[Comp-neuro] [jobs] Postdoc/Senior Postdoc in Computational/Mathematical Neuroscience – A biomimetic forebrain for active touch (University of Bristol)

Nathan Lepora n.lepora at bristol.ac.uk
Sun Jan 14 06:30:46 CET 2018


Postdoc/Senior Postdoc in Computational/Mathematical Neuroscience – A biomimetic forebrain for active touch (University of Bristol)

*** closing date for applications: 1 February 2018 ***



The University of Bristol invites applications for an immediate position in Computational/Mathematical Neuroscience.



The successful candidate will be part of a multi-disciplinary team on the new Leverhulme-funded Leadership Award ‘A biomimetic forebrain for robot touch’, focusing on active touch. We have been awarded funds for four postdocs and a technician on a 5-year project that will apply leading robotics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of the brain to develop a biomimetic forebrain embodied on a 3D-printed tactile robot hand to enable human-like manipulation



This application is for a Postdoctoral/Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational/Mathematical Neuroscience who will model the mammalian forebrain system for embodiment in the robots. This research position will focus on systems-level biological modelling of forebrain systems, and will complement three other postdoctoral researchers and a technician on the AI of robot touch and 3D-printed tactile robots, who together will embody the model on the robots. Our lab uses statistical/Bayesian approaches to model perception and action selection, and is interested in taking these approaches in the direction of goal-directed learning and task performance in complex environments.

Although a relatively new group, we have a strong track record in publishing in both the leading Computational Neuroscience and Robotics/AI journals and conferences, including PLOS Computational Biology, Frontiers in Comp Neuro, NIPS, RSS, IEEE Trans Robotics, Soft Robotics and regularly in ICRA/IROS. Our lab has recently won the international Soft Robotics Challenge and we have a 3D-printed tactile robot hand on display in the Science Museum, London. Our group currently numbers 8 full-time members, and we will be hiring three postdocs and a technician over the next year.

The project has funding until April 2022, making this an ideal position to develop a strong base for an academic career in this important research area.

Applicant qualities:
This application is for a postdoctoral position (Research Associate/Senior Research Associate) in Computational/Mathematical Neuroscience. We are looking for a candidate experienced in some of the following research areas, and an interest in pursuing the others:
- Computation/mathematics of optimal decision making (e.g. statistical/Bayesian methods)
- Models of reinforcement/goal-directed learning
- Systems-level modelling of the basal ganglia and other forebrain structures
- Interest in embodied computational neuroscience and embodied cognition/active perception.

You will hold (or will be expected to obtain soon) a strong PhD in a discipline relevant to the project. In addition to a strong research track record you will also have a proven capability to write first author publications accepted in the leading journals of the research field.

Institution
The project will be based at both the Computational Neuroscience Unit (www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/research/computational-neuroscience) at the University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory (www.brl.ac.uk) the largest centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK.  Our group also collaborates with other labs in this research area, principally at the University of Sheffield (Tony Prescott) and ISTC-CNR in Rome (Giovanni Pezzulo).

The post holder will be employed by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol, ranked 3rd for general Engineering in the UK (just after Oxford and Cambridge).
The city of Bristol is consistently ranked as the 'best place to live' in the UK, e.g. as reported by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39320118).

Further details:
It is anticipated that interviews will take place in February 2018, and the anticipated start as soon as possible thereafter. This post is full time for 2 years initially, with funds in place to extend the position until April 2022.
Further information about the Leverhulme Award (http://www.lepora.com/leverhulme.htm) and the activities of the research group (www.lepora.com<http://www.lepora.com>) can be found via these links.
Details and procedure to apply can be made through this link http://www.bristol.ac.uk/jobs/find/ with reference number ACAD103059.
Informal enquiries can be made to: Dr. Nathan Lepora (N.Lepora at bristol.ac.uk)
Closing date for applications: 1 February 2018



--
Dr Nathan Lepora, Reader in Robotics & BRL lead in Tactile Robotics
Dept of Engineering Maths, Merchant Venturers Building, University of Bristol
Office (MVB2.50): 0117 3315169 Lab (BRL bays 2 & 3): 0117 3286171
www.lepora.com @nathanlepora @tactilerobot



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