Postdoctoral Research Associate in Behavioural Neuroscience

Sydney, Australia
16 Apr 2019
End of advertisement period
26 May 2019
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Psychology
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 also offers two postgraduate professional coursework Masters degrees, with a total enrolment of 60, and supervises the research of over 120 students enrolled in the PhD degree 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.

About the role

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

The role of the Postdoctoral Research Associate reports to Bernard Balleine and has no direct reports.

Specific responsibilities for this role include:

  • Design, implementation and piloting of experiments in animal, largely rodent, subjects.
  • Perform small animal survival stereotaxic surgery including the insertion of guide cannula, infusion of pharmacological agents, and other surgical procedures may be necessary.
  • Perform general and specific histological evaluation of animal tissue including tissue sectioning, various imaging procedures and their maintenance and storage.
  • Perform other support tasks associated with general laboratory experimentation, including data analyses, literature searches, grant application and ethics approval.
  • Manage the animal laboratory, including taking responsibility for managing experimental work, animal care, adherence to OHS guidelines.
  • Write scientific communications intended for publication in refereed journals.
  • Present scientific communications both nationally and internationally at conferences.
  • 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 Behavioural Neuroscience or a similar discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience to set up and monitor new and existing experimental projects.
  • Demonstrated laboratory skills in studying and manipulating animal learning, primary motivational variables and assessing concomitant behavioural impact in rodents.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform small animal surgery, infusions, injections and histology.
  • Demonstrated ability to write scientific papers and to present scientific ideas and data in oral presentations.
  • High level of computing skills including databases, spreadsheets and the ability to program and operate PC computers running MED state notation.
  • Demonstrated laboratory skills in immunohistochemistry and the CLARITY technique to clear and label brain tissue for imaging.
  • Demonstrated experience in radioactivity, and training in radiation basics and safety.
  • Demonstrated experience with microPET imaging.
  • Skills in microscopy, particularly with confocal microscopy.
  • A thorough understanding of experimental design, statistics and statistical methods.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team and strategically contribute to research outcomes.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.


  • Ability to write grant applications.
  • Demonstrated experience using viral-based technology including optogenetics.

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: April 26th, 2019

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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.

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