Research Fellow (Sainsbury Wellcome Centre): neurophysiological basis of memory and the formation of spatial representations

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
10 Nov 2019
£35,965 - £43,470 per annum
The post is funded for two years in the first instance, potentially renewable for another two years.

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre (SWC) commenced research operations in Spring 2016 bringing 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 Barry, Burgess and Cacucci labs seek to understand the neural mechanism supporting the acquisition of information and how it is processed to form and update internal representations of the world.  The labs focus on neural representations of space found in the hippocampus and associated brain regions.  In the context of the current project, these problems are approached by recording activity in large ensembles of neurons while rodents perform simple spatial tasks in real and virtual environments - in conjunction, opto / chemogenetic techniques provide a means to manipulate neural activity.

The primary role of the Research Fellow (RF) will be to carry out research on the neurophysiological basis of memory and the formation of spatial representations.The research will involve recording the activity of large populations of neurons from the hippocampus and cortical regions (e.g. mEC) while animals are engaged in tasks and during subsequent reactivations.  These tasks will include the use of mouse virtual reality.  Recording methods will include NeuroPixel probes, and two- and three-photon calcium imaging of identified neural populations. The RF will assist in the design and running of experimental procedures, analysing neural spike and local field potential data, writing up results, and should have a desire to publish in prestigious journals.

The post is funded for two years in the first instance, potentially renewable for another two years.

Key Requirements

The successful candidate will hold a PhD in Neuroscience or a related field (or will have submitted their final thesis before the employment start date), have practical experience in behavioural neuroscience with proven knowledge of research techniques and methodologies, be able to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in the subject area and evidence completed research. Competence in electrophysiological single-unit recordings and experience of quantitative behavioural assays and testing of animals are essential. Excellent oral and written communication skills, demonstrable ability to present complex information, and proven ability to analyse and write up data are also essential along with a commitment to high-quality research and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently.

For more information and to apply, please click here. 

Contact Details

For queries regarding the vacancy or the application process, please contact the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre HR team,, or +44 (0) 20 3108 8011.