Research Assistant

Corporate Services and Infrastructure (CSI)

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 08th Mar 2021
  • REF: 5960
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £28,331.00 – £30,046.00 per annum

Closing Date: Friday 14 March 2021

The Role

Your position is available for a European Research Council funded Consolidator Grant. We would like you to be computationally strong with experience in computational modelling and neuroinformatics analyses of multivariate intracranial recording data.

The work will involve computational modelling of data from human patients being monitored for surgery. The project aims to provide unprecedented insights into concept formation, learning and brain prediction. This project is a collaboration between Newcastle University, UK (Medical School; Professors Christopher Petkov and Tim Griffiths) and the University of Iowa, USA (Department of Neurosurgery and Human Brain Research Laboratory, led by Professor Matthew Howard III).

Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here.

Find out more about our Research Institutes here:

This is a full time, fixed term post available for the duration of 2 years.

For informal enquiries contact, please email Dr Chris Petkov (

Key Accountabilities

• Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, you will contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of their studies, thus providing substantial ‘added value’
• Develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques and equipment as outlined in the personal requirements
• Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support where required
• Contribute to grant applications submitted by others and in time develop own research objectives and proposals for funding
• Begin to write, with appropriate support, proposals for individual research funding or, where funders do not permit this, contribute to the writing of collective bids
• Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations
• Contribute to the writing up of their research for publication and dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
• Present research findings, either at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline
• May be involved in the supervision, with guidance, of final year undergraduate research projects and in providing support to postgraduate research students or Research Assistants
• Will need to work with the support staff and, on occasions, with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and interact intellectually with other academic members of the Institute
• May contribute to events celebrating the public engagement of science/social sciences/humanities
• Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment
• Work within a team to contribute to the design of behavioural and electrophysiological studies
• Work autonomously to undertake data acquisition and the analysis of behavioural and electrophysiological data
• Undertake computational modelling and simulation of neural and cognitive systems associated with sequence processing and language
• Implement and utilise multivariate methods to test model-data correspondence, assessing and revising neurocomputational hypotheses

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
• Detailed subject knowledge of neurophysiology and computational modelling
• Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research projects
• High level of analytical and problem-solving capability
• Ability to communicate complex information with clarity and to encourage the commitment of others
• Experience of research with clear transferable skills and some experience or awareness of the research environment
• Presentations at conferences and/or high-quality publications
• Proficiency in signal processing, mathematics, statistics and multivariate methods
• Expert knowledge, skills and practical experience of cutting edge approaches in artificial intelligence, data mining, and computational modelling
• Significant experience in spiking neural network simulation and hyperdimensional computing
• A strong theoretical and technical background in electrocorticographic acquisition and analysis, from both hardware and software perspectives

• Proficiency in MATLAB and Python scripting
• Experience using experimental design and analysis tools including EEGLAB, FieldTrip, PsychoPy and Psychophysics Toolbox
• Familiarity and experience in modelling with Nengo

Attributes and Behaviour

• Professional individual that can work with an internationally diverse team
• Proven computational modelling and publishing experience

• Evidence of invitations to present at computational societies
• Presentations to scientific meetings


• Honours degree (or equivalent) with some subject knowledge in the relevant area (Research Assistant)
• A PhD in neuroscience is required for Research Associate status
• Appointment can be at Research Associate level if PHD has been awarded

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent. We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

Requisition ID: 5960

The Institute holds a silver Athena SWAN award in addition to the University’s silver award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Employer Achievements:

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