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Postdoctoral Fellow Light, Circadian Rhythms, Lithium, and Bipolar Disorder

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear (GB)
Closing date
3 Jan 2024

Job Details


We are looking to appoint a postdoctoral fellow to work on a new and exciting multidisciplinary project aimed at examining the light hypersensitivity hypothesis as a mechanism of lithium’s action in bipolar disorder. The project will assess the acute effect of lithium administration on non-visual responses to light including melatonin suppression, pupillary responses, and EEG and cognitive changes. This will be done using a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in healthy adults and will entail participant recruitment and project planning/management as well as field and laboratory work. The role will involve overnight work in the sleep laboratory in addition to daytime psychological testing and taking and managing biological samples. Full training in all aspects of the study will be provided. The successful candidate will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of a work package within a multi-site, multidisciplinary research project. 

The length of the appointment is 4.5 years and the postholder will be based at the Northumbria Sleep Research Laboratory, at Northumbria University (Newcastle, City Centre Campus). 

Further information is available in the job description.

This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 therefore the successful candidate will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.


The role holder will work in the Psychology team within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. 


To be successful in the role you will have a doctoral degree in a relevant discipline (biology, psychology, or an appropriate clinical area). The successful candidate will be a highly motivated researcher with an excellent work ethic and willingness to learn new techniques across a variety of disciplines. They will have previous experience of delivering a research project(s) (University or Industrial). They must be able to work effectively across a multi-disciplinary team and to deliver the project goals to a tight deadline. Interpersonal skills are important as well as strong verbal and written communication skills.

Further information is available in the person specification.  

If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please contact Dr Nayantara Santhi ( or Professor Malcolm von Schantz (

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now'.  Your application should include a covering letter and a CV.  


At Northumbria, we embrace tomorrow. We pursue new thinking, forge new partnerships, create, and exchange new knowledge, and find new solutions. Our inspirational academics, partners and students work together to tackle tomorrow’s challenges head on. We are ready for the future whatever it may hold.

Awarded the title of University of the Year in the 2022 Times Higher Education Awards, Northumbria University is a research-intensive modern university with a global reputation for academic excellence. 

Northumbria recorded the biggest rise of any UK university for research power in the Research Excellence Framework for the second time in 2021 and is now ranked top 25 for this measure. 

One of the largest universities in the UK with over 37,000 students from 137 countries, filled with world-leading research, award-winning partnerships, and students at the heart of an outstanding experience, Northumbria is a new kind of excellent university. Discover more about us.  

Northumbria University is a great place to work.  We empower our exceptional people to achieve shared ambitions and promote a positive work life balance. We offer a wide range of benefits including excellent pension schemes, flexible working, a generous holiday entitlement, continued commitment to your learning and development and more

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Our Behaviours describe how we do things and how we work together at Northumbria, reflecting our culture and our decision-making. Our Behaviours are: We listen and learn, we support one another to success, we respect everyone and their contributions, we trust in ourselves and each other and we are bold.

Our Behaviours were co-created by colleagues from a range of roles across the University, who worked collaboratively to consider what it feels like to work for Northumbria, and where we need to continue to transform together to achieve what’s important to us. 

Please visit Our Values and Behaviours page to find out more.

We are an on-campus organisation where colleagues work regular patterns of hours and on campus, with some flexibility on the timing of their hours and the location of their work in discussion with their manager. Our campus locations include City Campus Newcastle and Coach Lane Campus Newcastle.

Northumbria University is committed to creating an inclusive culture where we take pride in, and value, the diversity of our staff. We encourage and welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds a bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality, we are a Disability Confident Leader, a member of the Race Equality Charter and are participating in the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme.  

The University has implemented a range of flexible working arrangements, and we are happy to explore candidate requirements as part of the recruitment process.  

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*Northumbria University recruitment portal is currently unavailable. If you wish to apply for a vacancy or if you have applied for a vacancy in the last six weeks but have not heard anything from us please e-mail your CV and Covering Letter to using the vacancy reference number as the subject. Thank you for your patience.*

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United Kingdom

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