Research Fellow in Insect Behaviour Ref 7934

School/department: School of Life Sciences
Hours: Full time or part time hours considered up to a maximum of 1 FTE. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).
Contract: Fixed term for 2 years.
Reference: 7934
Salary: starting at £34,304 to £40,927 per annum, pro rata if part time.
Placed on: 29 March 2022
Closing date: 10 May 2022.   Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected interview date: to be confirmed 
Expected start date: As soon as possible

Job description

We are seeking to appoint a postdoctoral research fellow to work on the UKRI-funded project Flower choices and pollen foraging in bees. The primary aim of this inter-disciplinary project is to understand how bees perceive and evaluate pollen rewards and the implications for foraging decisions and plant-pollinator networks. Using a combination of lab and field-based behavioural assays, we will quantify the handling costs of switching between flower types, and test the effect of floral features and reward quality on pollen foraging choices.

The post holder will be supervised by Dr Beth Nicholls (Project Lead, School of Life Sciences), and will work closely with other members of the research team, including neuroscientist Prof. Jeremy Niven, and a second PDRA using electro-physiology to examine pollen gustation. The post holder will also engage with external stakeholders from crop growing associations and those involved in the design of agri-environment schemes via the project advisory board.

This post is suitable for someone who has completed a PhD in animal behaviour and has experience of using learning and floral choice paradigms. Previous experience of designing and conducting learning and foraging assays with bees would be an advantage. The candidate should be able to demonstrate enthusiasm for the project, communication and presentation skills, experience of quantitative analysis, and the ability to organise and motivate others flexibly/confidently whilst working within an academic team setting.

More information about the Nicholls lab can be found here. Potential candidates are strongly encouraged to make informal contact with Dr Beth Nicholls (she/her) ( before applying.  Your completed application form should be accompanied by a full CV, a cover letter indicating your suitability, motivations and aspirations, and the contact details of two referees. 

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification Ref 7934 [PDF 185.41KB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

Visa Sponsorship Queries:

This role has been assigned an eligible SOC code however to meet the minimum salary requirement this is dependent on the salary you are offered and/or whether you are eligible for tradeable points. If you require visa sponsorship from the University of Sussex to undertake this role please consult our Skilled Worker Visa information page for further information. If you want further advice on sponsorship eligibility please contact"

Please note that this position may be subject to ATAS clearance if you require visa sponsorship.


How to apply

Download our academic application form [DOC 199.50KB] and Personal Details and Equal Opportunities Form [DOC 119.50KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to 

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email in PDF format (we are unable to accept applications as or .pages) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

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