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Research Assistant/Associate Connectomics

Newcastle University

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Salary: £31,396 to £44,263 per annum.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 27th February 2024
Closes: 12th March 2024
Job Ref: 26775

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

The Role
We are looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral research associate or research assistant with an understanding of machine learning and AI to join our team (Newcastle, Sussex, UCL).

This project will be led by Dr Claudia Racca at Newcastle University, Prof. Kevin Staras at University of Sussex, and Dr Arnd Roth at UCL.

You will be based in Newcastle and will be involved in our ongoing highly multidisciplinary neuroscience research which exploits ground-breaking fluorescence and ultrastructural imaging-based approaches to directly measure the nanoscale organization of synaptic activity and synaptic weights in connectomes (Simon et al. 2021, bioRxiv doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.07.451278).

This project is exciting and ambitious and will focus specifically on the development of powerful AI-based analysis tools to characterize cortical image stacks obtained by high-resolution 3D-electron microscopy.

A key objective is to reveal fundamental relationships between synaptic structure and function. The successful candidate will liaise with and visit the laboratory of Dr Jan Funke at HHMI Janelia Research Campus (USA), our partner on the project, to receive specific assistance, advice, and direction in building and improving the AI and machine learning tools that we are developing in our research program (Sheridan et al. 2023, Nature Methods 20:295; https://www.janelia.org/lab/funke-lab).

The project will provide outstanding opportunities to gain leading experience in a cutting-edge discipline, learn to handle and analyse big data, apply powerful machine learning tools, and contribute to the written and oral communication of the key findings.

Collaboration is at the heart of this project, and you'll have the opportunity to network with likeminded individuals across the world. There will be opportunities to travel to Janelia as well as to London and Sussex, so flexibility and mobility are key, but we can also offer flexibility around your working pattern.

Who are we looking for?

You will be a highly talented and driven researcher, with a solid background in computational/mathematical skills, strong programming skills for data analysis and, ideally, experience in machine learning techniques as well as, preferably, experience in neuroscience.

You will also have a track record of writing, publishing scientific articles, and presentation at international conferences and workshops.

You will work under the direction of all three investigators and Dr Funke full time until 13th August 2025 on a fixed-term contract. The vacancy may be extended depending on the start date of the successful candidate; however, this is subject to change.

If you have any questions prior to applying, please contact Dr Claudia Racca claudia.racca@ncl.ac.uk, Prof. Kevin Staras k.staras@sussex.ac.uk or Dr Arnd Roth arnd.roth@ucl.ac.uk.

Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/.

Find out more about our Research Institutes here: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/research/institutes/.

As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles. These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.

We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
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