Postdoctoral Researcher on Cognitive Neuroscience Data Modelling of Brain Dopamine Function (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 22 days ago

  • Employment: 1.0 FTE
  • Maximum gross monthly salary: € 5,127
  • Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
  • Required background: PhD
  • Duration of the contract: 2 years
  • Application deadline: 25 April 2021


We are looking for
As a postdoctoral researcher, you will be part of the HBP-funded project 'Building a prediction model of dopamine drug effects on human brain and cognition '. Dopamine is implicated in healthy brain function and brain disorders, and many disorders are routinely treated with dopaminergic drugs. Yet there is huge variability in dopaminergic drug effects both within and across individuals. This provides a major problem for psychiatry, where the therapeutic drugs that are prescribed improve behaviour and cognition in some patients, while not being effective or even impairing behaviour and cognition in others.
You will be responsible for integrating existing pharmacological task-related fMRI, dopamine PET, cognitive-behavioural, physiological and subjective report data to build a prediction model of dopamine drug effects on human brain and cognition. To this end, you will develop and optimise next-generation statistical (machine learning) tools that allow constraints based on (i) computational models of behaviour (reinforcement learning and decision making), (ii) probabilistic cytoarchitectonic brain maps of the dopaminergic midbrain nuclei (SN, VTA), and catecholamine receptor maps, and (iii) population-based normative models of individual variation in task-related brain activity, developed using other multi-modal neuroimaging datasets from large cohorts. The multiple variables will be linked using purpose-built multivariate regression techniques similar to canonical correlation analysis (CCA), which will allow us to encode mechanistic knowledge in the model, enabling the testing of precise hypotheses about dopamine function across individuals, thereby advancing beyond the purely data driven nature of classical CCA.

You will be expected to play an active, inspirational role in the campus-wide Computational Psychiatry initiative that spans faculties and institutes across campus.


We ask
  • You have a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, computational psychiatry, computer science, data modelling, or a related field.
  • You have experience with advanced computational/statistical (machine learning) modelling of cognitive neuroscience data.
  • You have a strong interest in decision making, motivation and/or dopamine research.
  • You have good organisational and supervisory skills.
  • You have a team science mindset, are able to work with a variety of labs with different expertise, and know how to instigate interdisciplinary collaboration (in the context of the campus-wide Computational Psychiatry initiative).
  • You have an excellent command of written and spoken English.

We are
You will be joining the Motivational and Cognitive Control group led by Prof Roshan Cools at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University, as well as the Predictive Clinical Neuroscience group led by Dr Andre Marquand at the Donders Centre for Medical Neuroscience, Radboud university medical center (Nijmegen, Netherlands). Both groups play active roles in the campus-wide Computational Psychiatry initiative.
Both groups are embedded within the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour , a world-class interfaculty research centre that houses more than 700 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human mind, and play active roles in the campus-wide Computational Psychiatry initiative.


Radboud University

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 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


We offer
  • Employment: 1.0 FTE.
  • A maximum gross monthly salary of € 5,127 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale 11 ).
  • The exact salary depends on the candidate's qualifications and amount of relevant professional experience.
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: 2 years.
  • The intended start date is 1 June 2021.
  • 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.
  • Have a look at our excellent employment conditions . They include a good work-life balance (among other things because of the excellent leave arrangements), opportunities for development and a great pension scheme.
The institute involved is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities.
Would you like more information?
For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Roshan Cools, Professor Cognitive Neuropsychiatry
Tel.: +31 6 29 35 50 10
Email: roshan.cools@donders.ru.nl
Apply directly

Please address your application to Prof. Roshan Cools and submit it, using the application button, no later than 25 April 2021, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • CV including contact details of two references.
  • Top 2 outputs (e.g. publications).
The first round of interviews will take place on Monday 17 May 2021. The second round of interviews will take place on Wednesday 19 May 2021.

We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.


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