Job ID: 116369

Postdoctoral Researcher in neurophysiology of olfaction (2 positions)

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 26 September 2023

Contract Length: Initially 1 year, with possible extension to 3 years

City: Canberra

Country: Australia

Institution: John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University

Department: Eccles Institute of Neuroscience


Two positions are available to work in the laboratory of Prof John Bekkers, Eccles Institute of Neuroscience, John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Canberra.

The successful appointees will work on fundamental questions about how the brain processes and remembers sensory information, using the primary olfactory (piriform) cortex as a model system.  Projects include the use of a miniature endoscope to image olfactory plasticity in behaving mice, and the application of ‘in vivo’ patch clamping and 2-photon microscopy to study olfactory coding and dendritic electrogenesis.

  • Fantastic entry level opportunity to grow your academic career
  • An outstanding research environment with access to expert colleagues and the latest techniques in cellular and systems neuroscience
  • Excellent remuneration and benefits packages including 17% superannuation contributions and generous leave entitlements
  • On campus childcare facilities
  • Support network and mentoring program for early career academics

Classification: Academic Level A

Salary package: $78,940 – $99,083 per annum plus 17% superannuation

Term: 2 x full-time, fixed-term positions, each initially for 1 year with the possibility of extension (total duration of up to 3 years)

Application site:  then search for job number: 551033

Direct link:

Closing date: 26 Sep 2023

The Environment

ANU is Australia’s leading university, with more subjects in the world top 20 than any other Australian institution (QS World University Rankings 2023).  The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), located on the ANU campus, is Australia’s national medical research institute.  The Eccles Institute of Neuroscience, based at JCSMR, honours the name of Sir John Eccles, whose Nobel Prize-winning work at JCSMR elucidated the physiology of synapses.  Eccles’ legacy lives on in the form of present-day excellence in cellular and systems neuroscience at ANU.  Research in the Eccles Institute uses the full range of modern techniques to address fundamental questions about synaptic transmission, synaptic integration, neuronal development, and the processing of sensory information.  Translational work encompasses a variety of disorders, including epilepsy, autism and eye diseases. There are ample opportunities for cross-campus collaborations with psychologists, computer scientists, physicists, chemists and philosophers, generating a rich and vibrant environment for advanced research in the brain sciences.

The Positions

The positions are in the laboratory of Professor John Bekkers in the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience, JCSMR.  Both positions are generously funded by grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC).  The successful appointees will work on fundamental questions about how the brain processes and remembers sensory information, using the primary olfactory (piriform) cortex as a model system.  One project will use a head-mounted ‘miniscope’ to image olfactory plasticity in behaving mice.  Another will use 2-photon microscopy and ‘in vivo’ patch clamping to study dendritic electrogenesis and olfactory coding in anaesthetised mice.  The Bekkers laboratory is well equipped with ‘in vivo’ and ‘in vitro’ electrophysiology and imaging rigs, viral injection setups, a cell culture facility, and free access to multiphoton and confocal microscopes as well as a behavioural suite.  JCSMR provides core facilities for services that include animal breeding, generation of transgenic mice, sequencing, protein synthesis, flow cytometry, electron microscopy and bioinformatics.

For further information about this position, please contact Prof John Bekkers at

The University actively encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For more information on employment opportunities, contact our Indigenous Employment Consultant via:

ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. For more information about staff equity at ANU, visit

About You

Our ideal candidate will be a motivated individual with a passion for understanding how the brain works.  You will thrive on performing challenging experiments, developing critical hypotheses, and testing your ideas with rigorous analysis.

To be successful in the role, it is essential to demonstrate that you have:

  • A PhD in neuroscience, preferably in the area of cellular or systems neuroscience
  • A strong track record of research achievement, evidenced by papers published in peer-review journals
  • Demonstrated experience in the key concepts and techniques of cellular and/or systems neuroscience, ideally with skills in some or all of the following areas: electrophysiology, functional imaging, animal surgery, computer programming
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • An ability to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds

If you have a desire to conduct world-leading neuroscience research, enjoy working in a collaborative team environment and are a creative thinker, then we would welcome an application from you.

Applicant Information

In order to apply for this role please make sure that you upload the following documents:

  • A statement addressing the selection criteria (available under the application link).
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV) which includes the names and contact details of at least three referees (preferably including a current or previous supervisor). If your CV does not include referees you can complete these online when prompted in the application form.

Applications which do not address the selection criteria may not be considered for the position.

Please note: The successful candidate must have rights to live and work in Australia and will be required to undergo a background check during the recruitment process.  An offer of employment is conditional on satisfactory results.

Application site:  then search for job number: 551033

Direct link:

Closing date: 26 Sep 2023

Further information about this position is available on the application site.

Alternatively, please contact John Bekkers on