PhD Candidate in Auditory Computational Neuroscience (1.0 FTE)
PhD Candidate in Auditory Computational Neuroscience
Employment: 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary: € 2,434 - € 3,111
Faculty of Science
Required background: Research University Degree
Application deadline: 31 December 2021
Humans and animals can successfully detect sounds and react to vocalisations in the middle of busy acoustic environments, e.g. a busy street or a party. Current algorithms are not yet achieving the same level of performance. The brain is thought to use expectations and predictions to overcome this challenge. What are the underlying mechanisms and circuits that enable this performance? Can we translate these algorithms to technical applications, such as hearing aids or speech recognition in smart phones?
In this PhD project you will address these questions on a fundamental level, recording many neurons simultaneously from the auditory cortex of mice while they perceive and react to sounds. You will be using a cutting-edge two-photon microscope for this purpose, which allows recording from up to 1000s of neurons in each mouse. Next, you will analyse the resulting data to discover the mechanisms that integrate expectations/predictions with current acoustic information and in this way improve the signal-to-noise ratio, against a background sound. A central step in this analysis will be to refine our processing pipeline to allow for more complex and sophisticated experiments. For this purpose, and to guarantee a swift start, you will work closely with a second PhD candidate who has already acquired expertise in all practical aspects of the project. The results of this PhD project have the potential to generalise to other domains of neuroscience and generalise to a new theory of predictive coding, based on the actual underlying neural circuits and computations. You will have a teaching load of up to 10%.
You hold a Master's degree in physics, biology, artificial Intelligence, electrical engineering or a related field.
You have excellent analytical skills, particularly in data analysis and programming.
You are highly motivated and have a dedicated work attitude.
You have a keen interest in pursuing a scientific career.
You have a high degree of intrinsic motivation to understand the principles of neural processing.
You will join Dr Englitz's team of PhD candidates at the Computational Neuroscience Lab. One of the main interests in the lab is to understand how the brain forms predictions and uses them to optimise decision making. We specialise in advanced analysis of cutting-edge data sets from our auditory physiology facilities, which record neural population activity electrically and optically (widefield and 2P imaging) from the auditory cortices while our mice are listening and reacting to complex sounds. To this end, we use chronically implanted electrode arrays and two-photon optical imaging. Our lab is part of Radboud University's Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, a world-class neuroscience institute with state-of-the-art facilities for both human and animal research.
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!
Employment for 1.0 FTE.
The gross monthly salary amounts to €2,434 based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,111 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
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 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 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Additional employment conditions
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.
Would you like more information?
For questions about the position, please contact Bernard Englitz, Associate Professor at +31 24 365 25 13 or email@example.com
Practical information and applications
You can apply until 31 December 2021, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Bernard Englitz. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
A letter of motivation.
The first round of interviews will take place on 24 January 2022. The second round of interviews will take place on 31 January.
The Faculty of Science is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities.
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