Job ID: 107186

Research assistant – olfactory coding and associative memory

Position: Technician

Deadline: 31 March 2023

Employment Start Date: 1 September 2023

Contract Length: 3 years (extension possible)

City: Sheffield

Country: United Kingdom

Institution: University of Sheffield

Department: School of Biosciences


Why are brains the way they are? Do neural circuits function in an “optimal” way, and if so, in what sense are they optimal? How do brains encode sensory information and form associative memories?

We are seeking a research assistant to study these fundamental questions in neuroscience in the olfactory system of the fruit fly Drosophila. You will join Dr Andrew Lin’s laboratory and contribute to the group’s research on neuronal plasticity mechanisms that underlie associative memory and the maintenance of optimal sensory coding, in the Drosophila mushroom body (the fly’s olfactory memory centre).

You will carry out experiments both independently and as part of a team, using a range of techniques including: in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, electrophysiology, fly genetics, behavioural experiments, computational modelling and building custom equipment (the exact project can be tailored to your background and interests). You will also play a crucial role in supporting the daily operations of the laboratory, for instance by providing technical assistance, maintaining records of reagents and Drosophila stocks, and overall laboratory organization.

You should have a good honours degree or equivalent experience, excellent communication skills and an ability to work in a team. We welcome self-motivated, innovative, and creative applicants from a range of academic backgrounds, including biology, neuroscience, experimental psychology, computer science, physics and engineering.

Salary: £28,762 – £33,314 per annum with potential to progress to £36,386 with exceptional contribution

This position is for 3 years in the first instance (extension possible subject to funding), starting 1 September 2023. An earlier or later start date may be possible – please discuss with Dr. Lin.