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PhD Position in Neurotechnology

Job description

We look for a talented and hardworking researcher with a passion for studying the function of the brain in motor control by computational modeling and/or closed-loop brain stimulation. The focus of this project will be on advanced versions of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), targeting multiple brain areas in an optimized way. Depending on your background, this may include neural network / neural mass modeling of large-scale brain activity during and after stimulation, tACS in healthy participants, electric field simulation, setting up a brain-computer interface for closed-loop stimulation in healthy participants, or a combination of these topics.

The successful applicant will join the Biomedical Signals and Systems group of the department of Electrical Engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Twente (UT), Netherlands.

About the project:
Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a non-invasive technique to modulate neural activity in the human brain. While its effects on neurophysiology and behavior are typically small in size, the technique has the advantage to be very flexible in terms of application sites and time courses of the applied currents, leading to large parameter spaces for applications. To optimize tACS towards a technique of network stimulation in the human brain, we use computational modeling at the population level (neural mass models) as well as at the neuron level (neural network models), in part including plasticity. Electric fields will be estimated based on finite-element method models. Furthermore, we plan to adapt multi-site tACS in a closed-loop fashion, adjusting parameters of stimulation based on behavior or electrophysiology. The project can be adapted to your specific interests and your background.

Your profile

We look for a highly motivated, enthusiastic researcher who is driven by curiosity and has:

  • or will shortly acquire, a MSc. degree in electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, technical medicine, (applied) mathematics, (applied) physics or a related field;
  • programming experience (e.g. Matlab, R, Python, or C);
  • experience with biomedical and dynamic systems models and advanced biomedical signal analysis;
  • affinity to the clinical application of neurotechnology;
  • a creative and interdisciplinary approach to pushing boundaries;
  • a high proficiency in English.

Our offer

We offer an exciting temporary research position in a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high industrial relevance. The UT offers excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus with lots of sports facilities and an international scientific community. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO) and include:

  • A fulltime PhD position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year.
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits.
  • The salary will range from € 2.434,- (1st year) to € 3.111,- (4th year) gross per month, plus a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • a minimum of 29 leave days in case of fulltime employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A fulltime employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis;
  • Excellent facilities for professional and personal development;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff. A collaboration with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany) and/or the University of Oxford (UK) are possible.

Information and application

Are you interested to be part of our team? Please send your application until November 1, 2021, via the 'Apply now' button below and include:

  • a letter of motivation, emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications and motivation to apply for this position;
  • a detailed CV;
  • an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education;
  • contact information of two referees.

For more information you are welcome to contact Dr. Bettina Schwab (b.c.schwab@utwente.nl)

About the department

Biomedical Signals and Systems (BSS) is a multidisciplinary group based in Electrical Engineering, focussing on finding solutions for medical challenges via signal and system analysis. Advanced (ambulatory) sensor technology combined with our broad knowledge of the human body as a dynamic system enables (eHealth) technology to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sensory, motor and internal dysfunction in clinical and home/selfcare setting. Our research helps to improve the quality of life of elderly, people with chronic diseases and rehabilitation patients.
We work together with many external partners from the clinical, academic and industrial field, such as ZGT, MST, St. Antonius, CHDR, Roessingh, Xsens and TMSi.

Our research program is embedded in the Techmed Centre and for eHealth also embedded in the Digital Society Institute.

BSS is responsible for module coordination for multiple modules of the Biomedical Engineering, Technical Medicine and Creative Technology bachelors, and contributes to many bachelor and master courses.

For further information, click here.

About the organization

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD Position in Neurotechnology
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