Research Assistant (Sharott Group)

Closing Date

The MRC BNDU is seeking to appoint 1 or 2 candidates to Research Assistant posts that offer exciting opportunities for creative neuroscientists who enjoy collaborative, multidisciplinary work.

The main task for the successful candidate(s) will be to contribute to ongoing projects that use experimental animals. These projects all utilise high density electrophysiological recordings (tetrodes, neuropixels) in behaving rodents, with the aim of defining neuronal dynamics in forebrain circuits (particularly cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus) contributing to motor control and goal-directed behaviour. In many cases, closed-loop stimulation approaches will be used to manipulate these dynamics with a view to establishing causality and/or building towards novel therapeutic approaches for brain disorders. The candidates will contribute to different aspects of these projects, including training rodents to perform behavioural tasks, data acquisition, data curation and anatomical processing of neuronal tissue (sectioning, immunohistochemistry). The candidate(s) will work closely with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to advance these projects. For candidates with appropriate backgrounds (i.e. with existing programming or electronics experience), there will also be opportunities for contributing to data analysis and/or designing closed-loop systems. These posts would be ideally suited to early-career scientists that want extensive/competitive laboratory experience before applying for a PhD position. However, post-doctoral candidates and/or candidates that have worked primarily as research technicians will also be considered.

In addition to having a B.Sc. or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline (e.g. biomedical science, neuroscience, engineering), candidates should have a promising track record demonstrating their commitment to neuroscience research.

The post holder(s) will be part of the Sharott Group, and will be based at the MRC BNDU. The Group has a strong track record in studying the functional organisation of the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic networks in rodents and humans. The Group use transdisciplinary approaches to elucidate the substrates underlying activity dynamics in these brain circuits, employing innovative techniques to monitor and manipulate neurons and to determine their influence on behaviour. The proposed research will take full advantage of the intellectual environment, capital equipment, technical expertise and excellent infrastructure in place at the MRC BNDU.

These are full-time fixed-term posts of 12 months in the first instance, with an initial probationary period, to start as soon as possible. The posts are a University Grade 6 (06S) positions with a starting salaries of between £30,502 and £36,386 per annum.

The post holder(s) will be contractually required to undertake business critical work at the MRC BNDU, including within its Biomedical Services Facility, outside of core working days for the equivalent of 2 days per month. The post holder(s) will be given reasonable notice of this requirement. An additional premium payment of 6% of annual salary will be made as a monthly superannuable allowance for undertaking this on-demand work. Owing to the nature of this position, any offer of employment with the University will be subject to a satisfactory security screening.

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Professor Sharott.

Applications must be made via the University of Oxford’s online recruitment system, using Vacancy ID 164076

The closing date for applications for this post is 12 midday UK time on Wednesday 5th April 2023.

Interviews will be held as soon as possible thereafter.


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