Rodent 3R Platform Specialist

Updated: about 5 hours ago
Job Type: Permanent

80%-100%, Zurich, fixed-term

We are looking for an experienced scientist to co-manage the operational side of the rodent 3R-Hub affiliated with our lab, and lead our efforts to implement reduce-refine-replace (3R) principles. In this position you will further develop and refine existing behavior testing setups, design and build equipment for new behavior setups, and conduct experiments to optimize the behavior tests. You will be able to solve engineering and data integration problems at the interface between behavior testing and in vivo brain recordings. You will be responsible for updating our state-of-the-art behavior analysis pipelines based on the latest developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. You will train and guide collaborators during experimental design and data analysis. The position is currently limited to two years, but part of your job will be to strategically support our effort to develop it into a permanent position through careful alignment of our 3R-efforts with ETH strategies.

Project background

The mission of the ETH Zurich 3R Hub is to drive measurable and positive change in scientific animal research by promoting the principles of Replace, Reduce, and Refine. The 3R Hub aims to consolidate ongoing 3R research efforts across ETH Zurich. Through collaborative research, education, and the exploration of alternative methods, we strive to minimize the impact on animals in experimental settings, whilst maximizing the information gained from each animal used in research. The hub has recently been launched, and the demand for collaborations is already very high. Thus, we are looking for someone to join the current head of the 3R Hub as a co-leader, to manage ongoing projects and develop and implement a vision for how to exapand and permanently integrate the hub within the ETH ecosystem.

Job description

In this position you will be responsible for the successful operation of our 3R-Hub and ensure that it meets the changing needs of a dynamic research environment. As part of this job, you will...

  • maintain and further develop existing state-of-the-art behavior analysis, including physical maintenance of equipment and design of new upgrades
  • continuously implement the latest analyses algorithms/approaches for animal tracking and data analysis, as well as benchmarking the performance of the new approaches
  • establish new behavioral tasks and behavior setups aligned with the research directions of the research group. This includes designing, drawing and physically building new equipment and testing its functionality using studies with proper experimental design
  • train new employees who use the animal testing platform, to maintain the high standard of behavior analysis in the group. Specifically, you will ensure that group members can operate and maintain behavior equipment, properly conduct behavioral experiments, and collect and correctly analyze the behavioral data
  • stay up-to-date with developments in 3R research, write grants and design experiments to further 3R initiatives
  • lead group or collaborator meetings related to behavior testing, present new capabilities developed by the 3R-Hub
  • contribute to the writing and reviewing of scientific papers related to rodent behavior testing
  • identify and connect with collaboration partners in the greater Zurich neuroscience communiy (Neuroscience Center Zurich)


The job profile requires:

  • A degree in neuroscience and/or engineering (or related field) and a proven track record of desiging and building behavior testing equipment (hands-on, practical skills)
  • A PhD in neuroscience with proven publication track record
  • ideally a few years of postdoc or equivalent position with leadership experience
  • >5 years experience and in-depth knowledge in rodent behavioral neuroscience research
  • A publication track record that demonstrates successful development and implementation of behavior analysis approaches
  • A proven track record in grant writing and securing indepenent funding
  • Fluency in English
  • Up-to-date knowledge of latest technological developments in the field of behavior testing
  • Proficiency in programming languages (Python is a requirement)
  • Experience working with machine learning approaches
  • Excellent interpersonal skills in order to coordinate and balance the needs and requirements of group members in a dynamic and interdisciplinary research environment
  • Creative/adaptive problem solving skills



We offer
  • A caring, supportive and modern work environment based on trust and respect
  • A uniquely stimulating scientific environment with a cutting-edge research lab embedded in the greater Zurich Neuroscience Center (ZNZ)
  • Flexible working hours (incl. the option for home office) that are compatible with a healthy work/life balance
  • Opportunities for furthering education and continued learning
  • The possibility to take responsibilty in guiding projects and mentoring students
  • Meaningful work with a long-term vision to advance our understanding of brain function

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Curious? So are we.

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

  • Curriculum Vitae incl. Publication List
  • A short statement (max. 250 words) summarizing your work experience and why you think you are the ideal candiate for the position

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 lab can be found on our lab's website  and the 3R-Hub's homepage . Questions regarding the position should be directed toDr. Oliver Sturman, [email protected] (no applications).

For recruitment services the GTC of ETH Zurich apply.

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.

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