PhD candidate 'Role of Dopamine and Serotonin in Behavioral Control in the face of Stress'

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 03 Dec 2023

PhD candidate 'Role of Dopamine and Serotonin in Behavioral Control in the face of Stress'
PhD candidate 'Role of Dopamine and Serotonin in Behavioral Control in the face of Stress'
Published Deadline Location
10 Nov 3 Dec Nijmegen

Job description
Are you fascinated about the brain mechanisms of cognitive control, motivation and/or stress coping? We are looking for a PhD student with interest in the computational neuroscience of human behavior, cognition and emotion who can help us with this project!
The project will involve a combination of (i) PET imaging to measure dopamine release and serotonin release in response to stressors in healthy human volunteers, (ii) pharmacological fMRI to assess the neural, physiological and behavioral/emotional effects of dopaminergic and serotonergic drugs (like psychostimulants and antidepressants) and (iii) computational cognitive modeling to identify latent computational parameters that index the control of neural, physiological and emotional responses to stressful outcomes. The design of these experiments will be guided by a theoretical framework, according to which the brain prioritizes distinct behavioral control strategies depending on fluctuations in stressor controllability, utility and volatility.
You will be part of the ERC Advanced CHEMCONTROL team, which comprises 2 postdocs and another Phd student. Your primary focus will be on the PET imaging studies, including the setting up of the PET imaging acquisition protocols, the design of the stress challenges and the analyses of the PET imaging data. A secondary focus will be the pharmacological fMRI study. Together, the CHEMCONTROL team will integrate computational modeling, pharmacological fMRI, PET imaging, and focused transcranial ultrasound stimulation to unravel the brain mechanisms by which we adapt flexibly to the many stressors around us.
You will be embedded in the research group of Roshan Cools at the Donders Institute, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN) and interact closely with the Radiology (Nuclear Medicine) department at the Radboudumc. In addition, there will be an opportunity to collaborate closely with key international players in the field of computational neuroscience.
Specifications
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2901—€3677 per month
  • Nijmegen View on Google Maps

Radboud University Medical Center (Radboudumc)


Requirements
Our new PhD candidate is expected to have the background knowledge, skills and motivation that will allow you to fully exploit and learn from the rich research environment that the Donders Institute and the Nuclear Medicine department provides (including its intellectual and technical infrastructure).
You are an independent scholar and brain scientist of human cognition and emotion, who is ready to acquire the skills required for conducting all phases of pharmacological neuroimaging research, including conceptual and experimental design, applicaotion for medical ethical approval, computational modeling of behavior, PET imaging measurements, PET, MRI and behavioral data acquisition, PET, MRI and behavioral data analysis, PET, MRI and behavioral data interpretatin and publication. You are also expected to be a team player, willing to take on a leadership role that is necessary to coordinate a PhD project, working closely with multiple research group leaders, postdocs, fellow PhD students, research assistants and research master students.
You have a passion for mechanistic research at the borders of functional neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, computational cognitive science, and affective neuroscience. You are curious, ambitious, and can work independently. Your English is fluent in speaking and writing at an academic level. Speaking Dutch is not required for this position.
You also meet the following requirements:
  • You hold or have finished and nearly obtained a research master degree in the field of cognitive neuroscience, technical medicine, biomedical sciences, or a related field;
  • You have experience and skills, or are interested in neuroimaging (functional and structural MRI or PET imaging) and/or psychopharmacological (drug administration) studies;
  • You have experience with, or are interested in, computational and statistical modelling;
  • You have strong communication and coordination skills.

Furthermore, you recognize yourself in the profile below:
  • Hold or have finished and nearly obtained a research master degree in the field of cognitive neuroscience, technical medicine, biomedical sciences, or a related field;
  • Experience and skills, or are interested in neuroimaging (functional and structural MRI or PET imaging) and/or psychopharmacological (drug administration) studies;
  • Experience with, or are interested in, computational and statistical modelling;
  • Strong communication and coordination skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Working at Radboud university medical center means that you are ahead of the curve and working together on the healthcare of the future. And there is more. Our secondary terms of employment are impressive. These are fully tailored to you thanks to our Employment Conditions Selection Model. At Radboud university medical center, you will be given trust, and you will take the responsibility to handle everything together. We provide annual courses, both professional and personal.
  • A gross monthly salary between € 2.901 and € 3.677 (scale 10A) based on full-time employment.
  • An annual vacation allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.
  • If you work irregular hours, you will receive an allowance.
  • As a full-time employee (36 hours per week), you are entitled to approximately 168 vacation hours (over 23 days) per year.
  • Radboud university medical center pays 70% of the pension premium. You pay the rest of the premium with your gross salary.
  • Discount on your supplementary health insurance. You can make use of two collective health insurance policies: UMC Health Insurance and CZ Collective. They offer many extras to stay vital and healthy, such as a prevention budget, workshops, and apps.

In addition to our terms of employment , we also offer employees various other attractive facilities, such as childcare and sports facilities. Want to learn more? Take a look at the Cao UMC .
Employer
Radboudumc
This position is within the Motivational and Cognitive Control Lab, based at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, part of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. Your appointment will be at the Department of Psychiatry of the Radboudumc.
Donders Institute
The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre that houses more than 700 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human brain. Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is being conducted at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.
Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
The mission of the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN) is to conduct cutting-edge fundamental research in cognitive neuroscience. Our internationally renowned centre currently hosts more than 100 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers from more than 25 countries, offering a stimulating and multidisciplinary research environment. The centre is equipped with four MRI scanners (7T, 3x 3T), a 275-channel MEG system, an EEG-TMS laboratory, several (MR-compatible) EEG systems, and high-performance computational facilities.
Our internationally renowned centre currently hosts more than 100 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers from more than 25 countries, offering a stimulating and multidisciplinary research environment.
Motivational and Cognitive Control Lab
The lab is headed by Prof. Roshan Cools . Our aim is to elucidate the mental processes, computations, and neural mechanisms that enable and motivate us to act in accordance with our goals. We approach this question by combining psychopharmacology, functional MRI, neurochemical PET and computational cognitive modeling of behavior of human volunteers with and without neuropsychiatric problems.
Radboudumc
Welcome to Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc), where scientific breakthroughs are born through the curiosity and passion of our collaborating researchers in a vibrant environment. We believe trust and excitement are crucial elements to achieving our goals, and we approach our research as teams and with the utmost rigor to make a significant impact on health and healthcare. Our researchers are driven by their fascination with the biological, psychological, and sociological mechanisms underlying health and healthcare. They collaborate with partners from all over the world to improve health outcomes for all. Radboudumc unites patient care, research, education, and corporate learning, which allows us to approach our mission to shape the health and healthcare of the future in an innovative and person-centered way.
Our ambition is to lead the way in the pursuit of prevention, sustainability, meaningful care. We believe that through our research, we can significantly improve the health and well-being of society. Join us on our mission to make a difference in healthcare. Become a part of our community of gifted researchers, professionals or patient partners who are dedicated to making a real impact on population health and healthcare.
Read what it is like to do a PhD at the Radboud University Medical Center.
Read more about working at Radboud university medical center means.
Additional information
Any questions? Please contact Dr. Roshan Cools , principle investigator. Use the Apply button to submit your application.
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Radboud university medical center is a university medical center for patient care, scientific research, and education in Nijmegen. We want to have a significant impact on healthcare.


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Application procedure
Any questions? Please contact Dr. Roshan Cools , principle investigator. Use the Apply button to submit your application.

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