2 PhD Positions open- Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging-KNAW - Amsterdam Zuidoost

The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging in Amsterdam has 2 positions available for a PhD student to investigate population receptive field dynamics in the human brain using ultra-high field MRI and other neuroimaging methods.

Our world is dynamic and change is the only constant in life. Changes in environment and current goals change which information is available and relevant. Thus, our brain must strike an enormously difficult balance: it must be plastic to adjust to ever-changing demands yet it must also be stable enough to let neural circuits function throughout our lifetime. We aim to find out how the brain achieves this feat. Join us!

Vision is the dominant sense in humans. A fundamental property of brain cells is that they process a limited region of the visual scene, known as their receptive field. With non-invasive neuro-imaging techniques, we can measure the aggregated receptive fields of populations of neurons. The plasticity of the neural circuitry underlying these ‘population receptive fields (PRFs) is controversial. The controversy surrounds observations that under certain conditions pRFs can dynamically change in healthy adults.

We are currently hiring 2 PhD students for related positions. The projects aim to investigate how neural circuitry underlying pRF allows dynamic pRF changes and how these changes influences visual perception. One PhD student will focus on attentional mechanisms and how they may change pRF properties over time. The other PhD student will extend current pRF techniques to MEG, a recording technique with a high temporal resolution, in order to enable more precise measurements of changes in pRF properties over time. Affinity with data analysis is required, as data analysis will form a substantial part of both projects.


  • Ideal candidates will hold an MSc or equivalent degree in neuroscience, psychology biomedical imaging or a related field.
  • Skills in scientific computing and programming are important (Python and/or Matlab).
  • Good collaborative and communication skills to work in a larger team.


You will be appointed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The appointment is in total for 4 year. Initially, the candidate will be appointed for 12 months followed by an evaluation after which the contracted is extended. Starting dates are flexible.

Gross monthly salaries are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), increasing from € 2395,- per month initially, to € 3061,- in the fourth year) excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus. We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits.


Spinoza Centre

The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging is an Academy research institute. It facilitates and stimulates neuroscientific research in the Netherlands. The institute’s aim is to connect the disparate elements of the Amsterdam neuroscience research community by making cutting-edge neuroimaging equipment available.


See www.spinozacentre.nl for more information on the research of the Spinoza Centre.

Inquiries about this position can be obtained from s.dumoulin@spinozacentre.nl.

*Application deadline: 14 August, 2020
Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated.

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