YAG Interdisciplinary PhD: Neuro-biology and Hearing Loss

Updated: 9 months ago
Deadline: 15 May 2019


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has built up an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution, offering high-quality education and frontier research. We provide balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines to about 31,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. We rank one of the best research universities in Europe and have joined forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, making it a truly international place of knowledge.

The Young Academy Groningen (YAG), established in 2016, is an organization that brings together the most enthusiastic, positive and ambitious young researchers from diverse academic backgrounds. Our aim is to support young researchers in developing and strengthening public activities and outreach, contributing to developments in the areas of internationalization and science policy, and facilitating interdisciplinary research initiatives.

Each year we have two interdisciplinary PhD positions available to help foster interdisciplinary collaborations amongst YAG members.

Job description

Extensive research has shown that children with hearing loss show social interaction and intellectual disabilities. In the elderly, hearing loss is associated with increased likelihood of social isolation, cognitive decline and dementia. In both the young and elderly, the underlying mechanisms are not known. Developing interventions to rehabilitate and prevent the social and cognitive disabilities associated with hearing loss critically depend on identifying the underlying mechanistic causes.

Most research investigating the link between hearing loss and social/cognitive disabilities uses (human) population studies. While these studies are enormously useful in identifying associations, they do not permit investigation of the underlying neurobiological mechanisms linking hearing loss with these disabilities. For these reasons, we aim to develop an animal model to investigate the effects of acquired hearing loss on tasks that assess social/cognitive function as well as the anatomy of the brain structures involved in these tasks. The innovative and interdisciplinary approach in this project will allow investigation of the hypotheses and underlying mechanisms linking hearing loss with social and cognitive disabilities over the life span. The experimental approach established in this project will also set the stage for future experiments to test novel interventions to prevent social and cognitive disabilities associated with hearing loss.

Do you want to be part of our team?


• you have a (research) Master's degree in biology, psychology, neuroscience or related discipline.
• you are research-minded and willing to work with animals, ideally having previous experience using animals (and obtained a FELASA certificate).
• you are positive and enthusiastic to undertake a project that combines fundamental and translational research using an interdisciplinary approach.
• you have good oral and written communication skills, including proficiency in English.

Conditions of employment

You will enroll in the UG PhD Scholarship Program and will receive a gross scholarship of EUR 2120 per month of which wage tax and social security premiums will be deducted. You can find General information on the programme at


Do you meet our Qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:
1. letter of motivation
2. CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
3. transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.
4. A research proposal of max. 1500 words
5. A certified transcript of records.

Please submit your application until 14 May 2019 23:59 h / before 15 May 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code and European Commission's: European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers.

For more information about the project
Supervisors: Dr. Martine Maan (Evolutionary Biology - Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Dr. Han Thomas Adriaenssen (History of Philosophy - Faculty of Philosophy)

it is highly recommended to contact the Young Academy members stated above to discuss the project.


For information you can contact:

For practical information please contact:,   youngacademy@rug.nl

(please do not use the email addresses above for applications)

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