Research Associate in Theoretical Biological Physics

Imperial College London - Department of Life Sciences

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Salary scale: £36,800 - £44,220 per annum

Maximum starting salary £40,840 per annum

The Department of Life Sciences was the top ranked university department in the UK for research intensity in Biological Sciences in REF2014 (Times Higher Education), scoring 100% on our environment.

Applications are invited for a Research Associate to join Dr Robert Endres’ group in the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London. The aim of the post is to quantitatively model the collective feeding behaviour of C. elegans worms.

Collective animal behaviour is a striking example of emergent phenomena in nature, difficult to predict from microscopic details. Understanding the interaction rules that individuals use and how they give rise of dynamics of groups is hence a challenging problem. The successful candidate will continue our development of dynamical collective models using theoretical physics techniques based on high-throughput live-animal microscopy data from the Andre Brown lab at Imperial College.

Main duties & responsibilities:

  • To develop biophysical models of collective behaviour
  • To analyse data, conduct image analysis, and collaborate with biologists
  • To provide feedback, updated information and annotated code of undelivered work before end of contract
  • To upload Code on Github at the end of the contract
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings
  • To assist in the submission of publications to refereed journals and the writing of reports
  • To assist with student supervision and deliver some teaching in the systems-biology course delivered by Dr Robert Endres
  • To present findings to colleagues and at conferences
  • To write up the finding for submission to refereed journals
  • To take responsibility for organising resources and effective decision making in support of research

You must have

A PhD (or equivalent) in Physics, Maths, Bioengineering, or Computer Science

  • Experience in developing theoretical biophysical models
  • Excellent knowledge in statistical mechanics and other theoretical physics techniques
  • Experience in data and image analysis and statistics
  • Outstanding publication track record in biological physics or systems biology

You must also have:

  • Excellent skills in programming (both in higher-level languages such as Matlab or Mathematica, and lower-level languages such as C++)
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and ability to deal with a wide range of people
  • Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication
  • A high level of motivation and a creative approach to problem-solving
  • The ability to work independently and show initiative with research
  • The ability to follow protocols, learn new techniques in a precise and skilled manner
  • The ability to develop and apply new concepts
  • The ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines.

This is a fixed term position available for up to 12 months based at the South Kensington Campus

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £32,238 - £34,040 per annum.

Informal enquires can be made directly to Dr Robert Endres, Department of Life Sciences, Tel +44 2075949537; email

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact Laila Pastor by email at and refer the job reference number.

For technical queries during the application process, please contact

Closing date: 1 April 2018 (Midnight GMT)

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