Postdoctoral Research Associate, Neural Interfaces

Sydney, Australia
26 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
05 Aug 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Electrical and Information Engineering

Faculty of Engineering & Information Technologies

  • Join an organisation that encourages progressive thinking
  • 2 year Full Time Fixed Term role with a possibility of extension. Located at Camperdown Campus
  • Remuneration package: $90K-96K p.a. base salary and competitive employer’s contribution to superannuation.

About the opportunity 

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate- Neural Interfaces for long-term implantable therapy in cerebral palsy with Professors Alistair McEwan and Gregg Suaning in the Bioelectronics and Bionics research groups at the University of Sydney, Australia. The role is expected to undertake research and coordinate experimentation and performance testing of an implantable neural stimulator for the acquired brain injuries including cerebral palsy.

In this project we will examine electrical stimulation as an established approach for the restoration of muscle movement, but with currently limited utility as a therapy. There are two primary causes for this: poor selectivity in the activation of desired muscles, that may result in unwanted contractions; and the co-activation of efferent (e.g. motor) and afferent (e.g. sensory) fibres. In this ex-vivo study we focus upon solving these two key issues so that electrical stimulation can become a viable therapy in the treatment of acquired brain injuries and in particular, cerebral palsy. Targeted stimulation or blocking of peripheral fibres that lead to rigidity and pain would alleviate these two major areas of unmet need in cerebral palsy.

The project involves developing an ex-vivo model and collecting experimental evidence of nerve fibre selectivity for selective activation of targeted muscle groups, capacity to release hypertonic muscles and management of pain to lead to the design of an implantable device for the rehabilitation of people with cerebral palsy.

We aim to achieve improved efficacy in selective activation of targeted muscle groups, provide the capacity to release hypertonic muscles and manage pain; and devise a new implantable device for the rehabilitation of people with cerebral palsy to manage muscle movement.

We collaborate with labs at Harvard, Case Western, The University of Freiburg, and UCL.

More information can be found here:

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance in recruiting talent aligned to these values in the pursuit of research excellence. We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate- Neural Interfaces with:

  • PhD in Biomedical engineering or a similar field such as bio-electronics, bio-physics or neuroscience.
  • An understanding of electronics, signal processing, materials, and neurostimulation techniques.
  • Interest in working with a multi-disciplinary team including physiotherapists, clinicians and families living with cerebral palsy

Please refer to the Candidate Information Pack for further information. To be considered, it is essential that you upload a resume and address the online selection criteria.

About us

Cerebral Palsy is the most common childhood disability with life-long impact, no cure, uncertain origins and delayed diagnosis. We work with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance research foundation to develop technology for treatment, intervention, prevention and cure.  We focus on opportunities for control of muscle groups, spasticity and sensory perception including pain. While people with spinal cord injury have been the target of motor prosthesis to date there are additional challenges to explore in cerebral palsy such as developmental differences and viable afferent pathways that may convey pain and other sensory signals. We see opportunities in both central and peripheral stimulation and monitoring. Our group has a background in impedance recordings which might be used as a novel monitoring tool or to optimise stimulation patterns. We also use electrical tissue properties to better identify pathological tissue and guide electrical stimulation, electroporation and heating in the management of electrical signaling pathways.

The University of Sydney is ranked number 1 in the world for physical therapy, sports therapy and rehabilitation and consistently ranks first or second in Australia for Engineering, Science and Medicine. The University is situated in the vibrant international city of Sydney close to some of the world’s best beaches and natural environments. 

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led the research and teaching to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion, and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australia's first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across 9 campuses, we employ over 7600 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.

For more information on the position and University, please view the candidate information pack available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the reference number 1201/0618F to apply.

Closing date: Closing date: 11:30pm 05 August 2018 Sydney time

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

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