2 Postdoc and 1 PhD position available (1.0FTE)

Vacancy number: 30.06.19
Application deadline: May 28, 2019, 23:59 CET

Please find descriptions of the available positions below.
 
Interested?
Information on the application procedure or Apply directly

Big Question 5

Scientific summary
The efficiency and flexibility with which we infer (or generate) meaning during language comprehension (or production) is remarkable. How does our brain do it? To move beyond the many extant attempts to address this big quest, we will treat linguistic inference as an advanced solution to the multi-step, sequential choice problems that we have long faced in other cognitive domains (e.g. chess, foraging and spatial navigation). Specifically, we will make unique progress in unraveling the mechanisms of fast, flexible linguistic inference by leveraging recent advances in our understanding of the representations and computations necessary for sequential action planning. This approach will also lead us to revise current dual-system dogma’s in non-linguistic domains, that have commonly over-focused on the contrast between a cognitive (flexible, but slow) and a habitual (fast, but inflexible) system. The current quest will encourage the integration of so-called ‘cognitive habits’ and their associated cognitive map-related neural mechanisms into theoretical models of both linguistic and nonlinguistic inference.

Postdoc Position - BQ5-1

Senior coordinating postdoc: Neural mechanisms of inference for language and planning

Description
A senior coordinating postdoctoral research position is available immediately at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, to study the neural and cognitive mechanisms of inference for language and planning, using a combination of functional MRI, experimental psychology and computational cognitive modeling in healthy human volunteers. In addition to designing, and executing your own experiments, you will supervise a PhD student with whom you will collaborate closely to conduct psychopharmacological experiments. Moreover, you will be responsible for the scientific and logistic coordination of the Big Question 5 team, including for example the writing of a joint theoretical paper synthesizing the various subprojects conducted within the BQ5 team, as well as, to a lesser degree, overarching consortium-wide tasks.

Requirements
You are an academically well-trained individual as evidenced by publications in top-ranked scientific journals. You should have a PhD degree (or equivalent) in cognitive neuroscience, or other relevant field of study, preferably with several years of junior postdoctoral experience or demonstrable experience in a leadership role. A strong background in fMRI is necessary. You should be familiar with one or more of the following fields/topics: the neurobiology of language, psycholinguistics, reinforcement learning, decision making and/or memory. You should have active interest in complex human cognitive functions, such as language, conceptual reasoning or action planning, and in bridging experimental and theoretical approaches. Good programming skills (Matlab, R, and/or Python) are required, and prior experience with computational cognitive modeling, and/or advanced multivariate (representational) analyses of neural data is desirable. A collaborative, open attitude with a high level of communication and management skills and a team science, interdisciplinary, spirit are necessary.

Applications from excellent candidates with a less than ideal profile will also be considered.

Embedding and Terms of employment
This position will be held at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

  • Employment; 1.0FTE for 4 years
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a maximum gross monthly salary of €4,978 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale 11);
  • you will be appointed 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 30 months.
  • the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities is applicable to this position;
  • you will be classified as a Researcher, Level 3 in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO);

Contact information
Prof. dr. Roshan Cools (personal website), and Dr. Andrea Martin (personal website)

Postdoc Position - BQ5-2

Neural mechanisms of inference for narrative comprehension

Description
A postdoctoral research position is available immediately at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, to study whether narrative comprehension can be understood in terms of inferences about the relationships between events at the neural level (e.g. Milivojevic et al., 2015 Current Biology), using a combination of functional MRI, MEG, experimental psychology, and possibly computational cognitive modelling. In addition to designing, and executing your own experiments, you will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other members of the highly multidisciplinary Big Question 5 team.

Requirements
You are a creative and academically well-trained individual as evidenced by publications in top-ranked scientific journals. You should have obtained or are close to obtaining a PhD degree (or equivalent) in cognitive neuroscience, computer science or psychology. A strong background in fMRI and/or M/EEG is necessary. Good programming skills (Matlab, R, or Python), and prior experience with advanced multivariate (representational) analyses of neural data are required. You should be familiar with one or more of the following fields/topics: the neurobiology of language, event cognition, spatial navigation and/or episodic/semantic memory. You should have active interest in complex human cognitive functions, such as language, conceptual reasoning or narrative comprehension, and in bridging experimental and theoretical approaches. Previous experience with multidisciplinary research is desirable and a collaborative, open attitude with well developed communication skills and a team science, interdisciplinary, spirit are necessary.

Applications from excellent candidates with a less than ideal profile will also be considered.

Embedding and Terms of employment
This position will be held at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

  • Employment; 1.0FTE for 3 years
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a maximum gross monthly salary of €4,978 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale 11);
  • you will be appointed 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 18 months.
  • the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities is applicable to this position;
  • you will be classified as a Researcher, Level 3 in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO);

Contact Information
Dr. Roel Willems (personal website) and Dr. Branka Milivojevic (personal website)

PhD Position - BQ5-3

Dopaminergic neuromodulation of inference for language and planning

Description
A PhD position is available immediately at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, to study the role of dopamine in inference for language and planning, using a combination of functional MRI, psychopharmacology and computational cognitive modeling in healthy human volunteers. You will work together closely with a senior postdoc as well as other BQ5 team members, and be actively involved in designing novel paradigms to assess inference in language and planning. Your PhD will focus on setting up and conducting psychopharmacological studies, in which you will investigate effects of dopaminergic drugs on behavior, cognition and neural responses, using fMRI and computational modeling.  Moreover, you will get the opportunity to develop management and organizational skills by participating and helping to organize overarching consortium-wide activities, such as writing workshops and scientific symposia.

Requirements
You should have a Research Master’s degree (or equivalent) in cognitive neuroscience, or other relevant field of study. A strong background in fMRI is highly valued. You should be familiar with one or more of the following topics: the neurobiology of language, reinforcement learning, decision making and/or memory. You should have active interest in complex human cognitive functions, such as language, and in bridging experimental and theoretical approaches. Experience with or keen interest in: programming (Matlab, R, or Python), computational cognitive modeling and advanced multivariate (representational) analyses of neural data are required. Previous experience with reinforcement learning modeling is desirable, but not mandatory. A collaborative, open attitude with a high level of communication and a team science, interdisciplinary, spirit are necessary.

Applications from excellent candidates with a less than ideal profile will also be considered.

Embedding and Terms of employment
This position will be held at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

  • Employment: 1.0 FTE for 4 years;
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • the starting salary is €2,325 per month and will increase to €2,972 per month in the fourth year;
  • you will be appointed 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 30 months;
  • the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities is applicable to this position;
  • you will be classified as PhD Candidate (promovendus) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO);

Contact information
Dr. Hanneke den Ouden (personal website) and Prof. dr. Roshan Cools (personal website)

Interested?

Information on the application procedure or Apply directly