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Principal Scientist Systems Neuroscience and Behavior

Department: Neural Dynamics - Discovery Science

Principal Scientist Systems Neuroscience and Behavior

The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science.

The mission of the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics is focused on fundamental discoveries in systems neuroscience. We are interested in how the brain builds our understanding of the complex world to guide the flexible behaviors that address our biological needs. The answers will be in terms of defined neuron types and circuits interacting across the whole brain and body. We will develop next-generation methods and theories and employ a team-based approach for discovery neuroscience. Knowledge, data, models and tools will be widely shared, in part to support the development of therapies for brain disorders.

We are looking for a Scientist to lead a program in behavioral and system neuroscience. The Scientist will establish robust and flexible behavioral paradigms using the mouse as a model system. This platform will be used in conjunction with in vivo electrophysiology, optical physiology, and molecular anatomy to probe the mechanisms underlying learning and decision-making. The ideal candidate will be scientifically and technically excellent, highly motivated, agile, and collaborative.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences, and backgrounds. High-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

Essential Functions

  • Lead in defining project goals, independently propose experimental strategies to achieve those goals, then lead teams to execute
  • Design complex multi-modal experiments and pipelines, including data analysis workflows
  • Perform complex neurophysiological experiments in the context of quantitative behavior
  • Analyze multi-dimensional neurophysiological and behavioral data to extract principles underlying neural dynamics and computation
  • Interact with theorists to build a theory-guided research program
  • Train, mentor and motivate others to perform the above functions
  • Present scientific results and complex concepts internally in talks and progress reports
  • Present results to the external community at conferences and in publications
  • Write grant proposals

Required Education and Experience

  • PhD in Neuroscience, Physics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Biology, Biomedical Engineering or equivalent combination of degree and experience
  • 11 years of post-doctoral experience

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Outstanding scientific achievement
  • Strong publication record
  • Outstanding analytical and quantitative skills
  • A practical understanding of modern behavioral assays and associated hardware and software
  • Ability to analyze multi-dimensional and multi-modal data
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate across disciplines
  • Demonstrated interest in neural dynamics, neural computation, behavior and neural circuits
  • Demonstrated ability to lead major research projects in behavioral and systems neuroscience
  • Experience leading a diverse team
  • Ability to write high-quality, reusable code in Python or other open-source ecosystems
  • Deep knowledge of computational statistics and modern machine learning methods

Work Environment

  • Laboratory environment - possible exposure to chemical, biological, or other hazardous substances
  • This may include wearing personnel protective equipment (PPE)
  • Exposure and handling of laboratory animals

Physical Demands

  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment; repetitive motion with lab equipment
  • Stooping, bending, crouching
  • Reaching, or climbing ladders

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • This role is currently working onsite and remotely when possible, due to COVID-19 and our focus on employee safety. We continue to evaluate the safest options for our employees.


  • Attendance and participation in national and international conferences required (travel may not be required to attend)

Additional Comments

  • **Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance**
  • **Please note, this opportunity offers work visa sponsorship**

It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.







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