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PhD Position in Amsterdam – Computational Neuroscience, Brain Modelling

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

The Netherlands

University of Amsterdam invites applications for PhD position in Computational Neuroscience to work in the grant NWA-ORC: ‘Safety solutions for autonomous vehicle integration in urban mobility: efficient and reliable acting in an uncertain and unreliable world’ at Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group, Faculty of Science, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, The Netherland – Oct 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD Job
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2,434 EURO/Month

Faculty of Science
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Qualification Details

  • A MSc in computational neuroscience or closely related field with a focus on modeling biological neural systems. Alternatively, a MSc in physics, mathematics or a closely related field, and a clear background or affinity for brain modeling.
  • Strong quantitative and analytical skills, including calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, dynamical systems, stochastic processes, and complex systems. A good understanding of Bayesian statistics is considered a plus.
  • Strong computational/programming skills (preferably with Python), including numerical methods for differential equations, stochastic processes, and machine learning.
  • Experience with the use of high-performance computers is a plus.
  • Concrete experience in a computational neuroscience modeling project is recommended.
  • Demonstrable affinity with neural mechanisms of perception and cognition.
  • Ability to read and understand relevant neuroscientific literature and use experimental data to build models.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English, within a multidisciplinary team and in an international context.
  • A passionate interest to understand how the brain works.

Responsibilities/Job Description

You are expected:

  • to perform research of multisensory integration and perception using computational neuroscience methods;
  • to review relevant literature and acquire knowledge on neurobiology, perception and computational neuroscience;
  • to build biologically realistic multi-area computer models of cortical circuits for multisensory perception, and compare their predictions with experimental findings;
  • to collaborate with other groups in the Consortium;
  • to take part in the teaching effort of the group, including supervision of bachelor and master students;
  • to write scientific manuscripts and a PhD thesis.

We will base our selection on your scientific and/or technological track record, as well as on your academic achievements, qualifications, and vision.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: 21-734
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications;
  • names and emails of two academic references.

About Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group

The Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group is seeking a highly qualified and motivated candidate for a doctoral position in computational neuroscience, under the recently acquired consortium grant NWA-ORC: 'Safety solutions for autonomous vehicle integration in urban mobility: efficient and reliable acting in an uncertain and unreliable world'. The aim of this Consortium is to understand the fundamental principles used by our brains to integrate information in noisy environments and uncertain conditions, and then implement those principles in next-generation algorithms for safe autonomous mobility.

Within the Consortium, the main objective of the present PhD project is to develop a biologically realistic computational model of multi-area brain circuits involved in multisensory perception under uncertainty. The model will be constrained by state-of-the-art neuroanatomical data (such as realistic brain connectivity and multiple cell types), and we will identify and study biological aspects of the model which contribute to an optimal integration of sensory information (following Bayesian and other principles). Model predictions will then be compared to experimental data from collaborators.

The project will be supervised by Dr. Jorge Mejias, head of the Computational Neuroscience Lab, and Prof. Dr. Cyriel Pennartz, head of the Cognitive & Systems Neuroscience group. The candidate will also closely collaborate with other computational neuroscientists, experimental neuroscientists, theoreticians and machine learning experts.

About the Department

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centred on four themes: Cell & Systems Biology, Neurosciences, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

About the Employer: University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended to a total duration of four years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,434 in the first year to €3,111 (scale P) in the last year. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

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Contact details

Please contact:

  • dr. Jorge Mejias, assistant professor of computational neurosciences
  • T. + 31 (0)20 525 7620

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