IvyTies Academic Job

NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY - NTNU

Trondheim, Norway

Application deadline : 2021-01-14

Email :  ole.k.indergard@ntnu.no

Summary

Type of job opening :PhD

Subject Area(s) :Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health, Other Health & Social Care, Life sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics, Social Sciences, Psychology

Job Description

Description of the project and the job

We are looking for 3 postdoctoral candidates and 1 PhD candidate in neural circuits-oriented computationally-inspired behavioral neurophysiology. The 3:1 postdoc:PhD ratio may change depending on applicants’ qualifications.

Three of the four successful candidates will perform large-scale neural population recordings and cell-specific interventions in hippocampal-entorhinal regions of freely moving rats or mice, using either the latest generation of high-site-count Neuropixels silicon probes or calcium imaging with portable 2-photon miniscopes. Both technologies have been adopted successfully in the lab and are under further development. The Moser lab is a member of the international Neuropixels consortium and is also involved in the development of light-weight 2-photon endoscopes for rapid multiplane imaging and perturbation in volumes of entorhinal-hippocampal cortex. Projects seek to identify computational algorithms in thousands of simultaneously recorded neurons with specific identity in neural networks with known functional connectivity. The overall objective is to understand the fundamental computations of mammalian circuits for space, time and memory.

While the focus of the 3 positions above is on freely moving animals, the 4th position will be reserved for a candidate with experience and/or interest in patch-clamp studies in brain slices. This candidate will use state-of-the-art methods to map connectivity between modules and clusters of neurons with specific functional properties or developmental origins.

The work plan for the 4 positions is part of a larger project under the objective of understanding entorhinal-hippocampal neural network dynamics. The project has partial funding from a theoretical-experimental ERC Synergy grant (2021-26) aimed at testing, in large-scale population data, core predictions of continuous attractor network models. Successful candidates involved in the Synergy project will interact closely with theorists working on such models in Yoram Burak’s group at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Applicants should have experimental skills, steady hands, and familiarity with, or capacity for, analysis of large-scale neural recordings. Experience with data collection in freely moving rodents, using state-of-the-art molecular tools, will be clearly advantageous but is not required and may be balanced by a strong analytical and mathematical background. Coding experience is essential.

Desired Qualifications

Required selection criteria

For the postdoctoral positions: Completion of a doctoral degree (recognized as the equivalent to a Norwegian Ph.D.) in neuroscience, psychology, biology or medicine, computational science, physics, or mathematics.

For the PhD position: Completion of a master’s degree or equivalent, with a strong academic background in the same subjects as for the postdoc position, with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale.

Excellent communication skills in English are imperative, both orally and written, and must be proven. For the postdoc positions, the candidate must have a track record of paper writing.

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Applicants should have experimental skills, steady hands, and familiarity with analysis of large-scale neural recordings. Experience with data collection in freely moving rodents, using state-of-the-art molecular tools, will be clearly advantageous but is not required and may be balanced by a strong analytical and mathematical background.

Emphasis will also be placed on

  1.  Experience with studies of laboratory animals, including behavioral training and assessment.
  2. .Prior experience with electrophysiological recording or calcium imaging from awake behaving animals (the current projects will utilize Neuropixels probes).
  3. Experience with state-of-the-art molecular-biology tools for targeted intervention
  4. Experience with analysis of large-scale neural data sets and familiarity with computational neuroscience
  5. Prior productivity (e.g. publications, abstracts, conference proceedings, code).

While experience with 1-4 is expected, it is the total combination of skills that is evaluated (less on one item may be compensated by more on another).

Travel to present work at national and international conferences, and to the collaborating partners at Hebrew University, should be expected.

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability in relation to the qualifications specified in the advertisement. We will place great emphasis on: 

  • strong personal initiative, self-motivation and work ethic
  • a solution-oriented attitude, ability to solve problems independently
  • the ability to work collaboratively to accomplish common research goals
  • willingness to accommodate to the team’s research strategy

How to Apply

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English

The application must include the following:

  • Information about education background and work experience.
  • A short research statement explaining the experience and the interest of the candidate for the research topic and describing the relevance of the candidate’s background to the research project (maximum 1 page; see ii above).
  • Any relevant publications. Joint work will only be considered provided that a short summary outlining the applicant's contributions is attached.
  • Certified copies of relevant transcripts and diplomas.
  • Contact information for the candidate’s references.

Application deadline: January 15, 2021

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

NTNU wishes to increase the amount of women in our scientific positions and have a number of processes to amplify gender equality.

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the positions can be directed to Associate Professor Jonathan Whitlock: Phone +47 4516 4390, e-mail jonathan.whitlock@ntnu.no

For information about the recruitment process, you can contact HR-Senior consultant Ole Kristian Indergård, e-mail ole.k.indergard@ntnu.no

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV, diplomas, and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of a Master's Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for an interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.