PhD position in Computational Neuroscience

PhD position in Computational Neuroscience

Published Deadline Location
26 Jan 25 Feb Amsterdam

Job description

The Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group at the University of Amsterdam is seeking a highly qualified and motivated candidate for a PhD position in Computational Neuroscience. The position falls under the Horizon Health Europe Consortium grant “Virtual Brain Twins for Personalized Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders”. This Consortium constitutes a large collaboration between different European institutions, aiming to develop personalized brain simulation software (“virtual brain twins”) to improve the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia.

The main objective of this PhD project is to develop a biologically realistic computational model of the human brain, and use it to study alterations in brain activity associated with schizophrenia. Such model will make use of local neural mass models (developed by our Consortium partners) to simulate multiple brain areas, and will bring them together using structural connectivity data from human subjects. The model will be then used to explore the effects of schizophrenia-related alterations in brain dynamics and function, and to derive patient-specific virtual brain simulations to improve diagnosis and explore treatments in collaboration with clinical Consortium partners.

The project will be supervised by Dr. Jorge Mejias, principal investigator in computational neuroscience and leader of the Dutch component of the Consortium, and by Prof. Dr. Cyriel Pennartz, head of the Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group. You will closely collaborate with other Consortium members, particularly with the team of Prof. Viktor Jirsa at Aix-Marseille University, and will also benefit from interactions with local colleagues including other theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscientists at the Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Group.

What are you going to do?
You are expected:
  • to complete a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • to perform research on computational modeling and brain simulation;
  • to acquire in-depth knowledge on neurophysiology, computational neuroscience and brain disorders;
  • to build biologically realistic, data-constrained human brain models, study them using techniques and tools

from dynamical systems, complex systems and machine learning, and compare their predictions with

experimental data including fMRI and EEG;
  • to collaborate with other groups in the Virtual Brain Twins Consortium, use simulation and high-performance

computing resources and contribute to data and model curation;
  • to contribute to the teaching effort of the Group, including supervision of bachelor and master students;
  • to present your results at seminars and (inter)national conferences.

We will base our selection on your scientific and/or technological track record, as well as on your academic achievements, qualifications, and vision.

Specifications

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Requirements

  • a Master's Degree in computational neuroscience or closely related field, with a focus on modeling

biological neural systems. Alternatively, a Master Degree in Physics, Mathematics,

Computational Science or a closely related field, and a clear background or affinity for brain modeling;
  • strong quantitative and analytical skills, including calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, dynamical systems,

stochastic processes and complex systems;
  • strong computational/programming skills (preferably with Python), including numerical methods for

differential equations, machine learning and data analysis;
  • a keen, demonstrated interest in neuroscience research;
  • experience with computational neuroscience modeling projects, with virtual brain simulation engines

(e.g. TVB), and/or with high performance computers is considered an advantage;
  • ability to read and understand relevant neuroscientific, cognitive and clinical literature and use

experimental data to build models;
  • ability to communicate effectively in English, within a multidisciplinary team and in an international context;

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,770 in the first year to €3,539 (scale P) in the last year. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

Employer

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 17 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Application
Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 25 February 2024. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include, in a single pdf file:
  • a motivation letter;
  • a CV;
  • the names, affiliations and email of two references.

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines)

The interviews will be held in the second half of March 2024.

"The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity."

Additional information

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation?

Please contact: Jorge Mejias, Assistant Professor, tel. + 31 (0)20 525 8464 and email j.f.mejias@uva.nl.

About the Faculty of Science and the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences.
The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 17 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Application
Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 25 February 2024. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include, in a single pdf file:
  • a motivation letter;
  • a CV;
  • the names, affiliations and email of two references.

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines)

The interviews will be held in the second half of March 2024.

"The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity."

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 12567

Employer

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 25 Feb 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).