Research Fellow/ Senior Research Fellow
University College London
The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre (SWC) brings together world-leading scientists to investigate how brain circuits process information to generate perception, form memories and guide behaviour. Developed through the vision and partnership of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and Wellcome, and with substantial investment from these partners, the mission of the SWC is to generate experimentally testable theories of brain function. The Centre will comprise around 14 highly interdisciplinary experimental research groups accommodated in a new, purpose-designed building, offering an outstanding and unparalleled research environment. SWC scientists use a broad spectrum of the latest advances in molecular and cellular biology, imaging, electrophysiology and behavioural techniques and enjoy state-of-the-art research laboratories, cutting-edge scientific equipment, technologically-advanced prototyping and fabrication laboratories and custom in-house high-performance computing facilities. The Harris Lab is interested in one of Biology’s biggest mysteries - why do brains need to sleep? We investigate single cell and neural circuit changes during sleep, with a focus on how these changes impact both neural computation and energy use, allowing us to wake up each morning with brains that are increasingly optimised for our environment. We work with mice, using a combination of electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques alongside olfactory behavioural paradigms to study changes in learning, memory and sensory processing across arousal states.
About the role:
We are looking for an excellent Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, who has experience with in vivo electrophysiology, to join the Stephenson-Jones Lab at the SWC. The goal of this project is to determine how dopaminergic prediction errors are calculated. The project will focus on the circuit and cell types used to calculate action prediction errors, novel movementbased dopa minergic teaching signals. The applicant will use intersectional genetic strategies, in vitro circuit mapping, fiber photometry and Neuropixel probe recordings to test theoretical models for prediction error calculation.
We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with experience with in vivo electrophysiology or optogenetics (or both). You will have excellent communication skills with the ability to write for publication and present research proposals. A dedication to teamwork and collaboration are essential along with strong organisational skills. Candidates wishing to be considered for a grade 8 post should have experience of supervising a small team of scientists and/or PhD students. Please specify in your application which grade you would like to be considered for.
What we offer:
The SWC offers staff an award-winning work environment in the heart of Fitzrovia with an onsite brasserie, access to lockers and changing fa cilities, secure bicycle storage, and access to pleasant outdoor spaces. The Centre also offers the full range of UCL staff benefits, including a generous annual leave entitlement, occupational pension schemes, excellent family-friendly policies such as occupational shared parental pay, a work-life balance policy, and a range of financial benefits such as a season ticket loan scheme and staff discounts.
Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion:
As London’s Global University, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation, and we want our community to represent the diversity of the world’s talent. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where we all belong. We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in UCL’s workforce. These include people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds; disabled people; LGBTQI+ peop le; and for our Grade 9 and 10 roles, women. The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia. SWC is delighted to have received an Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2021. We stand by our commitment to positive action to improve equality and accessibility in the workplace. We will provide reasonable adjustments to enable people to work and flourish with us. SWC is proud to uphold both UCL’s Dignity at Work and Work-Life Balance policies. As Centre we commit to fostering a positive cultural climate where all staff and students can thrive and and actively support Wellbeing@UCL, UCL community, supported by our Wellbeing.