PhD Position: Pioneering ultrasound imaging to map information transfer in the social brain of rodents - NIN-KNAW - Amsterdam Zuidoost

PhD Position: Pioneering ultrasound imaging to map information transfer in the social brain of rodents - NIN-KNAW - Amsterdam Zuidoost

Published Deadline Location
20 Dec 19 Jan Amsterdam Zuid-Oost

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Job description

The Social Brain Lab has an outstanding opportunity for a PhD position pioneering ultrasound imaging to map information transfer in the social brain of rodents.

Very recently ultrasounds brain imaging became available as a tool to image brain hemodynamic changes at high spatial and temporal resolution. This provides a unique opportunity for the neuroscience community to investigate brain dynamics. The candidate will be paired with a postdoc with a physics background to help pioneer this approach to investigate the circuits of empathy and prosocial behavior in rodents. The experiments will involve sophisticated behavioral models as well as advanced data analyses and provide the unique opportunity to be at the forefront of this new technological development. A positive, flexible, energetic attitude and a strong affinity for analyzing complex neuroscience data will be essential for the project, together with the ability to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines while at the same time being an independent researcher.


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)


Desired skills and experience

  • Master degree or equivalent in behavioral neuroscience or related fields.
  • Research experience with small animal behavioral studies.
  • Experience with small animal surgeries.
  • Experience in programing languages (Python or similar).
  • Experience with electro-physiology and signal processing will be considered a plus.
  • Highly motivated, energetic, detail orientated and capable to work and troubleshoot independently and collaboratively.
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

Conditions of employment

The gross monthly salary coming with a full-time appointment will amount to a minimum of € 2.325,- in the first year to € 2.972,- in the fourth year (P scale of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, CAO NU).

A 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus are excluded.

We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits.


Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience is an Academy research institute. It conducts basic and strategic research in the neurosciences. It examines how the human brain makes awareness, perception, movement, learning, social interaction and other cognitive functions possible. It also studies how brain disorders can disrupt these functions.


The project will be held at the Social Brain Lab (SBL), led by Valeria Gazzola and Christian Keysers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. The lab investigates the neural bases of empathy by combining human and animal experiments with last-generation imaging and neuro-modulatory techniques. The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience ( is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute. Both the PIs have an additional position at the University of Amsterdam, one of the top psychology departments in Europe. Together this provides a critical mass of experts in the most advanced neuroscience techniques, together with a dynamic multi-cultural environment. English is the working language of the research group and is extremely well spoken in the vibrant and international city of Amsterdam, creating an attractive, progressive and easy-to-integrate environment.

The SBL is highly diverse, with members from more than 8 nations (from South-America to India) with backgrounds ranging from physics to engineering with an emphasis on biology and psychology. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or status as disabled status, or genetic information.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT2019-093


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

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Meibergdreef 47, 1105 BA, Amsterdam Zuid-Oost

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