Postdoctoral Researcher (m/w/d) - Laurens Lab

The laboratory of Jean Laurens, at the Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience in Frankfurt, Germany, is looking for a:

Postdoctoral Researcher (m/w/d)

to study head direction cells through electrophysiology and computational neuroscience in behaving Marmoset monkeys. This position is fully funded for a duration of 3 years.

The laboratory

Jean Laurens studies the neuronal processes underlying the sense of movement and spatial orientation when moving in 3D space. His lab combines mathematical modelling with neuronal recordings in Marmoset monkeys behaving freely in a 3D enclosure or moved passively in a motorized rotator. His experiments focus on the head direction cells network, that forms a ‘neuronal compass’; and on central vestibular regions that integrate inner ear signals, vision and efference copies to sense self-motion and control balance. The laboratory is part of the Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience, a dynamic research institute with a focus on human and non-human primate neuroscience, located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The project

This position is part of an international project that investigates how the loss of the vestibular sensory organs affects the ability to navigate.

Within this project, our lab will seek to understand (1) how the brain learns to associate a visual landmark, for instance a distant mountain, to a certain orientation in allocentric space, and (2) how the brain recognises which elements of a visual scene are stationary and can be reliably used as landmarks. To answer these questions, the appointee will record head direction cells as well as landmark-encoding cells in the thalamic, hippocampal and cortical head direction cells network in awake Marmoset monkeys.

The candidate

Candidates should be highly motivated, hold (or be about to hold) a Ph.D., be experienced in brain electrophysiology (or calcium imaging). Candidates should also be ready to undertake a research project that includes a significant mathematical component. Equal opportunity and diversity are important to us! All potential candidates are equally welcome and encouraged to apply, regardless of race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. The ESI offers a family friendly work environment with affordable childcare (children 3-36 months) right next door, is well accessible via public transportation and offers free parking on the institute’s premises.

How to apply

The post-doc will ideally begin in September 2021, and the position will remain opened until filled. Interested candidates are invited to send an email to Jean.Laurens(at) Please send a cover letter explaining what motivates you to join the lab, a resume, and the coordinates of two scientists who can give references. The appointment is for 3 years initially (fully funded), with the possibility of extension; the salary is in accordance with the regulations for academic personnel in Germany.