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Two 4-year PhD positions in the cognitive neuroscience of proactive visual working memory

Do you have a completed MSc degree in the field of Cognitive Neuroscience (or a related area), and would you like to pursue a PhD on an exciting research topic in a stimulating, multidisciplinary, and international academic environment? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

3 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


Two PhD positions are available within an exciting ERC-funded project on “Preparing memories for action: how visual working memories are sculpted by their anticipated use”, headed by Principal Investigator Freek van Ede. Successful candidates will be at the forefront of a promising new research group at the Institute for Brain and Behavior Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands). Positions will be for 4 years, and are fully funded. Intended starting date is 1 Sept 2020 (with some flexibility).

Projects are at the intersection of cognition, brain, and behavior – targeting the proactive, dynamic, and action-oriented nature of human working memory. Advertised positions will specifically address the anticipatory cognitive and neural mechanisms that prepare past vision for guiding future action – starting from the perspective that the primary purpose of visual working memory is not to “hold onto the past” but to “prepare for the future”. More detailed project descriptions will be made available to shortlisted candidates.

The PhD positions provide the opportunity to develop and conduct creative and rigorous research on underexplored aspects of the human mind, within a stimulating and committed research group. You will (learn to) innovate laboratory tasks to study and integrate central topics in human cognition, and you will (learn to) employ and develop state-of-the-art human electrophysiology (M/EEG, brain oscillations) and eye-tracking (micro-saccadic attentional biases) methods. Potential extensions to virtual-reality experiments are also envisioned. Resources for attending overseas conferences, and other training opportunities, will be available.

Successful candidates will become integrated in the Institute for Brain and Behavior Amsterdam, Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, at the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (the Netherlands). The host institute – and Amsterdam at large – provides a vibrant international atmosphere with a strong cognitive neuroscience community conducting world-class research, and with access to state-of-the-art facilities and ample opportunities for research support and collaboration. The lingua franca is English.

For publications by the Principal Investigator that are directly relevant to the ERC project see also:


  • A completed MSc degree in the field of Cognitive Neuroscience, or a related area
  • Prior research experience in one or more of the following topics provide an advantage: visual cognition, working memory, attention, anticipation, action, timing, micro-saccades, and/or alike
  • Adequate programming skills (in Matlab, Presentation, Python, Vizard, Unity, and/or alike)
  • Experience with M/EEG and EMG acquisition and analysis (preferred)
  • Experience with eye-tracking acquisition and analysis (preferred)
  • Creativity and a passion for research
  • Good scientific writing skills
  • Good command of the English language
  • Good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team

An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance to courses and (international) meetings. PhD positions also come with the opportunity to assist in some undergraduate teaching activities.


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,325 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €2,972 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 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), contribution to commuting expenses
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 10 May 2020.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Dr. Freek van Ede
E-mail: f.l.vanede@gmail.com, frederik.vanede@ohba.ox.ac.uk

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