PHD position: Mechanisms of sensory perception in cortex

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;




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Job description

The Cortical Microcircuits and In Vivo Neurophysiology teams are looking for a talented PhD candidate for a 4-year project that will be carried out at the Integrative Neurophysiology (INF) division at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR) at the VU Amsterdam.

The sensory areas of the cerebral cortex process sensory information from the external world and distribute this information throughout the brain to orchestrate appropriate behavioral output. How activity of projection neurons that target other cortical and subcortical areas generate behavioral output is poorly understood. By combining electrophysiological recordings with genetic targeting of specific cell types, we study how internally generated information streams (such as motion and motivation) modulate sensory responses in the cortex and in downstream areas of rodents during sensorimotor behaviors. Detailed understanding of cell type-specific function will inspire anatomically and functionally realistic models of the brain to improve our understanding of how sensory information from the world is transformed into perception, and ultimately into behavior.
As a PhD candidate, your research will aim to elucidate the neural circuit mechanisms underlying the transformation of sensation into perception.

Your duties

* You will use a repertoire of state-of-the-art approaches in circuit neuroscience such
as single unit and population electrophysiology in anaesthetized and behaving mice,
opto- or chemogenetics and histology.
* You will have the opportunity to supervise Bachelor’s and Master’s students.


* We are looking for candidates with a master in neuroscience and a strong motivation

   to pursue a career in science.

* Prior experience with single unit electrophysiology, imaging and surgical techniques

   is essential.

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. You will be part of a collaborative, enthusiastic team consisting of multiple PhD-students and experienced post-docs in which we collectively work on important research questions. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts € 2.770 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to € 3.539 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

Additionally, the VU Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

* 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus

* contribution to commuting expenses

* optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until

 January 31, 2024


Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. Christiaan de Kock, Prof. Huib Mansvelder, or Dr. Marcel Oberlaender
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]

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