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  3. PhD Candidate at the Donders Centre for Cognition

PhD Candidate at the Donders Centre for Cognition

Do you want to be responsible for the development and validation of maths and models under supervision of expert staff in machine learning? Then we invite you …

28 dagen geleden


Houtlaan, Nijmegen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 3061 - € 3061 per maand


Do you want to be responsible for the development and validation of maths and models under supervision of expert staff in machine learning? Then we invite you to apply for a PhD position on 'Bio-inspired learning algorithms for efficient and robust neural network models with a focus on neuromorphic computing and control of complex environments'.

This project is embedded within the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS) Unit in Radboud AI. The aim is to develop highly effective algorithms for training artificial neural network models which make use of (biologically plausible) information local to the individual nodes of the network. This locality will allow efficient implementation and testing of these algorithms on neuromorphic computing systems. The efficacy of the algorithms will be tested in simulations. This will be done in the context of relevant reinforcement learning tasks using a control system theoretic approach to interaction with modelled environments. This work entails a theoretical (mathematical) development of state-of-the-art biologically plausible learning rules and reinforcement learning strategies alongside implementation/testing of these algorithms in the form of neuromorphic computing algorithms and agent-based artificial neural network modelling.
We offer you a full-time (100%) position for 4 years. This project is supervised by Prof. van Gerven, Dr Nasir Ahmad and Dr. Bodo Rueckauer. You will be employed at the Artificial Intelligence department of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, where you will have the opportunity to collaborate and interact with renowned international experts in machine learning, computational neuroscience and neuromorphic computing. You will also benefit from the extensive training programme of the Donders Graduate School. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to supervise MSc and BSc students in their thesis projects. 10% of your appointment will be devoted to support tasks in the ELLIS unit, such as helping to organise ELLIS activities or (co)supervision of ELLIS-related projects.


Essential qualities:

  • Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computational Neuroscience, Control Engineering or a related field of study.
  • Strong mathematical and machine learning skills (learning rules, neural networks, reinforcement learning, etc.).
  • Excellent Python programming skills; experience with modern deep learning packages.
  • High proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and organisational skills.
  • Proactive and goal-directed attitude, good organisational skills, and the ability to get things done.
Non-essential, desirable skills:
  • Knowledge of theoretical and computational neuroscience.
  • Experience with simulations in Unity and comparable frameworks.
  • Affinity with the field of neurotechnology.


  • Employment: 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,395 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,061 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • The intended start date is 1 September 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.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Marcel van Gerven, Full Professor
Tel.: +31 6 48 74 55 42
Email: m.vangerven@donders.ru.nl

Nasir Ahmad, Postdoctoral Researcher
Email: n.ahmad@donders.ru.nl


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