Research Fellow in Insect Electrophysiology Ref 5641

School: 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 3 years
Reference: 5641
Salary: starting at £33,797 to £40,322 per annum, pro rata if part time.
Placed on: 15 March 2021
Closing date: 12 April 2021.  Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
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 extra-cellular recordings of antennal and mouthpart sensilla, we will go beyond traditional models of insect gustation to determine and compare the capacity of social and solitary bee species to taste and assess the presence/concentration of nutritional compounds in pollen.

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 who will work on the behavioural and ecological aspects of pollen foraging. 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/DPhil in neuroscience, physiology or an allied discipline, and has experience of using electrophysiological techniques. Previous experience of conducting extra-cellular recordings from insect sensory organs 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. For full details and how to apply see our vacancies page

The University is committed to equality and valuing diversity, and applications are particularly welcomed from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) at Sussex.

Applications to posts from candidates who wish to work part-time or as job-sharers are welcome. The University offers various schemes to provide real benefits to parents, these can be found at Family Friendly Policies

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

Download job description and person specification Ref 5641 [PDF 211.71KB]

How to apply

Download our academic application form [DOC 199.50KB] and Personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 110.00KB] 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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