PhD Postion in Systems Neuroscience and Preclinical Application of Neurotechnology
University of Amsterdam Institute for Life Sciences

PhD Candidate in Systems Neuroscience and Preclinical Application of Neurotechnology

Publication date 8 July 2020

Closing date 31 August 2020

Level of education Master's degree

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,395 to €3,061 gross per month

Vacancy number 20-407

The Cognitive & Systems Neuroscience group is seeking a highly qualified and motivated candidate for a PhD position in Systems Neuroscience and preclinical research with use of neurotechnology, under the recently acquired NWO Crossover project INTENSE (Innovative NeuroTEchNology for SociEty), which will be coordinated by Prof. Cyriel Pennartz and Dr Umberto Olcese. The INTENSE project is a large collaboration between Dutch research institutions, which aims to develop a new generation of brain-machine interfaces. Our general objective is to develop a new class of interfaces to restore brain function following cortical loss of function. In the current project, we will first develop an animal model of a stroke-induced perceptual deficit, and then combine the use of a brain-machine interface with in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics and animal behaviour. While the brain-machine interface will be developed in a parallel project, the current project will apply it to define a new therapeutic approach to alleviate consequences of stroke.

What are you going to do?

You are expected:

  • to develop an animal model of a stroke-induced perceptual deficiency using inactivation and lesioning techniques;
  • to perform in vivo multi-area electrophysiological recordings and optogenetic manipulations;
  • to apply advanced electrophysiological and behavioural data analysis techniques;
  • to apply a brain-machine interface as part of a therapeutic approach alleviating consequences of stroke;
  • 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 track record as well as on your academic achievements, qualifications and vision.

What do we require?

You have:

  • an MSc in Neuroscience or closely related field with demonstrable affinity with Biomedical, Electronic or Automation Engineering and/or computational modelling;
  • experience in lesioning techniques, perception and animal behaviour;
  • experience in in vivo electrophysiological recordings of spike trains and/or optogenetics;
  • scientific expertise in neural and behavioural data analysis;
  • strong programming skills in MATLAB or Python;
  • experience in laboratory work (wet lab);
  • affinity with stroke research and the use of integrated hardware-software platforms;
  • possession of an 'article 9' (FELASA B) license is an important asset for this position.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week, for the duration of 48 months (initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory performance evaluation it can be extended) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. You are also expected to assist in teaching of undergraduates.

Based on a full-time employment contract (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,395 in the first year to €3,061 in the last year exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 % end-of-year bonus. 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.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • Prof. Cyriel Pennartz
  • Dr Umberto Olcese

About the Faculty of Science and SILS

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 of 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:

  1. Cell & Sytems Biology;
  2. Neurosciences;
  3. Microbiology and
  4. Green Life Sciences.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise 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.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your CV and cover letter by 31 August 2020. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV;
  • name and email of two academic referents.


No agencies please

Apply now

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