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Research Associate in Robotics for Neuroscience

Requisition ID:  15471
Location: 

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  23-Dec-2021

 

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

 

Salary: £31,406 - £40,927 per annum

Closing Date: 23 January 2022

 

The Role

 

We are seeking a highly-motivated post-doc researcher to work on robotics for applications in neuroscience, and in particular on research themes related to physical human-robot interaction, human-human haptic communication and sensorimotor augmentation through supernumerary robotic limbs. You will work with an interdisciplinary group in the School of Engineering, within the newly established Neurorobotics research group led by Prof. Domenico Formica.

 

You will hold a PhD in biomedical engineering, biomedical robotics, or related fields, and have strong expertise in robotics for biomedical applications, controls for physical human-robot interaction and experimental motor neuroscience. Additional skills capabilities are experience in conducting human-robot experiments, and in using Virtual Reality tools.

 

The Neurorobotics group at Newcastle university led by Prof. Formica works at the intersection of robotics/mechatronics and neuroscience. On the one hand, it uses robotic and mechatronic technologies to study how the human brain plans, controls and executes movements, as well as how it acquires new motor skills, from the early stage of its development to its maturity. On the other hand, it aims to exploit the knowledge acquired from healthy brain for a human-centred design of robotic and mechatronic systems, to better assess and intervene on movement-related brain pathologies, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

 

The research activities will be interdisciplinary and will benefit from the opportunity to work with neuroscientists, clinical neurophysiologists and developmental psychologists. In particular, the recruited researcher will focus their activity on two main topis: i) the design of robot controls and their experimental validation for studying human-human haptic communication during the learning of new motor tasks; ii) the control of supernumerary robotic manipulators and associated proprioceptive feedback for studies on sensorimotr augmentation.

 

Ideal candidates should:

  • have good knowledge of robot control theory
  • have expertise in designing methods and tools for studying human-human physical interaction through robots
  • have experience in experimental protocols on human subjects
  • be proficient  in MATLAB and C/C++/C# programming
  • have relevant publications in international journals and conferences in the field of robotics for neuroscience

 

The post is available full time, fixed term starting in March 2022 for two years.

 

For informal enquiries please contact Prof Domenico Formica d.formica80@gmail.com

 

Further details about the School of Engineering can be found here; https://www.ncl.ac.uk/engineering/

 

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the community they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

 

Key Accountabilities

 

  • Design and test controls for redundant robotic manipulators
  • Implement experimental setup for studying human-human communication through robots
  • Model human motor behaviour during physical interaction with robots and with other humans
  • Design and execute experiments with humans on sensorimotor augmentation with robots
  • Contribute to the writing up of their research and its dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
  • Present research findings, either at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline

 

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

 

  • Detailed knowledge of robot control theory
  • Experience writing code and software with relevant languages and frameworks (e.g., C/C++/C#, MATLAB, Unity3D and related libraries)
  • A developing track record of peer-reviewed publications in internationally recognised journals and conferences, and experience of presenting to the national and international research community
  • Capabilities in designing and executing experiments on human subjects (Desirable)
  • Good skills in collecting and analysing data of experiments on human subjects (Desirable)
  • Basic knowledge of statistics and hypothesis testing (Desirable)

 

Attributes and Behaviour

 

  • Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to build trust with and collaboration with internal and external groups
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Good planning, organisation, and time management

 

Qualifications

 

  • PhD in biomedical engineering, biomedical robotics or related fields, or equivalent experience including substantial elements of robot control, bioengineering and motor neuroscience.
  • A good bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant subject (e.g., biomedical engineering, robotics)
  • Experience in designing and performing experiments on human subjects in the field of neural engineering and motor neuroscience (Desirable)

 

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

 

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

 

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.

 

Requisition ID: 15471