PhD Position in Closed Loop Brain Networks

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  • Posted 1 month ago

Delft University of Technology

Do you want to help us to better understand how brain areas interact. Join us as a PhD student and contribute to current edge research on brain network dynamics!

To understand how the brain works, we must understand how each part, from neurons to neuronal ensembles to brain areas, interacts with the rest of the brain and with the world outside. Understanding these interactions is essential if we want to build novel brain-computer interfaces, prosthetics and therapeutic approaches to nervous system ailments. Within the DBI 2 program we will develop principles, devices, and practices to take these interactions into account in order to better understand brain disorders, and aspects of moods, emotions, and compulsions. Your base will be the department of Biomechanical Engineering within the 3mE faculty of the TU Delft, in which you will work with experts in closed loop system identification.

As a PhD student at TU Delft within the DBI 2 program, you aim to obtain fundamental new insights into the closed-loop interactions within the brain and link these to our behaviour. You will design and conduct EEG experiments which enable you to study brain network interactions, by quantifying signal propagation through the brain (4D-EEG methodology), and to validate neural network models of the interacting brain areas. Your findings can be directly translated to studying behaviour in animal models and the design of novel brain stimulators and stimulation paradigms that enable behavioural enhancements in patients. The highly interdisciplinary work requires you to actively build bridges between system identification, control engineering, signal analysis and neurosciences.

The PhD position is part of the DBI 2 program which is funded under the NWO Gravitation Program. The Gravitation program enables researchers to carry out top-level university research and multidisciplinary cooperation for ten years. DBI2 comprises a consortium driven by 6 top researchers from leading Dutch research institutes (Radboud University, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Delft University of Technology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Erasmus Medical Center), complemented by experts in the fields of neuroscience, neuroengineering, and computational sciences. The highly interdisciplinary nature of the program will enable you to actively collaborate with all partners within the consortium and learn from the best neuroscientists, neuroengineers and computational engineers in the Netherlands.

Altogether, with this PhD position, you will contribute to ground-breaking and innovative new insights into the understanding of brain function, thereby shaping the future of neural interfaces and the treatment of neurological diseases.

  • An MSc degree (or close to completion) in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, cognitive robotics, human movement sciences, neuroscience or related field.
  • A curiosity-driven, independent researcher who can synthesize ideas from different fields.
  • Good prgramming skills: ability to write clean, well-documented code using e.g., in Matlab or Python.
  • An excellent command of English, both spoken and written. Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis.
  • Good social and communication skills.
  • Preferably experience performing human experiments.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme  for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values  and we actively engage  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos  will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

If you like more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Mark van de Ruit: [email protected] .    

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by May 21, 2023 via the application button and upload:

  • your motivation letter along with a detailed curriculum vitae,
  • a list of publications (if applicable),
  • your MSc thesis,
  • your BSc and MSc course program and the corresponding marks,
  • names and contact information of two to three references,
  • all other information that might be relevant to your application.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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