PhD Candidate: Experimental Neuromorphic Computing Leveraging Stochasticity

Employment
0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary
€ 2,770 - € 3,539
Required background
Research University Degree
Organizational unit
Faculty of Science
Application deadline

Are you interested in a project at the interface between computational physics, condensed matter physics, materials science and neuromorphic computing? Do you strive for both fundamental and societal impact of your research? If so, then we have a project for you. Neuromorphic computing is a way to perform computations with hardware that mimics the architecture of the human brain.

This project aims to co-develop algorithms for neuromorphic hardware, focusing on the inherent stochasticity in neuromorphic materials. This will pave the way towards solutions for problems in optimisation and sampling, creating more fundamental knowledge on stochastic properties of next-generation materials for neuromorphic hardware. You will be part of a consortium, that not only includes Radboud University but also Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) Mainz, the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen, Fontys University of Applied Science in Eindhoven, SURF and IBM, combining expertise from experimental physics and materials sciences, artificial intelligence, computational and high performance computing, and computer hardware and software engineering. Together we aim to develop parallel Markov-chain Monte Carlo sampling algorithms, implement them in recently discovered ultra-fast, ultra-small and ultra-low-energy stochastic dynamics in magnetic materials, and benchmark this new method for runtime and energy-efficiency against traditional sampling.

The project closely aligns with fundamental studies on ultrafast nanomagnetism. This position will be jointly supervised by Nijmegen and Mainz and will involve material (multilayer) deposition, characterisation and investigation as to how these materials can be employed using All-Optical switching (AOS) of magnetisation in these magnetic nanostructures.

AOS has been demonstrated as a radically new approach to write magnetic bits at an unprecedented picosecond timescale and with low switching energies. Key challenges for this project are to develop material systems where AOS can lead to stochastic, multi-state switching, can be scaled down to nanometer dimensions while still retaining the energy efficiency of AOS. Ultimately, this may lead to breaking down existing computational barriers, paving the way to new scientific discoveries. Although fundamental in nature, our research may, in the long term, stimulate the adoption of neuromorphic hardware for societal applications. You will receive training and perform research and will be part of an interdisciplinary effort involving collaborations with all the consortium partners (but in particular with the Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) Mainz), publish results in leading journals, and have the chance to participate in international schools and conferences. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.

Profile

  • You should hold an MSc degree in Experimental Physics or an equivalent qualification.
  • You are a highly motivated researcher.
  • Good communication skills and fluency in written and spoken English are required. 

We are

In close collaboration with the Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Correlated Materials group (Prof. Kimel), the Spectroscopy of Surfaces and Interfaces group (Prof. Rasing) conducts both experimental and theoretical research aimed at understanding ultrafast processes in magnetic materials. Your research will be embedded in interdisciplinary research on energy-efficient computing funded by the Dutch government through a KIC and NWA programme (NL-ECO). In addition, the research benefits from existing international collaborations (EU-NIMFEIA project on magnonic reservoir computing, EU-COMRAD project on ultrafast spintronics, EU-3DMAGiC project on nanoscale topological spin textures). The main supervisors for this PhD position are Dr Johan Mentink and Prof. Theo Rasing, in close collaboration with Dr Dima Afanasiev and Prof. Alexey Kimel.

Our research is embedded in the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), which strives to fundamentally understand, design and control the functioning of molecules and materials. We offer a first class and international research environment with various theoretical and computational research topics and projects targeted to support and stimulate experiments.

Radboud University

At Radboud University, we aim to make an impact through our work. We achieve this by conducting groundbreaking research, providing high-quality education, offering excellent support, and fostering collaborations within and outside the university. In doing so, we contribute indispensably to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. To accomplish this, we need even more colleagues who, based on their expertise, are willing to search for answers. We advocate for an inclusive community and welcome employees with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Will you also contribute to making the world a little better? You have a part to play.

If you want to learn more about working at Radboud University, follow our Instagram account and read stories from our colleagues.

Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science (FNWI), part of Radboud University, engages in groundbreaking research and excellent education. In doing so, we push the boundaries of scientific knowledge and pass that knowledge on to the next generation.

We seek solutions to major societal challenges, such as cybercrime and climate change and work on major scientific challenges, such as those in the quantum world. At the same time, we prepare our students for careers both within and outside the scientific field.

Currently, more than 1,300 colleagues contribute to research and education, some as researchers and lecturers, others as technical and administrative support officers. The faculty has a strong international character with staff from more than 70 countries. Together, we work in an informal, accessible and welcoming environment, with attention and space for personal and professional development for all.

We offer

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (0.8 FTE 5- year contract - 1.0 FTE 4- year contract) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract) or 3.5 years (5-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus. 
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20. 

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions reflect this. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself. For example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports membership. And, of course, we offer a good pension plan. We also give you plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Practical information and applying

You can apply no later than 26 May only via the button below. Address your letter of application to Theo Rasing. In the application form, you will find which documents you need to include with your application.

There will be interim selection procedures so it is possible that you will be assessed and invited to an interview or rejected before the closing date. You would preferably begin employment on 1 July.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It describes what you can expect during the application procedure and how we handle your personal data and internal and external candidates. 

Apply now Application deadline

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Would you like more information?

Prof. T.H.M. Rasing (Theo)

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