PhD position

Vacancy Reference Number
SIDB PhD position
Closing Date
19 Jun 2020
£15,235 per annum
University of Edinburgh, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
3,5 years
Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB) PhD Studentship 2020 Applications are invited for one 3.5 year full-time fully funded PhD studentship in the lab of Dr Gül?en Surmeli at the University of Edinburgh. The candidate will join our research program to investigate neural circuits for cognitive processes and how these are affected in disease. The PhD will explore key mechanisms for memory processing in the cortex and test hypotheses for how aberrant hippocampal function in autism spectrum disorders leads to deficits in behavior through altered representation of information in the neocortex. We will employ a variety of molecular as well as electrophysiological techniques to delineate the architecture of hippocampal-neocortical circuits. In addition head mounted miniature microscopes will be used to image activity in populations of cortical neurons in freely moving mice performing hippocampus dependent visio-spatial tasks. Results will help to achieve a mechanistic understanding of behavioural deficits in fragile X models in particular, and for validating approaches that could be applied more generally to other autism models. Learning opportunities include performing stereotaxic brain surgeries in mice, developing and using viral intervention tools for circuit mapping through optogenetics and fluorescent imaging, gaining skills to perform electrical and calcium recordings in behaving mice and analysis of large ensemble neuronal activity recordings. The exact range of techniques to be used will depend on the specific design of the project after discussions with the candidate. The ideal candidate is a motivated and self driven person with a quantitative mindset. Successful applicants should have, or expect to get, at least an upper 2nd class degree (or the foreign equivalent) also meet the entry requirements for admission to postgraduate programmes at the University of Edinburgh. Familiarity with computational and statistical methods is desirable. Funding This award provides an annual stipend of £15,235 per annum (amended annually in line with annual RCUK stipend percentage changes) plus fees at Home/EU level.

Further Information

The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 19th June 2020. Interviews will be held around 2 weeks after the deadline. The studentships will begin September 2020. Email Dr Beverly Roberts (SIDB Scientific Administrator, with any general queries.

Visit our page on applying

SIDB ( is a philanthropic Centre funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (

Contact Details

For more information and questions on the project please contact Dr Gül?en Surmeli