Postdoctoral Researcher in Theoretical Neuroscience

Faculteit/Dienst:  Faculteit der Natuurw., Wiskunde & Informatica
Opleidingsniveau:  Gepromoveerd
Functie type:  Wetenschappelijk Personeel
Sluitingsdatum:  31-8-2022
Vacaturenummer:  8469


The Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience (CSN) group is looking for a highly qualified and motivated Postdoctoral researcher to conduct research activities within the context of an adversarial collaboration to test several theories of consciousness. Current research of the group focuses on neural mechanisms of perception, multisensory integration, interactions between sensory and memory systems, and conscious representation. A theory of consciousness that is central to this application and has been developed in the group is Neurorepresentationalism (NREP). CSN research topics are addressed using a variety of methods, such as ensemble recordings in task-performing subjects, optogenetics, advanced analysis of neural data, computational modelling and theoretical analysis.  


What are you going to do


You will join an international consortium led by the CSN group, that aims to test contrasting hypotheses of the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness, Neurorepresentationalism and Active Inference Theory. The consortium includes experts in the three consciousness theories under investigation (Cyriel Pennartz, Karl Friston, Giulio Tononi), as well as experimentalists and clinicians (Umberto Olcese and Rafael Yuste for systems neuroscience and Lars Muckli, Melanie Boly and Jakob Hohwy - amongst others – for human experiments). 


A key component of this large collaboration is to compare the three theories based on the analysis of experimental data, which include data from both primary and data replication labs. A second component is to draw comparisons between the positions on theoretical and computational grounds, and further develop NREP based on computational modelling of complex, higher-order representations arising in the context of predictive coding models, multisensory processing and spatial perception. 


You are expected 

  • to embark on the comparisons between the three frameworks, both on experimental and theoretical grounds, and to bring the neurorepresentationalist framework several steps further, with emphasis of computational modelling;
  • to engage in acting as an ‘ambassador’, coordinating joint meetings and other project activities such as joint publications, communicating with the various international groups involved and mediating between experimental and theoretical researchers;
  • to closely interact with experimental researchers and other computational neuroscientists in the CSN group, and with experimentalists and theoreticians in foreign collaborating groups;
  • to analyze data gathered by the various groups, and overseeing processes of data reproducibility and comparability; 
  • to take on minor tasks in student supervision and guidance at the Bachelor and/or Master level. 

What do we require


  • a PhD degree, preferably in computational or theoretical neuroscience or related fields, such as systems neuroscience, biomathematics or biophysics;
  • experience in computer programming, neural data analytics and/or modelling of biologically plausible or artificial neural networks;
  • significant affinity with systems neuroscience (e.g. ensemble recordings, 2-photon imaging, optogenetics) and population-level analysis (e.g. decoding algorithms);
  • significant affinity with experimental psychology, psychophysics and clinical neuroscience as related to perceptual and cognitive deficits and disorders of consciousness;
  • demonstrable affinity with theoretical and experimental consciousness research, including computational, representational and information-theoretical approaches and philosophy;
  • excellent communication and planning skills.

Our offer

We offer you a temporary employment contract for 38 hours a week, for the duration of 12 months preferably starting on 1 November 2022. An extension of 24 months is possible upon a good evaluation. 


Your salary, depending on your relevant work experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between €2,846 to €4,490 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. A favorable tax agreement, the 30% ruling, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.


Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? More information can be found here


About us 

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds and scientific excellence.


The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. 


The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences. Do you want to know more about our organization? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organization?  Please contact: 



Job application

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 31 August 2022. We aim to invite potential candidates for interviews in the first half of September 2022.


Applications should include:

  • a cover letter with your motivation to apply for this position;
  • a CV, including a list of publications;
  • contact information for at least two academic referees.


Please mention the months (not just years) in your cv when referring to your education and work experience.



The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application. 


No agencies please