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Research Associate in Neuroinformatics Tool Development

University of Sheffield

Sheffield, United Kingdom

We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate/Assistant to work on the research project ‘The Digital Fruit Fly Brain’, which is funded jointly by BBSRC and NSF. The project is led by the Centre for Signal Processing and Complex Systems at University of Sheffield and by the Bionet Group at Columbia University, in collaboration with a number of research laboratories in the UK, US and Taiwan and with support from the NVIDIA Corporation.

The project aims to design, implement and experimentally evaluate a potentially transformative open-source fly brain simulation platform capable of simulating ~135,000 neurons that make up the adult Drosophila brain. The computational
infrastructure will be based on the GPU-enabled Neurokernel software platform (

The successful applicant will work with the project’s research team, led by an academic member of staff to develop simulator independent model description and specification tools as well as scalable, sharable and portable GPU-enabled software using application containerization platforms such as Docker or Singularity. The post holder will also be involved in the development of the Fruit Fly Brain Observatory, a web based portal for model sharing, collaboration and delivery of cloud based simulation services. The post holder will be expected to work independently, and as part of multidisciplinary research teams based in UK and abroad.

The ideal applicant will provide evidence of knowledge of modelling and simulation approaches (languages/formats and tools) commonly used in neuroscience and excellent software development skills for desktop and the web including Python
and C. They will have excellent communication and project management skills as well as the ability to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team and external project partners. The post holder must have (or be close to completing) a PhD degree in computer science, software engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering, mathematics, statistics, physics, or a related area (or have equivalent experience).

The supporting documentation can be viewed by clicking on About the Job and About the University located near the top of the screen.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
• Plan and undertake the research and development necessary to achieve the aims of the project.

• Write research reports, progress reports, presentations and any other reporting obligations.

• Disseminate the results via journals, conference presentations, and project meetings.

• Maintain accurate and complete records of all findings.

• Develop scientific background, specialist knowledge and scientific contacts.

• Participate in project meetings.

• Attend national and international conferences and workshops to present the research results to a wider audience and stay up to date with current advances in the field.

• Collaborate with the project partners

• Manage your own research to deliver high quality outputs within a defined schedule.

• Carry out project-oriented management, for example co-ordinating resources to meet the research deliverables

• Input to the strategy and research direction of the project and wider research area.

• Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.


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