PhD fellowship in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at Department of Psychology

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 27 Mar 2023

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience commencing 15 August 2023 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
You will be part of the interdisciplinary research group Cognition, Intention and Action (CoInAct) at the Department of Psychology. The overall purpose of the CoInAct group is to understand the interplay between movement, actions, and cognition. We study basic action neuroscience and higher order cognitive functions in humans. CoInAct brings together researchers from different disciplines – including philosophy, psychology, and human neuroscience – with a common interest in understanding human cognition and action. In general, we aim to improve understanding of the psychological, philosophical, and neural foundations of human cognition, action, and movement, and to foster interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists and students interested in these research areas.

Project description
The PhD fellow will work on the project “Causal Modelling in Cognitive Motor Control” funded by The Carlsberg Foundation. In the project we will investigate the neural mechanism that links formation of hierarchical goals of simple motoric actions of the body and performance of these goal directed movements. The primary experimental methods that will be employed by the PhD fellow is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in combination with behavioural measures of action and movements. These measures will be combined with mathematical modelling of goal formation and action performance using Active Inference Models. The PhD fellow will work in parallel with a Post doc that also will be employed in the CoInAct group.

Principal supervisor isAssociate Professor, Mark Schram Christensen, Department of Psychology, .

Start:           15 August 2023

Duration:    3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at University of Copenhagen are:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points.
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team. 
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project.
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge.
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a 3 year bachelor degree (equivalent to 180 ECTS) and a 2 year master’s degree (equivalent to 120 ECTS) related to the subject area of the project e.g. Human Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroimaging, Experimental Psychology, Exercise Physiology, Human Physiology, Cognitive Science, Biomedical Engineering or similar with a curiosity driven interest in understanding the relationship between hierarchical goal formation and performance of bodily actions.

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved.
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project.
  • Previous publications.
  • Relevant work experience.
  • Other professional activities.
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in understanding the link between human movement neuroscience, cognitive functions, theoretical cognitive neuroscience, and data science.
  • English language skills.
  • Interest in interdisciplinary research work coupling knowledge from social, health, natural and humanities science.
  • Strong data analysis and modelling skills with the ability to do programming independently.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international interdisciplinary research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories with equipment for doing psychological testing, human cognitive neuroscience (EEG, EMG) experiments including non-invasive brain stimulation (TMS), behavioral measurements, and virtual reality.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

The 5+3 PhD study programme
To be eligible for a scholarship in the 5+3 PhD study programme the applicant must have completed a two-year MSc degree programme or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level before starting his or her employment. Applicants should check the study programmes for more detailed descriptions of the entry requirements. PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3-year period of time without additional pay. The work obligation can include for instance teaching. 

It is conditioned upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the faculty’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension, and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 27,000.00 DKK /3,628.00 EUR plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor Mark Schram Christensen,Department of Psychology, .

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Psychology is available at the Graduate School’s website.

Duties and Responsibilities
Further information about the PhD study programme is available on the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences .

Under "Legal basis" on the website you will find information about the rules and guidelines for the PhD programme and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD programme at the Universities. 

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  • Project proposal (max. two pages), where the focus is on describing possible experiments that investigates hierarchical goals in simple motoric bodily actions, and how magnetic stimulation of the brain can influence goal formation and action performance in these experiments.
  • Time schedule of the PhD project
  • Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do.
  • Publication list (if possible).
  • The further process
    After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

    The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills, and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

    Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

    You can read about the recruitment process at recruitment-process.

    The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

    The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society, and invites all qualified applicants, regardless of personal background, to apply for the positions.

    On the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences, you will find information about the application process, and enclosures to include with your electronic application:

    An Equal Opportunity Workplace
    The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see here.

    International applicant?
    The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here .

    Contact information
    Further information about the recruitment process is available from Mette Overgaard,HR, e-mail: , please refer to ID number: 211-1381/23-2H #1

    Additional information about the position can be obtained from Associate Professor Mark Schram Christensen, e-mail:

    Interviews are expected to be held in week 20/21.

    Application deadline is 27 March 2023, 23.59 PM CEST.

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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