- 36 hours a week
- 4 years
- Date of publication: 25 January 2019
- Deadline: 4 March 2019
- Scale 10A: max € 42220 gross per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)
Job descriptionWe invite applications for a PhD project in the field of cognitive / affective neuroscience. This position is part of a research project named "Dynamic MOdeling of REsilience" (DynaMORE) that is funded by a Horizon 2020 European Union consortium grant. The project is embedded in the Cognitive Affective Neuroscience laboratory (PI: Erno Hermans) at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and collaborate locally with PIs Guillén Fernández and Karin Roelofs. International partners include Mainz, Tel Aviv, Freiburg, Leuven, Zurich, Warsaw, and Berlin.
The DynaMORE project aims to exploit advanced mathematical modelling for the promotion of mental health and well-being. DynaMORE will generate the first personalized in-silico model of mental health in the face of adversity, that is, stress resilience. The model will be based on, and validated against, unique multi-scale longitudinal real-world empirical data sets. The development and testing of the model will substantially deepen our scientific understanding of the mechanisms of resilience. These insights will allow us to create mechanistically targeted interventions for the primary prevention of stress-related disorders. On this basis, DynaMORE will develop an entirely new mHealth product that will include model-based prognostic tools for monitoring of at-risk subjects and for automatized decision-making about timed, personalized interventions.
The DynaMORE model will be openly available, whereas the interventions and surrounding application solutions (data analysis tools, information and communication technology) will have a strong potential for commercial exploitation, which will be actively prepared within DynaMORE. The overall aim of DynaMORE is to improve human lives by preventing stress-related mental health problems. DynaMORE’s health-focused strategy will promote individual well-being and reduce healthcare demands and indirect economic costs, by contributing to a healthy and productive workforce.
Within this international project, the primary tasks of this PhD candidate will be:
- To integrate data acquired using real-world experience sampling methods (smartphone-based surveys and (24h/day) wearable biosensors);
- Investigate the response to acute experimental stress challenges using behavioral paradigms and functional MRI in the context of a multi-center study;
- Supervise MSc students who work on the DynaMORE project.
- A Master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience or an adjacent field (psychological, biological, biomedical, or computer sciences);
- A strong interest for fundamental research in cognitive and affective neurosciences and/or its application to psychopathology;
- Experience in functional MRI design, acquisition, and analyses, including the use of Matlab;
- Experience in acquisition and analysis of peripheral psychophysiological data (e.g., autonomic nervous system measures);
- The capacity to participate in an interdisciplinary, international, and translational research environment;
- Interpersonal and communication skills to effectively collaborate and communicate in academia;
- A proactive and goal-directed attitude, good organizational skills, and the ability to finalize a PhD thesis within four years;
- Fluency in written and spoken English.
OrganizationThe project is embedded in the unique and excellent infrastructure of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. The Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging offers three 3 Tesla MRI systems, MR-compatible systems for recording EEG and peripheral psychophysiological measures, a 275-channel MEG system, an EEG-TMS laboratory, and state-of-the-art computational facilities. The Ernst Hahn Institute in Essen (Germany), a partner of the Donders Institute, provides access to a 7 Tesla system. All facilities are fully research-dedicated laboratories with excellent technical support. The Donders Institute furthermore provides a unique and stimulating learning environment for young researchers, including a high-profile graduate school and in-house methodological expert courses.
Research into stress and stress-related disorders is an important focus area at Radboud university medical center. Researchers working on this theme jointly organize regular discussion meetings and lectures to promote integration of research conducted within molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral, and clinical neurosciences across campus.
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- Employment will be for four years;
- Salary is € 2.357 gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of € 3.020 gross per month in the last fourth year, plus additional vacation bonus (8% per year) and end of year payments (8.3% per year);
- The earliest start date for this position is April 2019, but can be flexible.
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Comments and contact informationApplication
We request applicants to send a motivation letter explaining their interest and qualifications regarding the position, their prior research/work experience, a cv, and contact information of two professional references.
All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Erno Hermans via +31 (0)24 361 42 37. Use the Apply button to submit your application.
Please apply before 3 March. 23:59 CET.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.
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