PhD Candidate in Sensorimotor Neuroscience at the Donders Centre for Cognition

at Radboud University
Published March 10, 2023
Location Nijmegen, Netherlands
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


Are you an aspiring scientist in the field of cognitive neuroscience, looking to start your academic career off right? Then join the world-renowned Donders Institute as a PhD candidate and work with top-notch experimental equipment to build computational models of body representation, both somatosensory and multisensory.

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate with interest and expertise in building computational models of body representation, both somatosensory and multisensory.

You will be part of the ERC funded project 'The Body Positioning System: A GPS for somatosensory space'. The goal of the project is to uncover how the brain localises touch on a body whose three-dimensional posture changes from moment to moment (The Body Positioning System). How does the brain transform sensory input on the skin to a full-fledged three-dimensional body representation? To make headway on this fundamental question, we will use a variety of neuroscientific approaches, such as behavioural and M/EEG experiments that employ novel virtual reality and robot-based paradigms. We will also leverage several analytical tools, such as computational modelling and machine learning.

As a PhD candidate, you will design novel, real-world behavioural paradigms to measure tactile localisation in three-dimensional space. Importantly, you will then use computational modelling to characterise and identify the mechanisms underlying the localization behaviour. The goal of these models is to understand the transformations used by the Body Positioning System. Your work is likely to involve close collaboration with fellow members of the team, including colleagues from other departments at the Donders Institute. Project management, mentoring BSc and MSc students, and teaching-related tasks will also be part of your responsibilities.


  • You hold a MSc degree in Cognitive Neuroscience or a relevant discipline, such as Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, Cognitive Science or Engineering.
  • You have experience with collecting behavioural data, or a strong desire to learn.
  • You have experience with computational modelling and machine learning, or a strong desire to learn.
  • You have at least some experience with common programming languages, such as Matlab, Python, R, or C++.
  • You are a team player who possesses good social, communication and organisational skills.
  • You have a passion for science and the pursuit of knowledge.

We are

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 mind. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication2. Perception, action and control3. Plasticity and memory and 4. Neural computation and neurotechnology. 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 has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as 'excellent' and recognised as a 'very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent'. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed 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).
  • 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.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Dr Luke Miller, Assistant Professor of Sensorimotor Neuroscience, at Alternatively, you can contact Prof. Pieter Medendorp, Professor of Sensorimotor Neuroscience, at

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 7 April 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Luke Miller. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.

The first round of interviews will take place two or three weeks after the closing date. You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.
We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.