Postdoctoral Training Fellow - A. Schaefer Sensory Circuits and Neurotechnology Lab

Postdoctoral Training Fellows are expected to lead their own projects and collaborate within the lab and externally. The ability to work in a team is essential.

Key information

Job reference
From £41,935 per annum, subject to skills and experience
Application close date
07 April 2023, 23:59 BST
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 17 March 2023
Background texture taken from the lab imagery.

Postdoctoral Training Fellow - Functional Connectomics in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb

A. Schaefer Sensory Circuits and Neurotechnology Lab

Contact term: This is a full-time, fixed term (4 years) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.

The Research Group

This position is available in Prof Andreas Schaefer’s laboratory. The Sensory Circuits and Neurotechnology Lab studies how information is represented and processed in the brain, focussing on sensory circuits in mice. To this end, the lab uses and develops anatomical, physiological, and behavioural techniques to dissect the structure and function of neural circuits. The PTF will report to the Group Leader and the Principal Laboratory Research Scientist, Carles Bosch, who leads the Functional Connectomics project in the lab.

Details of research projects currently carried out and recent publications can be found on

The Project

The PTF will be part of an EPSRC funded project jointly led by Andreas Schaefer’s and Alexandra Pacureanu’s lab at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. The purpose of the project in general is to apply correlative connectomics approaches to sensory circuits and to further the development of X-ray Nanoholotomgraphy together with in vivo imaging and volume electron microscopy.

This specific PTF project will be to solve long-standing questions around the logic of connectivity in the olfactory bulb. Importantly, the PTF will lead the analysis of volume electron microscopy and synchrotron X-ray imaging data. S/he will analyse data acquired by other collaboration members as well as acquire volume EM and synchrotron tomograms.

The specific aims of the project will be to identify the logic of information processing in the mouse olfactory bulb, in particular how inhibitory interneurons (granule cells, GCs) shape the representation of information in projection neurons (mitral and tufted cells, MCs). To this end, the postholder will acquire datasets with different modalities (different X-ray tomography approaches, volume electron microscopy and possibly functional multiphoton imaging) and lead the complex, multi-modal analysis approach. The specific goals will be:

  • Obtain dendritic wiring diagrams of mm3 volumes of the olfactory bulb (using propagation based µCT and X-ray holographic nanotomography)
  • Prepare these samples for targeted volume EM analysis 
  • Acquire ~(100µm)3 volume EM datasets
  • Process and co-register these different datasets
  • Delineate dendritic and synaptic features
  • Based on these results, develop an understanding of how information is integrated in the MC-GC network. 
  • In a second step, to combine these anatomical investigations with prior in vivo multiphoton imaging; prepare and optimize sample preparation for X-ray tomography and electron microscopy

The postholder will be responsible for

  • Leading independent projects together with the PLRS
  • Intellectually lead the lab’s efforts to understand the functional logic of inhibition 
  • Developing and maintaining a multimodal data registration and analysis pipeline, including developing efficient classifiers for annotation in collaboration with our industrial image analysis partner ScalableMinds.
  • Liaising with our synchrotron collaborators at e.g. ESRF, preparing beamtime proposals and reports
  • Perform and optimize sample preparation approaches including histology and sample trimming
  • Contribute to maintaining sample databases, repositories for software, classifiers, datasets  
  • Contributing to the lab’s open, interdisciplinary, and collegial atmosphere by developing initiative around presenting and disseminating work internally such as in lab meetings and journal clubs

The PTF will report to the Group Leader and be co-supervised by an experienced principal laboratory research scientist, Dr Carles Bosch.

Postdoctoral Training Fellows will lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and may guide PhD students in their research. The ability to work in a team is essential.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values:

Bold; Open; Collegial


  • PhD (or in the final stages of PhD submission) in Neuroscience or related fields (physics, biology, mathematics, engineering, medicine)
  • Deep interest in connectomics approaches to studying brain function
  • Interest in both experimental and data analysis approaches to connectomics
  • Interest in wet lab work, such as histology, sample preparation
  • Good knowledge and experience in at least one of the following: Sensory and circuits neuroscience, volume electron microscopy, advanced image analysis and processing, X-ray tomography
  • Technical expertise in advanced data analysis approaches such as image analysis, data handling of tera-scale datasets, dimensional reduction techniques, or machine learning using Python, Matlab or similar.
  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in international refereed journals
  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings


  • Experience in handling laboratory animals, especially mice
  • Experience in segmentation of connectomics datasets using e.g. WebKnossos, Catmaid etc
  • Experience in histology
  • Experience in research with the olfactory system
  • Experience in correlative multimodal imaging approaches

About Us

At the Crick, we conduct research at the forefront of biomedical research. We combine rigour with an open and collaborative culture, and are outward-looking, reflecting our status as a partnership of six organisations aiming to pool knowledge, ideas and resources.

We have a wide research portfolio with no divisions or departments, bringing biomedical researchers together with clinicians, physical scientists and applied scientists from our pharmaceutical partners.

We aim to attract the most talented researchers and support them to tackle innovative research questions. Our science technology platforms provide our researchers with access to state-of-the-art technology and expertise.

We provide an excellent learning environment with dedicated education programmes in public engagement with science, education and personal development, and a postdoc training programme that prepares scientists for leadership roles in science.

  • If you are interested in applying for this role, please apply via Workday.
  • All offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.
  • If you require a visa to work in the UK we will help support your application should you be successful