Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Tourism, Recreation & Event Management
  • Languages
    English Dutch
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      July 11,2022
    • All-round Interview Preparation cover
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    PostDoc in Computational Neuroscience

    Location: Amsterdam
    Max hours per week: 38 hours per week
    Max salary: € 4.670,00
    Duration of agreement:Up to 3 years
    Apply until: 1 August 2022

    Position overview and requirements

    The Social Brain Lab, has pioneered the investigation of the mechanisms of empathy and prosocial behaviour by combining rodent and human research.

    We are currently looking for an ambitious computational-neuroscience postdoc that will lead the effort to use behavioural and imaging data to study the link between embodied processes and social decision-making.

    You will use both pre- and newly acquired fMRI and behavioral data in combination with appropriate computational models, including reinforcement learning and drift diffusion models, to reveal the circuits and processes linking embodied perception and other-regarding choices, in particular when cost and benefits for self are in conflict with costs and benefits for others. For an example of the type of projects you'll be involved in see:

    These projects will require a combination of advanced analytical and modelling skills together with creative social neuroscience experimentation. We therefore expect you to be relatively independent regarding the computational aspects. During your time in the lab, you will have the opportunity to work together with and supervise a research assistant and a first-year PhD student, both working on the same or similar research lines. Opportunities to complement imaging with non-invasive neuro-stimulation methods and acquisition of EcoG data will also be present.

    By working within the SBL you will additionally have the unique opportunity to collaborate with other members of the lab working with similar rodent models to bridge and integrate results from the two species.

    We expect from you:
    • A PhD in computational neuroscience or related fields.
    • Experience with reinforcement learning models.
    • Experience with analyses of fMRI data.
    • Interest in social behavior and empathy, and in translational research
    • Highly motivated, energetic, detail orientated and capable to work and troubleshoot independently and collaboratively.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
    • At least one excellent publication in computational neuroscience.

    You can expect from us:
    • Mentoring, supervision and training
    • Direct guidance and support toward the acquisition of your social neuroscience expertise
    • Support from close collaborators on developing and adapting cutting-edge Bayesian modelling algorithms
    • A stimulating international research environment
    • 3T and 7T fMRI facilities and expertise
    • Further possibilities to complement fMRI, with EEG, MEG (in collaboration) and TMS
    • Access to a wide network of collaborators

    The Social Brain Lab, is the results of the joint venture of the research groups of Valeria Gazzola (Gazzola Group - Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience ( and Christian Keysers (Keysers Group - Social Brain Lab - Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (, aiming at shedding light on the neural mechanisms of empathy and prosocial behavior by combining studies in humans and rodents. The SBL is funded by multiple European (ERC, Marie Curie) and Dutch (VIDI, VICI, Gravity) grants, and is characterized by an unusually diverse environment, with members from all over the world, backgrounds ranging from philosophy to engineering with an emphasis on biology and psychology, and neuroscientific techniques spanning from high-field fMRI in humans to ultrasound imaging in rodents.

    The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience ( is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute, and is in close collaboration with the SPINOZA imaging center, which hosts both 3T and 7T scanners, as well as relevant expertise. Both PIs have an additional position at the University of Amsterdam, one of the top psychology departments in Europe. Together this provides a critical mass of experts in the most advanced neuroscience techniques, together with a dynamic multi-cultural environment. English is the working language of the research group and institute and is extremely well spoken in the vibrant and international city of Amsterdam, creating an attractive, progressive and easy-to-integrate environment.

    The position is for a maximum period of 3 years in total. The first appointment is for one year with the option for an extension for the remaining period pending on an evaluation. The position is a full time research position, without any teaching requirements.

    The salary will be commensurate with experience and institutional guidelines based on the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities; CAO NU). Full time monthly salary for a postdoctoral researcher depends on experience and ranges from € 3.413.- to € 4.402.- before taxes. A 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus are excluded. We offer travel expenses, paid parental leave, flexible working hours, 30 days paid leave per year and help finding a house.

    Starting date
    As soon as the ideal candidate is identified.

    Application deadline
    Applications close on Sunday July 31 (2022), midnight CET, or as soon as the ideal candidate has been found.

    Information about the procedure

    Applicants are requested to fill out the form at


    Please, be aware that the online form does not allow you to save incomplete applications. We therefore recommend that you first prepare your answers and documents off-line (see pdf at: and then fill out the online form.

    Information acquired through this form will only be shared between the selection committee members and only with the purpose to select a candidate. The information will be saved until the procedure is finished (i.e. the position is filled), thereafter destroyed. By filling in the form you agree with the use of your data for the only purpose of this hiring procedure.

    The selection committee is composed by the two PIs, V. Gazzola and C. Keysers and a selection of lab members. Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately, and after about 2-3 weeks from the deadline candidates will be informed whether they passed the first round or not. Shortlisted candidates may receive, taking into account candidates’ availability, an assignment to be done within 48h. Based on the results of the assignment, we will organize a 1h Zoom interview followed by a visit on site (if COVID regulations will permit to do so). We foresee a final decision to be communicated within 5-6 weeks after the first submission date. If no excellent candidate can be identified, we might re-advertise the position.

    Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated.

    All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or status as disabled status, or genetic information.

    If you have questions while filling out the form, please email

    About the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
    The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute, in the international and progressive city of Amsterdam. It provides a critical mass of scientists (spanning more than 27 nationalities) and neuroscience facilities, in a highly interactive, dynamic, multi-cultural environment, with English as the working language.

    Terms of employment
    Depending on education and experience the minimum salary is €3,413.00 and the maximum salary is €4,670.00 gross per month for a full-time appointment (scale 10 cao Nederlandse Universiteiten/KNAW). This is exclusive of 8% vacation allowance, 8.3% year-end bonus, travel allowance, internet allowance, home working allowance and pension accrual with ABP.

    The KNAW offers its staff an excellent package of secondary benefits. A package that meets the different needs of employees depending on their stage of life, lifestyle or career ambitions. For example, by working an extra two hours a week, it is possible to increase the number of days off from 29 to 41 days a year (with full-time employment).

    For a complete overview of the terms of employment, please refer to the web page: werken bij de KNAW.

    Diversity & Inclusion
    The KNAW considers a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated of great importance. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would therefore like to invite candidates who want to contribute to this through their background and experience. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to the candidate who thus enhances diversity within the Academy.

    We will not respond to any supplier enquiries based on this job advertisement.

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