PhD candidate in systems neuroscience (nr. 4)

Faculty of Science – Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

5 juli 2018
Master's degree
€2,266 to €2,897 gross per month
3 augustus 2018
38 hours per week

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)  is one of the largest institutes of the Faculty of Science. Our approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centered on three themes:

  1. Cell & Systems Biology
  2. Neurosciences, and
  3. Molecular Life Sciences.

The research group Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience is looking for a PhD candidate in the field of systems neuroscience, bridging the gap between neurophysiology and human cognition.

Project description

Project: Neural coding of objects, places and neighborhoods in the temporal lobe.

This project will be supervised by Prof. Dr Cyriel Pennartz and colleagues (Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group, SILS-FNWI, UvA).  During perception and navigation through our environment, our brain naturally parcellates the sensory inputs it receives into objects, places and larger entities such as buildings and neighborhoods. The objective of this project is to examine neurophysiological correlations of this “chunking” process, especially in temporal lobe structures such as the perirhinal cortex. Neural mechanisms will be probed using techniques such as multi-area ensemble recordings and optogenetics. Moreover, data analysis (e.g. Bayesian decoding) will play a more major role, and the PhD candidate will collaborate with others to co-investigate neural mechanisms of tactile-visual integration, memory formation and retrieval within the context of testing a theoretical framework for understanding the neural basis of perception-memory interactions. This work will be part of the FET Flagship Human Brain Project and involves collaborations with many European research groups.

Candidate selection and assignment to a specific project will be based on both the expressed preference by the candidate and the selection committee’s assessment of the match between a candidate and a project.


You should have a Master's degree in experimental neuroscience or a related field. Affinity and/or experience in experimental methods for systems neuroscience are a prerequisite. Preferably you have strong programming skills (especially in MATLAB) and experience in developing and applying methods for signal processing and neural data analysis. For the collaborative projects, experience with human EEG (project 1) or fMRI (Project 2) is a plus. A certificate for working with laboratory animals (under Dutch legislation) will be an important asset for all these positions. You will also participate in educational activities at the bachelor and/or master levels.

Further information

Enquiries about the positions or any request for additional information can be directed to:


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it can be extended to a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan, including attendance of courses and (international) meetings. You are also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduate students.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,266 in the first year to €2,897 in the last year. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable. 

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

Applications may only be submitted by using the link below.

Applications must include:

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a grade list;
  • and an example of academic writing (thesis, research report) and the names and contact details of two academic referees.

Please combine all documents in one single attachment and also mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

Applications will be accepted until 3 August 2018.

Interviews will take place from the second half of August.#LI-DNP

No agencies please

Gepubliceerd door  Universiteit van Amsterdam