Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you looking for a PhD position in cognitive psychology / cognitive neuroscience, and would you like to investigate the nature and role of selective attention inside visual working memory? Please apply for the 4-year PhD position in the Proactive Brain Lab (

) headed by Dr. Freek van Ede at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

Duration: 4 years
FTE: 1

Job description
General Description

PhD position for four years for 1.0 fte is available at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Proactive Brain Lab (

) headed by Dr. Freek van Ede. The position is part of the NWO Vidi grant: “

Understanding and utilising stimulus-driven selective attention inside visual working memory”.

The Research Project and Lab
The funded Vidi project aims to uncover the mechanisms by which external stimuli may involuntarily draw attention to matching visual representations in working memory – and how such ‘stimulus-driven’ forms of internal selective attention may be utilised to experimentally sculpt long-term memory formation. The project also aims to integrate the study of working memory and selective attention with complementary cognitive functions and behavior, in line with the broader lab mission.

In the Proactive Brain Lab, we adopt the perspective of the brain as a fundamentally dynamic, anticipating, and action-oriented organ in which core cognitive functions of working memory and selective attention take center stage. We take an integrative focus, aiming to bring together research on visual working memory and selective attention with that on planning, timing, distraction, and action. We use multiple methodologies, with a current focus on eye-tracking (microsaccades), human electrophysiology (EEG), and virtual reality (VR).

  • A Master degree in cognitive/experimental psychology or cognitive neuroscience
  • A background in the study of visual working memory, selective attention, and/or related topics
  • Experience with eye-tracking, psychophysics, EEG, and/or related approaches
  • Excellent programming and data-analysis skills
  • Experience in designing and interpreting cognitive-psychology and cognitive-neuroscience experiments
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in effective scientific writing
  • Demonstrated ability to think and work outside-the-box (creativity)
  • Excellent command of English
  • Be able to start early in 2023

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts to €2,541 per month during the first year and increases to €3.247 per month during the fourth year, based on full-time employment. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 1 FTE.

The appointment will be initially for 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it will be extended for an additional 3 years.

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

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);

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 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 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.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences focuses on the broad domain of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society, from healthy aging to e-health, from juvenile crime to dealing with depression, from training for top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We are unique in that we combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education.

Working at Behavioural and Movement Sciences means working in an ambitious organization that is characterized by an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. Our faculty offers tremendous scope for personal development. We employ more than 600 staff members, and we are home to around 3,400 students.


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


. In your cover letter, please devote (at least) one paragraph stating what you have investigated and developed so far, and another paragraph outlining what you would hope to investigate and develop if you would be hired for the advertised position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Freek van Ede
Position: Associate Professor

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