As a PhD you are part of a sub-team of the GUTS project that operates in Amsterdam and collaborates closely with Leiden University. The aim is to include groups of young adults that form close-knit social networks (ages 16-25-years) and use a range of measurements including self-report and peer-report (sociometric) questionnaires, behavioral testing, and brain imaging (fMRI sessions) to study factors that contribute to successful social development of emerging adults.
During your PhD, you will mainly focus on understanding the role of affective empathy in developing successful social interactions, in a cohort of young adults, and how the individual is influenced by its peers in the social network and how they in turn influence their peers. Affective empathy will be mainly measured through fMRI as activity in response to the emotional state of other individuals. Social behavior will be measure through social behavioral tasks and interviews. During your PhD you will have the opportunity to:
- study the role of affective empathy combining behavioral data, computational modeling and neuroscience;
- setting up and recruit the cohort of young adults together with the PIs, a postdoc and two other PhDs;
- collect and analyze fMRI and behavioral data regarding empathy tasks and social discounting using a combination of advanced analysis and computational modeling approaches;
- access and analyze previously acquired large cohorts data to develop a brain signature to be used to predict behavior in newly acquired cohort;
- closely collaborate and coordinate with other members of the GUTS consortium at different seniority levels;
- publish your findings in open access scientific journals;
- actively participate in the communication with young people about their perspective on the study and relevant assessments, as well as the clinical and societal impact of your research findings.
We are looking for an enthusiastic, societal engaged researcher at the start of their career, with
You should expect from us
- strong affinity for human neuroscience and computational analyses;
- a research master in the field of cognitive neuroscience, medicine or behavioural sciences;
- the ability to function well both in a team as well as independently, and good communication skills;
- proven experience with statistics and statistical software, such as JASP and R;
- fluent in English. Because of the target population and your active role in recruitment of the cohort, knowledge of Dutch is preferable;
- experience with fMRI scanning is a plus;
- It is important that you are flexibly available, including evenings and weekends, given that we accommodate the needs of our participants. It goes without saying that these working hours are compensated during the week, as we strongly value a healthy work-life balance.
In this 4-year-project, you will have the opportunity to learn state of the art research skills from leaders in the field. You'll enjoy working in a close-knit team of scientists that values an open culture where everybody feels free to ask questions and make suggestions. In particular, you can expect to
Diversity & Inclusion
- Learn a highly valued skill: the ability to make sense of large dataset using cutting edge data analysis strategies;
- Acquire the skills to communicate within and manage a challenging, varied project with major scientific and societal impact;
- The opportunity to work with leading researchers from a wide variety of different disciplines;
- Within GUTS, you'll be part of a larger community of PhD students with a specific training program;
- Guidance, support and mentoring from at least two PIs;
- A contract for 4 years for 1.0 fte conform the CAO UMC for PhD students;
- Additional benefits including an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday pay.
The KNAW considers a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated of great importance. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would therefore like to invite candidates who want to contribute to this through their background and experience. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to the candidate who thus enhances diversity within the Academy.