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Research Associate/Fellow (Fixed term)


Location:  University Park
Salary:  £28,762 to £35,333 per annum, (pro rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience (minimum £32348 with relevant PhD).
Closing Date:  Thursday 30 March 2023
Reference:  SCI092323

We invite applications for a Research Associate/Fellow to join the Humphries’ group at the University of Nottingham on a BBSRC-funded project to study the neural basis of foraging, in collaboration with the groups of Matthew Apps (Birmingham) and Nathan Lepora (Bristol). Whether choosing to leave one shop for another, switching TV programs, or seeking berries to eat, humans and other animals make innumerable stay-or-leave decisions, but how we make them is not well understood. The goal of this project is to develop new computational accounts of stay-or-leave decisions, and use them to test hypotheses for how humans, primates, and rodents learn and make these decisions. 

You will develop AI- and neuroscience-inspired algorithms for learning and making stay-or-leave decisions, and validate them against the known behaviour of foragers. By using datasets of foraging tasks tackled by humans, non-human primates, and rodents, you will then test hypotheses for why foragers make non-optimal choices and for the neural computations that underpin different types of foraging tasks or foraging decisions in different species. You will also be instrumental in building and supporting an international network of foraging researchers.

You will have experience in computational neuroscience, and good programming skills in MATLAB and/or Python. You will have experience of collaborative research and have or be near completing a PhD in a quantitative discipline. Knowledge of reinforcement learning and/or decision-making models would be a bonus.

The Humphries’ group researches fundamental insights into how the joint activity of neurons encodes actions in the world ( We draw on and develop a wide range of computational approaches to data, including machine learning, network theory, and dynamical systems theory. The group is part of a major research centre in computational neuroscience at the University of Nottingham, which includes the teams of Professors Mark van Rossum (Psychology), Stephen Coombes (Mathematical Sciences), and Markus Kaiser (Medicine).

This post will be on a full-time (36.25 hours), fixed-term contract until 14th February 2025. Arrangements for job share may be considered.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Professor Mark Humphries ( Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

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