Job ID: 87052

Science Foundation Ireland funded preclinical longitudinal neuroimaging project aimed at identifying the neurodevelopmental origins of sex differences in depression

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 9 September 2022

Employment Start Date: 3 October 2022

Contract Length: 2 years

City: Dublin

Country: Ireland

Institution: Trinity College Dublin

Department: Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience


We are seeking applications for a 2-year Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The position is funded for 24 months with potential to extend for 6 further months. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will play a central role in a Science Foundation Ireland-funded preclinical longitudinal neuroimaging project aimed at identifying the neurodevelopmental origins of sex differences in depression.

Depression is the greatest public health concern of our time; it is the leading cause of illness and disability, worldwide. Depression is rooted in stress-linked disruption of brain function and affects twice as many women as men. This disparity begins in adolescence and continues throughout the reproductive life cycle, telling us that both sex and development matter for our understanding of depression. Yet, most preclinical research on stress-linked psychopathology is conducted in adult male rodents.

This reduces the translational validity of preclinical work, impedes progress in diagnostics and treatments, and disadvantages women. This project will work towards addressing these issues by examining sex differences in how stress disrupts brain development in a rodent model. A series of longitudinal functional MRI studies spanning pre-puberty to adulthood will delineate the impact of sex on when and where chronic stress alters typical brain development in rats, and how those effects are altered by treatment, including acute
ketamine administration. By using non-invasive fMRI methods, the study will provide a direct translational
bridge to humans.

The Research Fellow will be a key member of a team led by Clare Kelly and Andrew Harkin and will work with the PIs, PhD students, and research assistant, collaborating on MRI and behavioural data collection and analysis, methods development, and research dissemination, including study pre-registration. The two-year full-time position is funded by the SFI Frontiers for the Future programme. Candidates should have a PhD (or be about to submit their PhD) in neuroscience, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, neuropharmacology, or a related field, and should have experience in preclinical neuroimaging and/or rodent stress models. Candidates will have experience with research dissemination (e.g., publications, oral presentations, posters) and ideally will have published or will have papers in review.

Candidates should also have good statistical training, programming experience, excellent communication skills, and should be able to work effectively both independently and in a team. Trinity College Dublin and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience offer a world-class collaborative and interdisciplinary intellectual environment, where the candidate will be supported in the acquisition of a wide range of skills that will foster long-term career development. The candidate will also have international training and networking opportunities, including visits to other leading research centres. At Trinity, we are committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion. The School of Psychology holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award, recognising our work to advance gender equality, and is pursuing a Silver level award. We are committed to supporting work-life balance and to creating a family-friendly working environment. The salary (€39,523-€41,940 per annum) is based on the SFI Team Member Scale (Level 2A; Point 1-3).

Additional details are available in the full advertisement, accessible through the TCD vacancies portal:

The position is available immediately but the start date is flexible. The deadline for applications is Friday 9th September 2022. Interested applicants should send a CV and cover letter including a personal statement and full contact information for two references to