Research Associate/Fellow in Brain MR Spectroscopy Cardiff University School of Psychology United Kingdom

Research Associate/Fellow in Brain MR Spectroscopy






School of Psychology






Research Associate / Research Fellow in Brain MR Spectroscopy


Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) is a state-of-the-art purpose-built premises housing 185 researchers, 4 human MRI systems (2 x Siemens Prisma 3T, 1 x Siemens Connectom [with 300mT/m gradients], 1 x Siemens 7T), MEG, EEG, TMS, tDCS, a clinical research facility and testing labs.


This is a rare opportunity to join a successful imaging neuroimaging centre in a phase of strong growth and to work in a vibrant and positive research environment. CUBRIC provides an excellent combination of MR equipment and excellent environment in which to work across a diverse range of MR disciplines. The successful applicant should have expertise in MR physics / engineering, experience of MR neuroimaging methods and sequence optimisation and be able communicate the intricacies of MR imaging to individuals from a wide range of disciplines.


This position would suit a self-motivated individual with a proactive and flexible approach to work, and the ability to use initiative and creativity.


It is strongly recommended that interested candidates arrange for an informal discussions with Richard Wise prior to submitting an application (


This position is full time and is fixed term for 3 years. The appointment will be made at either Research Associate (Grade 6), or Research Fellow (Grade 7), according to the level of expertise and experience.


Salary: £33,199 - £39,609 per annum (Grade 6) or £42,036 - £48,677 per annum (Grade 7).  It is not expected to appoint above starting salary £42,036 per annum (Point 7.38).


Evidencing Criteria - It is School of Psychology’s policy use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement. Please ensure when submitting this document/attaching it to your application profile you name it with the vacancy reference number.


If candidates do not provide written evidence of meeting all the essential criteria then their application will not be progressed.


Date advert posted: Friday, 17 May 2019


Closing date: Monday, 17 June 2019


Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.


Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.



Job Description


Main function


To conduct methodological development of MR spectroscopy data acquisition and analysis at 3T and 7T. To apply these methods to basic and clinical neuroscientific research questions relevant to CUBRIC’s strategy. To pursue excellence in research, publishing work in high-quality journals.


[Grade 7: contribute to internationally recognised research performance including winning research funding]




    To work with the team of researchers in CUBRIC to deliver the aims of major funding programmes that CUBRIC has received, including: Wellcome and The UK Medical Research Council. See CUBRIC website.

    To work collaboratively with researchers in CUBRIC to build MR research capacity through the development of imaging and spectroscopy methods and their application in humans to basic and clinical neuroscientific research questions.

    To develop and apply novel MR spectroscopy approaches to the investigation of the human brain. There are a number of active research areas in MR spectroscopy in CUBRIC; the investigation of neurotransmitters such as GABA and glutamate/glutamine, studying microstructure with diffusion-weighted spectroscopy and multinuclear spectroscopy/imaging. The role will involve pulse programming and MRS analysis.

    To collaborate closely with colleagues at other 7T research sites, such as University of Oxford and Nottingham University as well as Siemens and overseas institutions.

    To contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University by the production of measurable outputs including bidding for funding, publishing in national academic journals and conferences, and the recruitment and supervision of postgraduate research students.


             Grade 7: contribute to internationally recognised research performance including winning substantial research funding    



    To develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research including research funding proposals


            Grade 7: independently develop research objectives, acting as PI as required



    To build research networks both internally and externally to the University. This will include with new networks such as the MRC funded UK7T network. To influence decisions, explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research projects


               Grade 7: develop networks through national/international conference/seminar presentations



    To undertake administrative tasks associated with the research project, including the planning and organisation of the project and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting

    To prepare research ethics and research governance applications as appropriate

    To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field

    To participate in CUBRIC/School research activities (seminars, workshops, training etc.) and to train and supervise other researchers.


Person Specification


Essential Criteria


Qualifications and Education


    Postgraduate degree at PhD level in a relevant subject area, for example, MR Physics / Engineering.


Knowledge, Skills and Experience


    An established expertise and proven portfolio of research involving significant development and application of MR methods relevant to the development of spectroscopy, such as pulse programming or ultra-high field MRS.


Grade 7: growing national reputation within field



    Detailed knowledge of the current status of research in advanced MRS and of the challenges and opportunities of ultra-high field (7T) neuro-MRS.




    Strong scientific computing skills for data and image analysis, such as, shell-scripting, coding e.g. Matlab and use of image analysis and/or statistical packages




    Proven ability to publish in high-quality journals and in a timely manner


Grade 7: proven substantial record of publications in high-impact journals



    Proven ability to be successful in contributing to competitive research funding


Grade 7: strong contribution to research grant applications


Communication and Team Working


    Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication including: excellent presentation skills, supervising others’ work, motivating individuals and working in a multidisciplinary team to communicate complex information to individuals from a range of disciplines (clinical and non-clinical colleagues)




    Proven ability to establish effective collaborations both inside and outside one’s primary institution.




    Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and to work without close supervision



Desirable Criteria


    Ability to translate biological questions to meaningful MRI targets.

    Willingness to provide training on neuroimaging analysis methods to colleagues at all levels from postgraduate to senior academic

    A willingness to take responsibility for academically related administration

    Experience of RF pulse design, optimisation and characterisation (e.g. B1 mapping) and / or advanced RF techniques such as RF shimming and parallel transmit

    Experience of MR sequence development/optimisation including pulse programming (and in particular Siemens IDEA, ICE).

    Experience of 7T MRI for human research


Additional Information


Job Description continued..




    To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally to raise awareness of the School’s profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the School and the enhancement of its regional and national profile.

    To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.

    To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world

    Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.



IMPORTANT: All interested parties are strongly encouraged to have an informal chat about the post and the application procedure with Richard Wise ( before applying.


Cardiff School of Psychology


We are recognised internationally for sustained excellence in research, impact and research-led teaching. We are a large School with over 50 academic staff, over 600 undergraduates and 150 postgraduate students. In the last assessment the School attained the highest rating of ‘excellent’ for its teaching from the HEFCW Teaching Quality Assessment Panel.


Many individuals in the School are leading figures in their research areas. In the last Research Excellence Framework we entered as a unit of over 80 staff with our colleagues in Psychological Medicine. We were placed 2nd in our topic area across the UK. We have state of the art laboratories and experimental expertise across the range of psychology, and have one of the largest and best equipped imaging centres in Europe (see:


Our collective aim is to understand the psychological and biological foundations of behaviour at both individual and group levels. The research undertaken in the School ranges from 'synapse to society', and includes normal behaviour in development and adulthood, the breakdown of cognition after stress, trauma and in neurological and/or genetic conditions, as well as key psychological issues of broad importance to society, such as prejudice, reproductive health and understanding risk. The School also contributes to cross-disciplinary University Research Institutes in Neuroscience and Mental Health, Sustainable Places, and Energy Systems Research.



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Job Category


Academic - Research




Grade 6

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