Job ID: 118500

Research Assistant – Investigating Neural Circuits of Spatial Orientation

Position: Research Assistant

Deadline: 30 April 2024

Employment Start Date: 2 September 2024

Contract Length: 1 year in the first instance

City: Cambridge

Country: United Kingdom

Institution: University of Cambridge

Department: Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN)


Applications are invited for a research assistant position in the lab of Dr. Sepiedeh Keshavarzi at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (, University of Cambridge.

The position involves investigating the organisation and function of neural circuits underlying spatial orientation and self-motion perception, funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project provides the opportunity to integrate behaviour, electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and circuit manipulation across thalamic and cortical networks involved in navigation, using the mouse model. For more information about the lab’s research questions and approaches, please visit


Key Experience and Competencies:

We are seeking a highly motivated individual with prior experience in cellular or systems neuroscience research.

Essential criteria include:

  • A first-class degree (or equivalent) in neuroscience, engineering, biology, or other relevant disciplines.
  • Proficient programming skills (Matlab, Python) for the control and analysis of behavioural and neurophysiological experiments.
  • A solid knowledge of neurobiology with critical thinking abilities.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both verbal and written.
  • A clear interest in the lab’s research program.

Preference will be given to candidates who additionally demonstrate:

  • Experimental expertise in any of the following techniques: electrophysiology, calcium imaging, quantitative animal behaviour, stereotactic surgery.
  • Willingness to pursue a PhD in our lab and apply to the department’s PhD program in 2024.


Role summary:

The role involves developing and conducting novel behavioural experiments to study spatial orientation abilities in mice, recording neural activity using electrophysiology and/or calcium imaging techniques, manipulating specific circuits and cell types with opto- and chemogenetics, as well as designing and performing data analysis.

The research assistant will join a multidisciplinary research environment, closely interacting with other circuit/systems neuroscience groups. Regular seminars held at the department and various scientific and networking events organised by the Cambridge Neuroscience Network will further provide excellent opportunities for scientific discussion and networking with fellow researchers and the wider neuroscience community.

How to Apply: 

Please register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online via this link:

Please submit a CV, including your overall grade for each higher education degree, and a cover letter addressing the following:

  • Your motivation for joining the lab.
  • How your research skills align with the job description.
  • Your research ambitions and career goals.

Please provide the contact details of two individuals who can serve as references. The application deadline is April 30, 2024. Please note that we will be reviewing applications on a regular basis. We reserve the right to close the position early once the available position is filled.

The post is available from September 2024 onwards for one year in the first instance.

Informal enquiries about the position can be made to Dr Sepiedeh Keshavarzi (