PhD Candidate: Sensorimotor Neuroscience at the Donders Centre for Cognition

PhD Candidate: Sensorimotor Neuroscience at the Donders Centre for Cognition

Published Deadline Location
30 Jan 14 Feb Nijmegen

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Job description

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate with interest and expertise in building computational models of body representation, technological augmentation, and embodiment.

You will be part of the NWO VIDI Grant project ‘Human 2.0: A neurocognitive framework for upgrading the body’. The goal of the project is to uncover the neurocognitive principles underlying the embodiment of finger-extending exoskeletons. To what extent do internal representations of the body and technology (e.g. exoskeletal fingers) fuse into a single representation? We will use a variety of neuroscientific approaches (behaviour and M/EEG) and analytical tools (computational modelling, machine learning) to make headway on answering this fundamental question.

As a PhD candidate, you will design novel behavioural and neuroimaging paradigms to measure internal representations of the body and tools, as well as their fusion. Importantly, you will use computational modelling to identify the presence of finger-exoskeleton fusion. The goal of these models is to provide a quantitative basis for identifying embodiment in behavioural and neural data. A major component of the project is to characterise the sensorimotor factors driving embodiment. You will help in the design and construction of exoskeletal fingers that can provide the user with realistic somatosensory feedback when they are used. Furthermore, you will help develop novel sensorimotor tasks that enable the user to learn to dexterously use the fingers as extensions of their body. You will work closely with other members of the team, including colleagues from other departments of the Donders Institute. You will spend 10% of your working time on teaching-related tasks. Project management and mentoring (MSc and BSc) will also be part of your responsibilities.


Radboud University


  • You should hold an MSc degree in cognitive neuroscience or a relevant discipline (e.g. artificial intelligence, psychology, cognitive science, engineering).
  • You have experience with collecting behavioural and neuroimaging data or a strong desire to learn.
  • You should also have experience with computational modelling and/or machine learning, or a strong desire to learn.
  • You have at least some experience with common programming languages (Matlab, Python, R, C++).
  • You possess good social, communication and organisational skills and are a team player.
  • You have a passion for science and the pursuit of knowledge.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


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 mind. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication, 2. Perception, action and control, 3. Plasticity and memory, 4. Neural computation and neurotechnology. 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 has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as 'excellent' and recognised as a 'very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent'. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.

Radboud University

At Radboud University, we aim to make an impact through our work. We achieve this by conducting groundbreaking research, providing high-quality education, offering excellent support, and fostering collaborations within and outside the university. In doing so, we contribute indispensably to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. To accomplish this, we need even more colleagues who, based on their expertise, are willing to search for answers. We advocate for an inclusive community and welcome employees with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Will you also contribute to making the world a little better? You have a part to play.
If you want to learn more about working at Radboud University, follow our Instagram account and read stories from our colleagues.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1217853



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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