Jobs

Postdoctoral Scholar in Epistemic Community

Employer

Western University

Location

London, Ontario, Canada

Principal Investigator

Lisa Saksida, Jacqueline Sullivan, Tim Bussey, Marco Prado, Vania Prado

Contact

Please send a statement of interest, Curriculum Vitae, and the names and contact information of at least two references to:

Dr. Nicole Gervais, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario

Email: Nicole Gervais ngervai2@uwo.ca

Description

A full-time postdoctoral position is available immediately to work with the Mouse Translational Research Accelerator Platform (MouseTRAP) team—with principal investigators including Jacqueline Sullivan, Lisa Saksida, Tim Bussey, Marco Prado, and Vania Prado—at the Robarts Research Institute, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, at The University of Western Ontario in London, ON.

MouseTRAP is a unique platform that directly addresses the urgent and critical challenge to translate neurocognitive discovery research in mouse models toward improvements in human health. It is centred on a touchscreen-based cognitive testing system for mice that enables flexible presentation of comprehensive test batteries involving visual stimuli at any location on a screen, as is increasingly done in human patient testing. Mice respond directly to the stimuli with their nose and positive reinforcers such as strawberry milkshake are delivered for correct choices. We have developed more than 30 touchscreen tests for mice that tap into disease-relevant aspects of high-level cognition including attention, memory, executive function and motivation. MouseTRAP pairs these touchscreen-based cognitive tests with cutting-edge technologies to record or manipulate neuronal, glial, or neurochemical activity, which makes it possible to match—millisecond by millisecond—what is happening in the brain with human-relevant cognitive performance. This can be done in healthy mice or in our extensive catalogue of next-generation disease models, making MouseTRAP a state-of-the-art platform for assessment of robust, reproducible, and human-relevant cognitive outcomes in mouse models, for either fundamental discovery research or development of evidence-based therapeutic interventions.

The postdoctoral fellow will conduct mixed-methods qualitative research (e.g., surveys/questionnaires, semi-structured interviews) on Open Science practices surrounding MouseTRAP and the aligned first-ever open-access repository for rodent translational research, MouseBytes. The repository is the first of its kind to facilitate data availability, transparency, and reproducibility within the rodent behavioral community. The successful candidate will identify barriers to Open Science practices related to use of the repository and develop strategies for eliminating them, with the aim of increasing international uptake in the repository and thereby propelling translational research forward. The successful candidate will also have excellent opportunities to interact with researchers and core facilities funded by Western’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund program in cognitive neuroscience, BrainsCAN.

Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

Requirements

Qualified applicants should have a Ph.D. degree in social science, psychology, or a related discipline along with demonstrated expertise in mixed-methods qualitative research including qualitative interviewing and survey development.