Postdoc position in Circuit Neuroscience & Behavior

80%-100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Brain, Wire and Behavior Group studies how early life experiences and early circuit activity shapes adult brain function and behaviour. We use circuit neuroscience and developmental neuroscience tools to record or manipulate circuits during critical periods of postnatal development or in adulthood during behaviour. We focus on striatal, mesolimbic and hypothalamic circuits to understand how they regulate motivation, reward and feeding behaviour in the basal state, or following developmental manipulations. Ultimately our goal is to increase our understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by maladaptive feeding or altered reward behaviour e.g. eating disorders, addiction, depression, schizophrenia, etc. The group started in 2021 and consists of the PI Marie Labouesse, 1 PhD student and 1 MSc student. Our work is funded by a Junior PI 'Ambizione' Grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) with additional support from the Zurich Neuroscience Center (ZNZ) and others. Our group is hosted by the Translational Nutritional Biology Laboratory (Prof Christian Wolfrum) which focuses on metabolism and molecular biology: https://tnb.ethz.ch/. We share lab space, offices and social events with them. We also belong to the Zurich Neuroscience Center (ZNZ: https://www.neuroscience.uzh.ch/en.html) with access to top facilities and potential collaborators.

Job description

You will lead a project aiming at establishing a new mouse model for neuropsychiatric disorders. Your goal is to perform cell-specific manipulation of dopamine circuits during development and determine the impact on the brain and behavioural function in adulthood. With our guidance, you will need to acquire new methods, be responsible for designing and performing experiments (stereotaxic surgery, behavioural testing, neuropharmacology, brain histology, in vivo fluorescent imaging, write code for analysis, etc.), analyze data and regularly present it, write a yearly report for grant funders and draft figures/manuscripts for publications. According to interest, you may supervise students and collaborate with other lab members and collaborators on other projects.

Your profile

Required skills and experience:

  • PhD in neuroscience.
  • Extensive experience (ideally at least 1-2 years) in stereotaxic surgery, behavioral testing in mice, brain histology and brightfield or confocal microscopy.
  • Strong teamwork skills & a great lab citizen who values positive work environments.
  • Self-motivated & self-starter, efficient and reliable.
  • Great organization and lab/project management skills.
  • Great English written and oral communication skills.
  • Willing to perform animal experiments. Diploma for rodent experimentation (eg FELASA B)

Bonus but not required skills and experience:

  • Experience with the following experimental skills: Working with AAVs, optogenetics, chemogenetics, in vivo brain recordings (eg fiber photometry), slice physiology or slice fluorescent imaging, confocal microscopy, pup/juvenile mouse cohorts, neuropharmacology, metabolic or feeding studies, neuropsychiatry animal models.
  • Experience with the following analytical skills: computational analyses (eg python, matlab, R), machine learning based behavioral tracking (eg deeplabcut).
  • Ability to draft excellent written documents in an independent fashion (manuscripts, grants, ethics protocols, etc.)

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

We will support your scientific growth and goals irrespective of career paths (industry, academia, etc.). We provide excellent working conditions, an internationally competitive salary (paid according to ETH standards), and support for attending local workshops and international conferences. The position is funded for 2 years at 100%. If you want to stay >2 years, we can discuss how to co-apply for additional funding. Part-time work contracts (eg 80%) will be considered. The starting date is flexible, ideally by 1 Feb 2023.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Your CV
  • Contact details of at least 2 scientific referees
  • A Motivation Letter which specifies: i) why you are interested in this project, ii) why you are interested in our research group, iii) what you bring, iv) what you expect to gain from this position and v) your career goals.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about our Group can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Marie Labouesse, marie.labouesse@hest.ethz.ch (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Your CV
  • Contact details of at least 2 scientific referees
  • A Motivation Letter which specifies: i) why you are interested in this project, ii) why you are interested in our research group, iii) what you bring, iv) what you expect to gain from this position and v) your career goals.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about our Group can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Marie Labouesse, marie.labouesse@hest.ethz.ch (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.