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One or more positions exist for a Research Assistant/Associate, in the Department of Engineering, to work on a collaborative project between the labs of Máté Lengyel at the Computational and Biological Learning Lab, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge and Nathalie Rochefort at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

The post holder will be located in Central Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK. The project studies the neural representation of perceptual uncertainty in mouse primary visual cortex and and ties together several threads of research recently developed in our labs, based on the following key publications (note that several are collaborative between our groups):

  • Koblinger Á, Fiser J and Lengyel M. Representations of uncertainty: where art thou? Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 38:150¿162, 2021.
  • Orbán G, Berkes P, Fiser J and Lengyel M. Neural variability and sampling-based probabilistic representations in the visual cortex. Neuron 92:530-543, 2016.
  • Padamsey Z, Katsanevaki D, Dupuy N, Rochefort NL. Neocortex saves energy by reducing coding precision during food scarcity. Neuron 110:280-296.e10, 2022.

The key responsibilities and duties 

  • undertaking basic research, formulating research questions and pursuing them using mathematical modelling and numerical simulations
  • making use of standard research techniques and methods, as well as developing new ones
  • conducting literature and database searches
  • analysing and interpreting the results of own research and generate original ideas based on outcomes
  • continuing to update knowledge and develop skills
  • assisting with teaching-related activities
  • liaising with colleagues and students on routine matters
  • making internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding and forming relationships for future collaboration
  • planning own day-to-day research activity
  • contributing to the planning of research projects

About you

The successful candidate(s) will have

  • a strong quantitative background
  • demonstrable interest in theoretical and systems neuroscience
  • obtained (or be close to the completion of) a PhD or equivalent in systems neuroscience, computational neuroscience, computational cognitive science, physics, mathematics, computer science, machine learning, engineering or a related field.

Preference will be given to candidates with

  • previous experience in computational neuroscience, especially with model-based analyses of neural and/or behavioural data
  • hands-on experience with how experimental data is collected in mice performing perceptual decision-making tasks
  • demonstrable interest in Bayesian theories of neural computation
  • sufficient programming skills to run numerical simulations and use large-scale optimization packages.

Interviews will be conducted via Zoom.

Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience). Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will be appointed at Research Assistant level, which will be amended to Research Associate once the PhD has been awarded.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

How to apply

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

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) including a publication list 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 submit your application by midnight on the closing date.

If you have any questions about this vacancy Prof Lengyel may be contacted, for queries of a technical nature related to the role or the application process, please email the CBL group administrator at cbl-enquiries@eng.cam.ac.uk. Please quote reference NM42012 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. The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.