Postdoc Research Associate in Computational Neuroscience

Sydney, Australia
09 Apr 2019
End of advertisement period
09 May 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • One of Australia’s leading research & teaching universities
  • Vibrant campus life with a strong sense of community & inclusion
  • Enjoy a career that makes a difference by collaborating & learning from the best

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work.

The School of Psychology is located in the Faculty of Science and has over 40 full-time members of academic staff and 17 general staff. It has an operating budget of over $12 million and additional research funding of over $15 million per annum. The School administers a range of undergraduate courses and degrees, with student numbers of over 1,000 in the first year to 65 in the fourth year Honours research program. The School is very active in research, with most staff holding external research funding. The School has extensive laboratory facilities for both research and teaching.

The Decision Neuroscience Lab in the School of Psychology has an opening for a Computational Neuroscientist. The lab investigates the neural determinants of goal-directed action and collects data during active behavioural tests of rodent and human subjects using a combination of computational modelling, signal processing techniques, and both invasive and non-invasive techniques for recording neural activity. In humans behavioural and neuroimaging data are collected, the latter using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), whereas in rodents behavioural and real time neuronal activity data are collected derived from a variety of imaging techniques including calcium imaging using both fibre photonics and endoscopic imaging.

About the role

  • $75K-$100K plus 17% Superannuation and annual leave loading
  • Fixed Term – 2 years
  • Full-time (35 hours per week)

The main focus of this role will be on the analysis of behavioural and neuroimaging experiments to investigate the neural mechanisms of decision making in human and rodent subjects. The successful candidate will be capable of developing: (i) novel approaches to data analysis, (ii) computational models of experimental data and how these are affected by various behavioural and neural manipulations and (iii) novel ways in which these can be conveyed in scientific communications of various kinds.

Specific responsibilities for this role include:

  • Investigate neural determinants of goal-directed action and data collected during active behaviour from rodent and human subjects using a combination of computational modelling, signal processing techniques, and both invasive and non-invasive techniques for recording neural activity.
  • Analyse and describe behavioural and neuroimaging data collected from rodent and human studies using a variety of quantitative and modelling approaches.
  • Work closely with neuroscientists to develop new tools and quantitative models for the analysis and presentation of the results of behavioural and neuroimaging studies.
  • Perform other support tasks associated with general laboratory experimentation, including data analyses, literature searches, database development, and contribute to the development of online testing capacity.
  • Write scientific communications intended for publication in refereed journals.
  • In consultation with Professor Balleine, supervise graduate and honours level undergraduate students during the course of specific projects.
  • Cooperate with all health and safety policies and procedures of the university and take all reasonable care to ensure that your actions or omissions do not impact on the health and safety of yourself or others.

About the successful applicant

To be successful in this role you will have:


  • PhD in neuroscience, psychology, applied mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics or a related field.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing novel approaches to data analysis and computational modelling of experimental data.
  • Demonstrated experience to set up and monitor new and existing computational projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to write scientific papers and to present scientific ideas and data in presentations.
  • Demonstrated experience using scientific computing software (e.g., Python, R, Matlab etc) and computing skills including databases, spreadsheets.
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely as part of a team and strategically contribute to research outcomes.
  • A thorough understanding of experimental design, statistics and statistical methods and neuroscience data analysis.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.


  • Demonstrated ability to write grant applications.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of currently relevant programming languages including deep learning packages such as Tensorflow or Pytorch, and experience with collecting and analysing behavioural and neuroimaging data.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate in conducting experimental studies and the collection of behavioural and neuroimaging data in human and/or rodent subjects.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of basal ganglia research and models.

You should systematically address the selection criteria listed within the position description in your application. Please apply online - applications will not be accepted if sent to the contact listed.


Prof. Bernard Balleine


Applications close: May 9th, 2019

Find out more about working at UNSW at

UNSW aspires to be the exemplar Australian university and employer of choice for people from diverse backgrounds. UNSW aims to ensure equality in recruitment, development, retention and promotion of staff and that no-one is disadvantaged on the basis of their gender, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or identity or Indigenous heritage. We encourage everyone who meets the selection criteria to apply.

UNSW partners with Australia’s leading diversity organisations, networks, and campaigns. Please refer to UNSW’s diversity offerings for further information on our flexible work and leave options, and support for carers (childcare, parent rooms, parental leave).

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