PhD position on neuromodulation strategies for Alzheimer's Disease

PhD position on neuromodulation strategies for Alzheimer's Disease

Published Deadline Location
1 May 17 May Maastricht

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Job description

We are recruiting a motivated and talented PhD candidate interested in pushing neuromodulatory treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s Disease forward by designing novel non-invasive and invasive approaches.

Job Description
The Neurosurgery department of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) and the Cognitive Neuroscience department of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN) at Maastricht University have teamed up to advance Alzheimer treatment through closed-loop neuromodulation. The PhD position is funded by the Center of Integrative Neuroscience of Maastricht University.

Available pharmacological treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) offer only temporary relief to a limited number of patients. Consequently, researchers are exploring neuromodulation-based approaches like deep brain stimulation (DBS) and transcranial magnetic/electric stimulation (TMS/TES) to address memory loss in AD and enhance quality of life. In the first part of the project, you will develop a novel TES-EEG closed-loop strategy to improve memory impairment in humans and assess the effect of your approach on hippocampal activity, connectivity, and neurochemistry with neuroimaging methods such as EEG and MRI. In the second part, you will advance both neurochemistry and electrophysiology based closed-loop DBS approaches in a transgenic rat model of AD.

Our team offers you an exciting learning environment in the fields of translational neuroscience and neuroimaging. You will join the PI group led by Dr. Inge Leunissen, embedded in the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, and the PI group led by Dr. Sarah Hescham, embedded in the Neurosurgery Department at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. You will work in a very open and cooperative group of colleagues and supervisors.

You will have the following responsibilities:
  • Experimental design
  • Acquisition, processing and analysing electrophysiological and MRI data
  • Write scientific papers
  • Present research outcomes at national and international conferences
  • Teach in master and bachelor level courses
  • Contribute to a nice and open group atmosphere

The ideal candidate has successfully completed a master’s degree (or equivalent) in (cognitive) neuroscience, biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering or related disciplines. You are enthusiastic to start a 4-year PhD journey investigating new neuromodulation strategies for Alzheimer Disease.

  • A master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., (cognitive) neuroscience, biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering)

  • You are excited about research and wish to pursue a career in science
  • You have experience with programming languages (e.g., python/matlab/R)
  • Experience with acquiring and analysing neuroimaging data (EEG/iEEG/MRI) is a plus
  • Experience with animal work and/or completion of the Lab Animal Science course is a plus
  • You like working in a team and have good communication skills
  • You have an excellent command of written and spoken English

What we offer
As PhD position on neuromodulation strategies for Alzheimer's Disease at Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
At the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), everything revolves around healthy living. Our research and education are not solely focused on recovery, but place a strong emphasis on prevention, health preservation, and health promotion. Our aim is to use our knowledge and expertise to genuinely contribute to the well-being of individual people as well as society in total.

In, research, and healthcare, FHML is closely collaborating with the academic hospital in Maastricht, together forming the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+). FHML is strongly connected in education, research, and care with the Maastricht academic hospital, together with which it forms the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+).

FHML, which is the largest faculty of Maastricht University, is formed by an (inter)national community of employees and students. The faculty offers a wide range of Dutch and English-taught bachelor's and master's programs in innovative educational concepts in which the emphasis is always on building bridges to practice.

The multidisciplinary research of the FHML focuses on a number of carefully chosen topical current themes. In addition to research aimed at gaining new insights, it also concerns research whose results can be directly translated into concrete applications and innovations. The implementation of the various research programs is organized in our six graduate schools and two institutes.

Neurosurgery Department
The Neurosurgery Department is part of MUMC+. Research and education within the neurosurgery department is dedicated to the scientific investigation of neuromodulation and brain-behaviour relationships. Emphasis is placed on understanding and treating neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and brain injury. Through the innovative application of neuromodulation interventions, efforts are made to evaluate biological mechanisms underlying cognitive, affective, and behavioral functions.

Department of Cognitive Neuroscience
The Cognitive Neuroscience (CN) department, part of the Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience of Maastricht University, combines research in human perception and cognition with the development of advanced methods in neuroscience. Various brain imaging methods are employed to describe and predict behaviour, such as single cell recording, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electro- and magneto-encephalography (EEG and MEG). Furthermore, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and neurofeedback are being used to manipulate behaviour. The research is embedded in the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-BIC)

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact for more information:

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD? Apply now, no later than May 17th for this position. Please provide a motivation letter, a CV, and two potential references we could contact for more information. The first interviews preferably take place online in the first week of June. The second interviews will preferably be held on third week of June (on site).

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 946


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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