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Research Assistant x 2 - Drosophila Connectomics Initiative (Fixed Term)

Department/Location: Department of Zoology

Salary: £25,298-£29,301

Reference: PF11070

Category: Research

Published: 23 December 2016

Closing date: 20 January 2017

Two research assistant posts are available in the newly established Drosophila connectomics group headed by Greg Jefferis and Matthias Landgraf. The positions are funded by a £3.25M Wellcome Trust collaborative award to the Department of Zoology. Start date is 13th February 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter. The research project is in collaboration with co-applicants from HHMI Janelia Research Campus in the US (Gerry Rubin, Davi Bock), the MRC LMB in Cambridge and the University of Oxford Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (Scott Waddell). The project will reconstruct neurons and their connections from a recently completed electron microscopy (EM) volume of a whole adult fly brain. This will enable a comprehensive understanding of the neural circuits basis of memory storage and retrieval. You will work in a highly collaborative team using web-based software to trace neuronal structures and connections. Sophisticated data analysis tools will be used to identify traced neurons and to analyse their organisational logic. Experienced senior staff will give full training in neuron tracing, data analysis and the required Drosophila neuroanatomy. We are looking for highly motivated individuals with a background in biological or physical/computational sciences and a long-term interest in understanding the circuit basis of brain function and behaviour. In exchange we will work to develop your research skills and scientific independence. You will be expected to contribute directly to scientific publications and to present your work at UK and international conferences. This is an opportunity to join at the very beginning of one of the first large scale connectomics efforts that will have a major impact on circuit neuroscience.

Essential Experience/Attributes

  • Relevant BSc, or equivalent, to a good level in an appropriate subject (e.g. neuroscience, biological sciences or computer science/physical sciences).
  • Basic understanding of neuroscience
  • Strong desire to understand circuit basis of brain function and behaviour
  • Good communication skills (written and oral).
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Attention to detail


  • Formal coursework in neuroscience
  • Prior research experience
  • Experience in analysing neural circuits
  • Experience working with electron microscopy data
  • Experience with Drosophila

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 24 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF11070 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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Further information

Posted on 09/01/2017

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