Research Associate

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
9 Dec 2021
£33,309 - £40,927 per annum
Adaptive Brain Lab, Cambridge
1 year (possible extension to 3 years)

2 post-doctoral Research Associate positions in Human and Animal Neuroimaging are available to work with Prof Zoe Kourtzi at the Adaptive Brain Lab, University of Cambridge, UK (

The positions will focus on research activity at the core of a new Wellcome Trust funded Collaborative award that brings together a cross-disciplinary team of international experts to investigate the role of GABAergic inhibition in regulating brain network dynamics for adaptive behaviour. Our work programme bridges work across species (mice, humans) and scales (local circuits, global networks) to uncover the network and neurochemical mechanisms that support learning and brain plasticity. Our work capitalises on cutting-edge methodological developments in our team: a) human and animal ultra high-field MR Spectroscopy and functional brain imaging (Emir lab, Purdue; Kourtzi lab, Cambridge), b) neuroengineering tools including optical GABA sensors (Looger lab: UCSD) and electrophoretic drug delivery (Malliaras-Proctor lab, Cambridge), cellular imaging, optogenetics, electrophysiology neuropharmacology (Paulsen, Dalley, Poort labs, Cambridge; Rusakov lab: UCL).

This international collaborative network provides unique opportunities for cross-disciplinary training in innovative methodologies at the interface of animal and human neuroscience, neurotechnology and computational science. Successful applicants will be integrated in a diverse collaborative team and will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and retreats across the network as well as exchange visits across labs to facilitate cross-disciplinary training and collaborative working.

Research in the Adaptive Brain lab aims to understand how humans of all ages (healthy and patients with neurocognitive disorders) translate sensory experience into complex decisions and adaptive behaviours by taking into account previous experience and learning. We address this challenge using an interdisciplinary approach that combines ultra high-field neuroimaging (e.g. 7T brain imaging: MR Spectroscopy, laminar fMRI,) in combination with computational modelling (Bayesian modelling, reinforcement learning, machine learning), human electrophysiology (EEG) and interventional methods (neuropharmacology, TMS, TDCs). We apply these techniques to study the young and ageing brain and understand adaptive behaviours in health and neurocognitive disorders.

The successful applicant will receive multi-disciplinary research training at the interface between human and animal neuroscience and computational sciences.

Applicants must hold a PhD or have submitted the PhD thesis at the time of appointment, and should have a strong academic track record, in a relevant area (e.g., Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, medicine, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, Medicine). Programming skills are highly desirable and experience with brain imaging preferable. Above all, they will demonstrate enthusiasm to contribute new knowledge, openness to learn new approaches and willingness to contribute to a multidisciplinary team across sectors (academia, industry).

Informal enquiries should be directed to Prof Zoe Kourtzi (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance with potential for extension up to 3 years.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a basic disclosure (criminal records check) check, a security check and an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

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

The deadline for applications is Thursday 9th December 2021.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please quote reference PJ28902 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.

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