The candidate will work on two projects, both involving adult patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, their first-degree relatives and controls. The first project is an imaging and cognition study of Positive Valence Systems (PVS) in psychotic syndromes, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, USA). It involves two studies. First, to examine the PVS domain, and in particular reward circuits and behavior, we recruit a large genetically informative cohorts comprising 500 individuals (including 125 SCZ patients, 125 BP patients, 125 relatives and 125 controls). Using functional MRI (fMRI) we aim to characterize the neural correlates of the ventral striatum of the reward circuit during the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task in relation to diagnostic category and symptom dimensions. In addition, we aim to better understand the PVS system through online assessment of other PVS components (reward valuation, effort valuation, Action Selection/Decision Making using the Bandit task and the EEfRT). Second, we have set up an online study where we invite patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, their relatives and controls to perform the online tasks from home. For both studies, we currently build on two already existing cohorts in collaboration with the University Medical Centre Utrecht.
The candidate is responsible for supervision of two research assistants and a team of master students, METC handling, data management of the studies, and MRI processing and quality assessment.
The second project involves a study in the ENIGMA Relatives Working Group, also funded by the NIMH. In ENIGMA-Relatives more than 30 individual sites worldwide collaborate and contributed family cohort data (>6000 individuals). From its' start ENIGMA-Relatives took a cross-disorder approach, including first-degree relatives of patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. We now aim to expand this to also include first-degree relatives of patients with major depressive disorder. In this study, we set out to determine the relative impact of familial risk for severe mental illness on structural and functional brain metrics, with a focus on limbic and prefrontal brain regions. We collaborate with our colleagues at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, as their family cohorts are crucial to this effort.
The candidate is responsible for contacting all participating sites and recruiting new cohorts, assisting them in analyses of the imaging data and in running the (custom-made) statistical analysis scripts, and meta analyzing the summary statistics.
Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)
You have a PhD in neuroscience, with a focus on (functional) neuroimaging. A good command (oral and written) of English is required as are excellent communication skills. A good command of Dutch is a pre. Writing skills must be excellent and experience with different neuro-imaging methods and processing pipelines, programming (i.e. R, Matlab, python or C) and (multivariate) statistics is mandatory. You should have a high level of motivation and commitment to produce accurate and high-quality work and have excellent interpersonal, organizational, analytical, and documentation skills. It is important that you can work both independently and within a team. Experience with supervision of bachelor or master students is a pre. The department of CAPP stimulates adherence to the principles of Open Science and evidence of such practices by the candidate is recommended.
Due to the fact that the MRI scanner is available for scientific research on weekends and in the evenings, we ask that you be willing to be available flexibly on weekends and evenings. We will discuss your employability together. A good work-life balance is important to us
Conditions of employment
- The first contract runs until June 30, 2023, with the intention of extending after proven ability to March 31, 2027 (until June 30, 2024 for 0.85 fte, after that 0.35 fte).
- The gross monthly salary amounts a maximum of € 4.707,- (scale 10), depending on your level of education and relevant experience, based on a fulltime working week of 36 hours.
- Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and an individual travel expense package.
- Pension insurance with ABP, we take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
- Special benefits, such as an incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. There is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.
The Erasmus MC stands for a healthy population and excellence in healthcare. By conducting groundbreaking work, we aim to push boundaries through leading the way in research, education and healthcare. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques in a state-of-the-art environment.
The department of CAPP is the only independent department for child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology in the Netherlands that is integrated within a university medical center. Research in the department of CAPP department focuses on general population samples and clinical epidemiology (in populations at risk for severe mental illness, psychiatrically ill children and adolescence as well as somatically ill youth with psychiatric or psychological problems). CAPP is part of the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences (NIHES). The department is leading in Europe as far as standardized diagnostic assessment procedures are concerned and is internationally one of the strongest centers conducting etiological epidemiological research in the field of child psychopathology. The department of CAPP brings together clinical services, research, education and training to offer care and treatment, based upon reliable research evidence. The department of CAPP has extensive collaborations with the department of Neuroscience, Clinical Genetics, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Neurology.
For more information about this position, please contact prof. Neeltje van Haren, professor of Brain Development and Psychopathology, e-mail: email@example.com