Research Fellow – Sensory Science



In collabration with the School of Physics & Astronomy

Fixed-term, part-time

£27,854 – £31,331 per annum, depending on skills & experience.

Applications are invited for a BBSRC funded postdoctoral fellowship on a project investigating how taste is represented in the primary gustatory cortex with high-resolution fMRI at ultra high field (7T).  The project will seek to develop novel methods to map the human primary gustatory cortex in the insula, together with the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex for taste, at very high spatial resolution. The focus of this post will be to map the fine gustotopic representations of prototypical tastants in the primary taste cortex of the insula, and also study the purported tastes of ‘metallic’ and ‘fatty acid’ taste. We will compare how prototypical tastants differ with taste phenotype and genotype, and study how phantom thermal taste occurs at the level of the primary gustatory cortex using ultra-high field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
 
This project will involve a range of investigative techniques including psychophysical (behavioural) testing, magnetic resonance imaging at 7T, and computational modelling and will be carried out by a team of academics and two post doctoral fellows, in addition to industrialists from Unilever, who are part funding the fellowships. The sensory specialist will bring expert sensory knowledge to the project and will be involved in the development of taste stimuli for subsequent imaging experiments, in addition to the recruitment and sensory screening of subjects for stimuli development and imaging studies. This project is collaboration between the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre and the Division of Food Sciences, and is supported by the BBSRC and Unilever. This post represents a unique training opportunity for an individual with an interest in taste perception who is keen to work as part of a wider team working with high-field magnetic resonance imaging.

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The Sir Peter Mansfield Centre for Magnetic Resonance is home to a world-leading team of physicists, with an active research program in magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy and the site of the first whole-body human 7T magnetic resonance scanner in the UK. The Sensory Science Centre has established expertise in developing sensory protocols and combining sensory and instrumental techniques to measure and monitor sensory stimuli. It is a purpose built sensory facility with access to analytical labs in the Food Sciences Division, making it one of the best-equipped laboratories investigating all aspects of flavour perception across the globe.  
 
Candidates should hold a PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant field such as Sensory Science, Food Science, psychology, physiology or a related discipline.  We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a general interest in sensory perception.  Candidates should have excellent organisation, time management and communication skills, including a good background in statistics.  Previous experience recruiting and working with sensory panels would be an advantage.

This post will be based at the Sutton Bonington Campus and will be offered on a fixed term, part time basis (18.5 hours per week) from January 2014 to 31 December 2016.
 
Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof. Joanne Hort, Email:joanne.hort@nottingham.ac.uk. Further details about the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre are available at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/magres

For more details and/or to apply on-line please access: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/Jobs/CurrentVacancies/ref/SCI1331.   If you are unable to apply on-line please contact the Human Resources Department, tel: 0115 951 5206. 

Please quote ref. SCI1331. 

Closing date: 1 January  2014.

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