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Research Assistant I, Laboratory of Dr. Talmo Pereira

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
United States, California, La Jolla
10010 North Torrey Pines Road (Show on map)
January 06, 2024
Description

The Pereira and Azim laboratories at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies are seeking a Research Assistant I to be a member of our teams focused on cutting-edge research in computational and behavioral neuroscience through the development and implementation of systems for performing neuromechanical simulations. The Research Assistant I will have the unique opportunity to work at the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence, utilizing the latest technologies to extract quantitative measures of unrestrained behavioral kinematics, develop physics-based models of biomechanics, and develop simulated agents that behave like real animals. Working closely with software engineers, computer scientists and neuroscientists, they will implement simulation pipelines to train deep neural network models for control using deep reinforcement learning. Simultaneously, working closely with neurobiologists, they will implement models of neural circuit architectures and computations that will drive the simulated agents. Competitive candidates for this position will have strong experience with Python-based data analysis, a strong interest in behavior and neuroscience, and an eagerness to learn the computational and analytical techniques required to conduct this research.

We STRONGLY recommend that applicants provide a link to their GitHub profile with examples of their previous programming experience to receive full consideration (including previous research code or class projects).

Essential Functions



  • (100%) Research and Lab Support

    • Carries out tasks pertaining to data annotation, and development and implementation of computational pipelines in Python.
    • Carries out software engineering tasks related to implementing computational pipelines.
    • Carries out guided studies of the biomechanics of movement and their instantiation in physics simulations.
    • Carries out guided data analysis tasks to extract and visualize patterns from high-dimensional and large-scale behavioral data.
    • Participates in team meetings to discuss project progress.
    • May coordinate with other Salk labs.
    • May assist with supervision of undergraduate students and other lab members.
    • May perform additional duties as required.




EXPERIENCE

Required:



  • Experience with Python-based software engineering.


Preferred:



  • Experience with robotics, deep reinforcement learning, or control theory.


EDUCATION

Required:



  • Bachelor's degree in neuroscience, physics, computer science, bioinformatics, mechanical engineering, or related field.


Preferred:



  • Master's degree or post-baccalaureate certification in related field.


SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Required:



  • Intermediate to advanced programming experience in Python.
  • Basic experience with data analysis and visualization, including associated tools and frameworks (e.g., Jupyter Lab, numpy, scipy, matplotlib, pandas, etc.).
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and


Preferred:



  • Proficiency with data science and deep learning frameworks (e.g., TensorFlow, PyTorch, Jax).
  • Experience with physics simulators (e.g., MuJoCo, Pybullet, Isaac Gym)
  • Experience with behavioral analysis software (e.g., SLEAP, MoSeq, JAABA, SimBA, A-SOiD, BENTO, MARS, Anipose, BORIS, etc.)
  • Experience with deep reinforcement learning.


The expected pay range for this position is $18.03 to $21.00 per hour.
Salk Institute provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the institute reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location, and external market pay for comparable jobs.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT



  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research
  • Must be willing to work an adjusted schedule to support research
  • Successful completion of the Institute's background
  • Willing to sign a confidentiality agreement


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/MENTAL ACTIVITIES/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, handling, hearing, seeing, standing, analyzing, communicating, reading, reasoning, and working inside.

The Salk Institute is an internationally renowned research institution that values . We seek bold and interactive leaders passionate about exploring new frontiers in science. Our collaborative community embraces diverse perspectives and unique life experiences, fostering innovation, and a sense of belonging. Together, we strive to improve the wellbeing of humanity through groundbreaking research.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

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