 2: Drosophila Connectomics Research Group (Fixed Term)

Two Post-Doctoral Research Associate posts are available in the Drosophila Connectomics Group directed by Greg Jefferis and Matthias Landgraf in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge.

Applicants will work with very large volume electron-microscopy Drosophila connectomics data as part of a £6.7M Wellcome international collaborative award with HHMI Janelia Research Campus, the MRC LMB in Cambridge and the University of Oxford. This project will produce the first synaptic-resolution connectome for a whole adult Drosophila central nervous system (brain and nerve cord).

For at least one post the principal focus will be the development of open source tools for processing, annotation and analysis of connectomics data. This will include whole-brain scale analysis of multimodal features such as connectivity, morphology or cell ultrastructure. Of particular interest here are two related problems: systematic meta annotation (especially cell types) of new connectomics datasets, and across-dataset mapping for cross-validation and bootstrapping. This work feeds into the biological question of how stereotyped/variable brain wiring is (e.g. between sexes or across species). A background in neurobiology or a strong quantitative preparation with experience in bioinformatics/computer science will be essential. Prior experience with connectomics data is highly desirable. Our group has developed an international reputation in this area and our tools have now been used in dozens of published and in progress studies. There will also be opportunities in the near future to adapt these tools for mammalian connectomes. We will also enthusiastically consider applicants with a strong background in circuit neuroscience. Prior experience of connectome analysis and of Drosophila neural circuits will be highly desirable.

Successful candidates will join a team based in Zoology with 16 team members, carrying out data processing and computational analysis of neuronal reconstruction data. They will interact closely with a similar team in the US as well as experimental groups in Oxford (Scott Waddell) and Cambridge (Greg Jefferis). Candidates will need to be highly motivated and develop a good understanding of the nature of the data and the scientific aims of the project. This will be critical to setting priorities as the project develops. Close teamwork and a collaborative spirit will be essential, but team members will have increasing opportunities for scientific independence as their expertise develops. Candidates will report to a team leader based in Zoology and will be mentored by an experienced post-doc. There will be opportunities to contribute to training new team members as the group expands and to general project management, as well as to participate in public engagement activities.

The roles will be based on site in the department of Zoology, with hybrid working arrangements possible following agreement.

Please upload a copy of your CV (2 sides of A4 maximum) and a covering letter (2 sides of A4 maximum).

Interview dates: Interview between 14th and 20th July 2023 (may be conducted remotely).

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 30 September 2025 with a possibility of extension subject to project status and funding.

Applications are welcome from internal candidates who would like to apply for the role on the basis of a secondment from their current role in the University.

Flexible working requests will be considered.

We particularly welcome applications from women and candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our University.

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

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Anastasia Nezhentseva.

Email: Telephone: (0)1223 330117

Please quote reference PF36845 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