Open Position: PhD studentship in Olfactory Biocomputation

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position in the Biocomputation Research group at the University of Hertfordshire. Our research on Olfactory Biocomputation encompasses the following topics:

  • Olfactory computing in insects and vertebrates
  • The role of stimulus dynamics in olfaction
  • Chemical “receptive fields” of odorant receptors
  • Neuromorphic computing and bio-inspired signal processing for chemical sensing

Our spectrum of methods covers data science and machine learning, simulation of spiking networks, cheminformatics, and brain-like computing on neuromorphic hardware. The successful candidate should ideally have previous experience in one or more of these methods, but a keen interest in our research topics and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary research is considered essential. Excellent programming skills are required and should be documented upon application. Most of our code is written in Python.

Depending on the area of work, the successful candidate will join our collaborative research efforts with excellent experimental research groups, as e.g. led by Prof. Andreas Schaefer (Francis Crick Institute, London), Dr. Markus Knaden and Dr. Silke Sachse (Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany). For a list of recent projects and publications please refer to the web pages of the BioMachineLearning Project and the Biocomputation Group.

The student will be supervised by Drs. Michael Schmuker (m.schmuker @ and Volker Steuber (v.steuber @ Informal enquiries by email prior to application are encouraged and very welcome.

Successful candidates are eligible for a research studentship award from the University (approximately GBP 14,250 per annum bursary plus payment of the student fees).

Research in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire has been recognized as excellent by the latest Research Excellence Framework Assessment, with 50% of the research submitted being rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The Science and Technology Research Institute provides a very stimulating environment, offering a large number of specialized and interdisciplinary seminars as well as general training and researcher development opportunities. The University of Hertfordshire is situated in Hatfield, in the green belt just north of London.

Application forms can be obtained from:

Mrs Lorraine Nicholls,
Research Student Administrator,
University of Hertfordshire,
College Lane,
Hatfield, Herts,
AL10 9AB,
Tel: +44 01707 286083,
l.nicholls @

The short-listing process will begin on 30 May, 2016.

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