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Post-Doctoral Research Assistant/Associate in Behavioural Neuroscience

University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Closing date
Jul 15, 2022

Job Details

We are an internationally recognised behavioural neuroscience lab that investigates the prefrontal control of negative and positive emotion with an aim to understand the multi-determined nature of anxiety and depression. We use a wide range of neurobiological techniques including neuroimaging, chemogenetics, wireless recordings of cardiovascular activity, pharmacology and sophisticated cognitive testing in non-human primates.

We are looking for an intellectually curious, passionate and motivated postdoc to join a highly collaborative and enthusiastic group of researchers working on a project recently funded by the Medical Research Council. The aim of this project is to provide psychological, pharmacological and developmental insights into prefrontal circuits underlying the regulation of threat reactivity and negative biases in the common marmoset. This research will provide much needed insight into both the cortical networks that produce anxiety when dysregulated, but additionally, the neural substrates that underlie effective anxiolytic treatments. Results will constitute considerable advancement in the neuroscientific understanding of both emotional dysregulation and prefrontal function.

The ideal post-holder will be a behavioural/cognitive neuroscientist with computational modelling expertise and data-analysis skills.

The 3.5-year post is based at purpose-built facilities within the University of Cambridge. Applicants should either have, or will shortly be awarded a PhD in behavioural neuroscience or related disciplines. Prior work using drift diffusion and reinforcement learning models alongside experimental animal work is highly desirable.

To apply to this post, submit a CV, motivation letter detailing why you want to be part of this project and how this post will be a good stepping-stone for your career. We also need the contact details for two people who can provide a professional reference. We aim to hold Zoom interviews for shortlisted candidates in early July.

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The University of Cambridge is one of the world's leading academic centres. It comprises 150 faculties and departments, together with a central administration and other institutions. Our institutions, museums and collections are a world-class resource for researchers, students and members of the public representing one of the country’s highest concentrations of internationally important collections. There is much more information about the University at which we hope you will find helpful. The Department of Physiology Development and Neuroscience has an outstanding record of achievement in both Research and Teaching. In the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise the Department was submitted with Biochemistry, Genetics, the Gurdon Institute, Pharmacology, Plant Sciences, the Sainsbury Laboratory, the Stem Cell Institute and Zoology with over 97% of eligible staff included. Of the work submitted across the nine departments and institutes 87% was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent. In the latest formal review, our teaching was highly commended for its quality and range. The joint Heads of Department are Professors Sarah Bray and Bill Colledge. The Department includes: 46 academic officers, 10 independent researchers, 70 post-doctoral researchers, 77 support staff and 6 academic-related staff. We provide teaching for 600 medical students, 150 veterinary students, 320 science students, 125 third-year students and 100 graduate students. Research in the department is focused on four main themes; Cellular and Systems Physiology, Development and Reproductive Biology, Neuroscience and Form and Function. The research interests of individual academic staff often span more than one theme. There are strong collaborative links with the Clinical School, the Veterinary School, the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair and MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. The main research interests of the members of the Department are set out on our web site The Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience is a friendly and welcoming Department with an active post-doc community. The contract research community are represented by Postdoctoral Representatives and a Postdoctoral Liaison Officer from the Academic Staff. The Postdoctoral Liaison Officer and the Postdoctoral Representatives are energetic and effective in supporting and developing a sense of community amongst the postdoctoral staff. A Post-doc Committee was formed in April 2014 to further strengthen the representation of Post-docs within the Department. There are opportunities for contract research staff to be trained in and deliver all forms of teaching, not only supervising and demonstrating but sometimes lecturing. This training has been further enhanced recently by a series of Masterclasses and Techniques Colloquia which were organised by PDN post-docs. There is also an annual Post-doc symposium.

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