Junior Researcher Embodied decision-making

Junior Researcher Embodied decision-making

Published Deadline Location
22 May 2 Jun Amsterdam

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We believe the decisions we make result from careful thought processes. Yet our body is needed for turning these decisions into actions. Can it be that our motor system is also driving the decisions we make? We are looking for a junior researcher (1.0 ...

Job description

We are looking for a junior researcher (1.0 fte, 10 months) to carry out and analyze a series of behavioural experiments that explore whether the effort to move influences perceptual decision-making. If successful, we intend to expand this research line into a PhD project on the neural basis of embodied decision making. The project will be supervised by Dr. Bernadette van Wijk, Dr. Rob van Beers, and Prof. dr. Jeroen Smeets.

Your duties
  • Your task will be to develop and test new data acquisition protocols where you have the possibility to work with different techniques to measure kinematic or kinetic aspects of human movement, including, accelerometers, force sensors, motion tracking, and a robot arm.
  • You will combine these measurements with classical perceptual decision-making paradigms such as the random dot motion task. All data collection will take place with healthy human volunteers.
  • We also expect you to analyze these data to answer basic research questions around the topic of embodied decision-making.
  • If the research line leads to a PhD project, you will also measure EEG, and may apply more advanced statistical (drift-diffusion) modelling.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • A MSc degree in human movement sciences or a related field such as (cognitive) neuroscience, psychology, or biomedical engineering
  • Affinity with the research topics motor control and decision-making
  • Affinity with time series analysis and statistical modelling
  • Comfortable with programming in Matlab and/or Python
  • Prior experience with at least one of the data collection techniques listed above is desired

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 6 months.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts a minimum gross salary of €2,960 (scale 10:0) per month, based on a full-time employment and a maximum of €4.670 (scale 10:12) per month, based on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will be for 10 months, starting on or before 10 August 2023.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences focuses on the broad domain of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society, from healthy aging to e-health, from juvenile crime to dealing with depression, from training for top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We are unique in that we combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education.

Working at Behavioural and Movement Sciences means working in an ambitious organization that is characterized by an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. Our faculty offers tremendous scope for personal development. We employ more than 600 staff members, and we are home to around 3,400 students.

About the department, institute, project
The department of Human Movement Sciences performs research on the human musculoskeletal system, on the way people move, and on how human movement can be influenced in the context of sports, health, physical education and rehabilitation. Our research is multi-disciplinary: we combine anatomy, physiology, psychology and biomechanics to understand and improve human movement. We provide educational programs at the BSc and MSc levels in the same domain, with a strong emphasis on scientific training. In addition, we have a research-based PhD program. The department has a strong commitment to theory development, and innovative research, but we also prioritize the societal value of our research and devote ample time and attention to translation of our research findings to promote their application in practice.
The department provides a vibrant climate with high quality teaching and research staff and PhD-students who are supported by excellent facilities (e.g., multiple labs for experimental research, equipment for movement analysis and physiological measurements, as well as high-quality engineering support to develop custom-made equipment and set-ups). We have a world-class reputation for our research and teaching, as indicated by for example a 5th place in the Shanghai ranking for sports science, high quality publications, and frequent international collaboration and exchange. Research and teaching have a strong interdisciplinary nature. The research program of the department is integrated in the research institutes Amsterdam Movement Sciences (https://www.amsterdamumc.org/en/research/institutes/amsterdam-movement-sciences.htm) and Institute for Brain and Behavior Amsterdam (https://vu.nl/nl/over-de-vu/onderzoeksinstituten/institute-for-brain-and-behavior-amsterdam-ibba).


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 02/06/2023. Interviews will take place in June.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • University graduate
  • 15408


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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