PhD Candidate at the Donders Centre for Cognition: Visual Cortical Implants with Artificial Intelligence (1.0 FTE)

Updated: about 1 month ago

  • Employment: 1.0 FTE
  • Gross monthly salary: € 2,395 - € 3,061
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Required background: Research University Degree
  • Application deadline: 20 June 2021


We are looking for

We are seeking a highly qualified and motivated PhD candidate on a subproject called 'Next-generation visual cortical implants with artificial intelligence' within the INTENSE  (Innovative NeuroTEchNology for SociEty) project. INTENSE aims to develop a new generation of brain-machine interfaces to improve the lives of people who are blind, deaf or paralysed, or have epilepsy. Engineers, neuroscientists, medical doctors and industry collaborate to develop the next generation of implants and make improvements in their control using artificial intelligence. The project is meant to improve the ease of use of the implants and to develop an ethical framework for brain implants. 


In the current project, we aim to responsibly integrate AI into visual cortical prostheses. The integration of AI will be in terms of extracting the most relevant information from the visual environment in order to create meaningful representations thereof in computationally efficient ways. Perceptually relevant new representations are needed because the resolution with which the brain can be stimulated is very limited in comparison to normal vision mainly due to physical limitations of interfacing with the brain. Computational efficiency is needed due to the implants requiring portable and small processing units.

As a PhD candidate, you will be responsible for the development of state-of-the-art computer vision models with artificial neural networks and their integration into neurotechnology. Moreover, you will be responsible for disseminating your work in the form of high-impact papers and well-curated toolboxes to facilitate widespread use and further development within the INTENSE consortium and beyond. This position also has a 0.1 FTE teaching component. You will be expected to assist relevant teaching activities at the AI department.

This project will be supervised by Prof. Marcel van Gerven, Dr Yağmur Güçlütürk and Dr Umut Güçlü in collaboration with Prof. Pieter Roelfsema at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and other INTENSE partners. It will be embedded in the research theme 'Neural Computation and Neurotechnology' of the Donders Institute and offers the opportunity to conduct world-class research as a key member of an interdisciplinary team working at the intersection of artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience. Furthermore you will be part of the Donders AI for Neurotech Lab , which is part of the national ICAI  network aimed at technology and talent development between knowledge institutes, industry and government in the area of artificial intelligence.


We ask
  • A Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and/or Cognitive/Computational Neuroscience (preferably with coursework from both fields).
  • Strong technical background (e.g. machine learning, signal processing).
  • Experience and interest in computer vision.
  • Demonstrable experience of differentiable programming/neural network libraries/paradigms.
  • Good command of programming languages (C#, Python).
  • High proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • Strong communication and organisational skills.
  • Knowledge of computer graphics is a plus.

We are

The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre, housing 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 communication , 2. Perception, action and control , 3. Plasticity and memory , 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, multi-disciplinary, 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 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


We offer
  • Employment: 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,395 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,061 in the fourth year (salary scale P ).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed 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).
  • The start date would ideally be 1 September 2021 but is flexible.
  • You will be part of the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience .
  • 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.
  • Have a look at our excellent employment conditions . They include a good work-life balance (among other things because of the excellent leave arrangements), opportunities for development and a great pension scheme.

Would you like more information?
For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Yağmur Güçlütürk, Assistant Professor
Tel.: +31 24 361 11 75
Email: y.gucluturk@donders.ru.nl
Apply directly

Please address your application to Yağmur Güçlütürk and submit it, using the application button, no later than 20 June 2021, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.


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