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Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics: Neuroscience Postdoctoral Scholar (Open until Filled. Apply by 2/21/2020)

Recruitment Period

Open date: January 22nd, 2020

Last review date: Friday, Feb 21, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for the Neuroscience Postdoctoral Scholar at Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP). Under the direction of Alexander Sher, the Postdoctoral Scholar will work within an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Sher Lab at UCSC and Field Lab at Duke University. The successful applicant will spearhead a new project that combines optical stimulation, calcium imaging, and multielectrode recording of retinal activity with the goal of uncovering functional connectome of mammalian retina. The first part of the project will be performed in collaboration with UCSC Physics and Engineering staff and faculty and involve design, assembly and testing of the neural activity readout system that combines light-sheet microscope with the unique multielectrode array system developed at SCIPP. After that the postdoc will use the new system in the Sher Lab to record retinal responses to visual stimulus and develop data analysis tools to construct functional connectome of the retinal excitatory pathways by tracing neuronal signals from individual photoreceptors to bipolar to ganglion cells. Further work will include collaborative effort with the Field Lab to use chemogenetics to uncover modulation of the retinal feedforward network by amacrine cells.

This position offers an exclusive opportunity to receive and continue training in the latest methods of recording and modulation of neural activity as well as in quantitative analysis of unique datasets containing information from thousands of interconnected individual neurons.

We seek motivated and energetic candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Applicants with documented expertise in experimental neuroscience (or another project-related field), strong quantitative skills, and excellent oral and written communication abilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Minimum annual salary rates are made based on the individual’s Experience Level, which is determined by the number of months of postdoctoral service at any institution. See current salary scale for Postdoctoral Titles at


  • Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in Biology or other relevant field(s).
  • Evidence of at least one year of graduate or post-graduate research experience in experimental neuroscience or a related field.

As soon as possible after initial review of the applications. Ph.D. must be in hand at time of the initial appointment.

Postdoctoral Scholar appointments are full-time; the initial appointment is for a minimum of one year, with the possibility of reappointment. Reappointment will be contingent upon positive performance review and availability of funding. The total duration of an individual’s postdoctoral service may not exceed five years, including postdoctoral service at any institution. Under limited circumstances, an exception to this limit may be considered, not to exceed a sixth year.

Applications are accepted via the UCSC Academic Recruit online system. All documents and materials must be submitted as PDFs.

Please refer to Position # JPF00801-20T in all correspondence.


  • Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position (required)
  • Curriculum vitae (required)
  • List of Publications (required)

Reference Requirement
Applicants must provide the names and contact information of their references (a minimum of three are required and a maximum of five will be accepted). The hiring unit will request confidential letters* from the references of those applicants who are under serious consideration. Note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at

Full consideration will be given to applications completed by February 21, 2020. Applications received after this date will be considered only if the position has not been filled.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see More information is available at the APO website (see or call (831) 459-4300.

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Academic Personnel Office at (831) 459-4300.

Our institution is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution



Job location

Santa Cruz, California


Document requirements
  • Cover Letter - Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • List of Publications

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)