Research Associate

University College London - Institute of Neurology

Duties and Responsibilities

Applications are invited for a Research Associate (Post-doc) in the Sobell Department, UCL Institute of Neurology. The post is funded by a Brain Research UK project awarded to Prof Sven Bestmann and Prof Nick Ward: Re-opening the critical period for plasticity after stroke with dose-controlled non-invasive brain stimulation.

The successful candidate will join a research group investigating motor recovery in stroke patients with upper limb impairment. Improving long-term outcomes in these patients by enhancing the effect of behavioural stroke therapies is an important clinical and scientific goal of high priority. Non-invasive brain stimulation, in particular transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), is thought to enhance behavioural stroke therapies through its capacity for promoting plasticity and relearning of motor ability. 

The project will use state-of-the-art techniques including current flow modelling and human electrophysiology to identify reliable physiological biomarkers for the impact of tDCS in stroke patients with upper limb impairment. The project will furthermore assess the specific behavioural processes underpinning recovery in these patients. This will provide critical proof-of-principle physiological and behavioural assessment whether tDCS can re-open the residual functional architecture in chronic stroke patients. Such demonstration will provide decisive for exploiting the capacity of tDCS to enhance learning after stroke. 

The post is available from 1st April 2018 and is funded by Brain Research UK to 31st March 2019 in the first instance. 

Key Requirements

Applicants must have a PhD in Neuroscience or related area, and must demonstrate expertise in non-invasive brain stimulation, motor learning and motor control, and/or stroke rehabilitation. Expertise in working with, and programming in, Matlab or Python, is essential and appointees will be expected to work with these software platforms. Good mathematical and statistical skills, an excellent academic track record with evidence of independent and creative work, strong English writing and communication skills, and an ability to work independently and as part of a team are also essential.

If the PhD has not yet been granted, the thesis must have been submitted to the degree-granting university by the start date. Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at research assistant Grade 6B (salary £30,316 - £31,967 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

Further Details

To apply for the vacancy, please click on the 'Apply Now' button below. 

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Mrs O Shapoval, HR Officer, Institute of Neurology, 23 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG (email: ion.hradmin@ucl.ac.uk).
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