Funded PhD position

Date: Dec 27, 2015

We welcome applications for a funded PhD position in the Biocomputation Group at the University of Hertfordshire.

The successful applicant will work on a project related to modeling the structure and physiological function of the inferior olive. The inferior olive is an important part of the olivo-cerebellar circuitry as its axons, the climbing fibers, play a central role in all theories of cerebellar learning. Further, the inferior olive has been postulated to act as a clock for the brain. In this project, we aim to use an accurate structural model of the inferior olive to investigate, in silico, recent hypotheses related to the generation and maintenance of timing signals. An integral part of this project involves the further development of the NeuroMac software to generate structural models of the inferior olive. Please refer to the publication list on the website for recent publications.

Who are we looking for?

  • Candidates should have excellent programming skills (preferably also in Python) and familiarity with parallel and high-performance computing and visualization toolkits (such as VTK) is appreciated.
  • Candidates should possess great curiosity.
  • Candidates should be able to formulate their own questions about the circuitry and dynamics in the olivo-cerebellar system to direct their research efforts.

Knowledge of neuroscience is a plus but the eagerness to learn about the brain and how to use scientific approaches (such as computational neuroscience and neuroinformatics) is considered pivotal.

Successful candidates are eligible for a research studentship award from the University (approximately GBP 13,800 per annum bursary plus the payment of the standard UK student fees).

Applicants from outside the UK or EU are eligible, but will have to pay half of the overseas fees out of their bursary. Research in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire has been recognized as excellent by the latest Research Excellent Framework Assessment, with 50% of the research submitted being rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The Science and Technology Research Institute provides a very stimulating environment, offering a large number of specialized and interdisciplinary seminars as well as general training and researcher development opportunities. The University of Hertfordshire is situated in Hatfield, in the green belt just north of London.

The student will be supervised by Dr. Ben Torben-Nielsen (b.torben-nielsen at herts.ac.uk) and Dr. Volker Steuber (v.steuber at herts.ac.uk) to whom informal enquiries can be sent. Application forms can be obtained from:

Mrs Lorraine Nicholls, Research Student Administrator, STRI, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, Tel: +44 01707 286083, l.nicholls @ herts.ac.uk. The short-listing process will begin on 28 December 2015.