Coordinating Postdoc 'Computational Neuroscience of Controlling Stress Responses'

Coordinating Postdoc 'Computational Neuroscience of Controlling Stress Responses'

Published Deadline Location
24 Nov 14 Dec Nijmegen

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Job description

Are you interested in how the brain works? Then this Postdoc is for you! The goal of the projects is to unravel the brain mechanisms of the motivational and cognitive control of stress responses. We are looking for a coordinating postdoctoral researcher with an interest in the computational neuroscience of human behavior, cognition and emotion.

The project will involve designing critical experimental paradigms, amenable to computational modeling, to quantify the control of neural, physiological and emotional responses to stressful outcomes. The design of these experiments will be guided by a theoretical framework, according to which the brain prioritizes distinct behavioral control strategies depending on fluctuations in stressor controllability, utility and volatility. Computational modeling of behavior will be combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging, physiological recording and ecological momentary assessments.

In addition to being responsible for this project, you will also play a key role in the coordination of the overarching ERC Advanced CHEMCONTROL program. In this context, 2 PhD students and 1 other postdoc will be recruited. Together with a clinical trial manager, the CHEMCONTROL team will integrate computational modeling, pharmacological fMRI, chemical PET imaging, and focused transcranial ultrasound stimulation to unravel the brain mechanisms by which we adapt flexibly to the many stressors around us.

You will be embedded in the research group of Roshan Cools at the Donders Institute, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN) and interact closely with the groups of Hanneke den Ouden and Erno Hermans also at the Donders. In addition, there will be an opportunity to collaborate closely with key international players in the field of computational neuroscience, including Romain Ligneul at INSERM, Lyon.


Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc)


You have a passion for mechanistic research at the border between functional neuroimaging, neurophysiology, computational cognitive science, and affective neuroscience. You are curious, ambitious, and can work independently. Your English is fluent in speaking and writing at an academic level. Speaking Dutch is not required for this position.

You are expected to have the background knowledge, skills and motivation that will allow you to fully exploit and learn from the rich research environment that the Donders Institute provides (including its intellectual and technical infrastructure). You are an independent scholar and brain scientist of human cognition and emotion, who is ready to acquire the skills required for conducting all phases of computational neuroimaging and neurophysiology, including conceptual and experimental design, computational modeling of behavior, data acquisition, data analysis, data interpretation and publication. You are also expected to be a team player, willing to take on a leadership role that is necessary to coordinate a research team, working closely with multiple research group leaders, postdocs, fellows PhD students, research assistants and research master students.

In addition you possess the profile below:
  • You hold or have finished and nearly obtained a PhD in the field of computational cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science, biomedical sciences, or a related field.
  • You have experience and skills in neuroimaging (functional and structural MRI).
  • You have experience with, or are interested in, computational and statistical modelling.
  • You have strong communication and coordination skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together.
  • A gross monthly salary between € 3.047 and € 4.800 (scale 10) based on full-time employment.
  • An annual vacation allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • You get a discount on health insurance as well: you can take advantage of two group health insurance plans. UMC Zorgverzekering and CZ collectief.
  • We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
In addition to our terms of employment, we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the CAO UMC.



A position is available within the Motivational and Cognitive Control Lab, which is based at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, part of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. Our overarching goal is to understand the neural and neurochemical mechanisms underlying flexible and adaptive behavior and decision making. Such adaptive behaviour requires motivational and cognitive control as well as reinforcement learning.

Donders Institute
The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre that houses more than 700 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human brain. Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is being conducted at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.

Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
The mission of the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN) is to conduct cutting-edge fundamental research in cognitive neuroscience. Our internationally renowned centre currently hosts more than 100 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers from more than 25 countries, offering a stimulating and multidisciplinary research environment. The centre is equipped with four MRI scanners (7T, 3x 3T), a 275-channel MEG system, an EEG-TMS laboratory, several (MR-compatible) EEG systems, and high-performance computational facilities.

Our internationally renowned centre currently hosts more than 100 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers from more than 25 countries, offering a stimulating and multidisciplinary research environment.

Motivational and Cognitive Control Lab
The lab is headed by Prof. dr. Roshan Cools. Our aim is to elucidate the mental processes, computations, and neural mechanisms that enable and motivate us to act in accordance with our goals. We approach this question by combining psychopharmacology, functional MRI, neurochemical PET and computational cognitive modeling of behavior of human volunteers with and without neuropsychiatric problems.

Radboud university medical center is a university medical center for patient care, scientific research, and education in Nijmegen. Radboud university medical center strives to be at the forefront of shaping the healthcare of the future. We do this in a person-centered and innovative way, and in close collaboration with our network. We want to have a significant impact on healthcare. We want to improve with each passing day, continuously working towards better healthcare, research, and education. And gaining a better understanding of how diseases arise and how we can prevent, treat, and cure them, day in and day out. This way, every patient always receives the best healthcare, now and in the future. Because that is why we do what we do.

Read more about our strategy and what working at Radboud university medical center means. Our colleagues would be happy to tell you about it. #weareradboudumc


  • Postdoc
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3047—€4800 per month
  • University graduate
  • 173625-P1111902-1


Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc)

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Geert Grooteplein-Zuid 10, 6525 GA, Nijmegen

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