PhD Candidates in Naturalistic Sensorimotor Neurosience at the Donders Centre for Cognition

0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary
€ 2,541 - € 3,247
Required background
Research University Degree
Organizational unit
Faculty of Social Sciences
Application deadline

We are looking for two motivated PhD candidates to perform model-driven studies of perception and action in naturalistic environments. You will participate in the NWO-funded project 'Understanding behaviour in the real world ‐ a naturalistic approach to Neuroscience'. The aim of this project is to use virtual reality, wearable technology, and methods from data science and artificial intelligence to connect laboratory findings with behaviour in the real world and to utilise the new neuroscience knowledge for clinical practice. The overarching focus will be on three behavioural pillars - walking, orienting and reaching - and compare their characteristics within the same normative framework to develop a data‐driven computational model for real‐world perception and action.

One PhD project ('Walking') will specifically focus on how real‐world statistics, motor predictions and sensory feedback are used in walking, and how these sensitivities differ in stroke patients, children and elderly. The other PhD project ('Reaching') focuses on how reaching and object interaction rely on adequate signals for task‐related, multi‐effector motor control. The real‐world complexity for signals computations has remained obscure and will be examined in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological disorders, such as stroke. For both projects, close collaboration will take place with colleagues from the Donders Institute, Radboud University's Institute for Computing and Information Sciences, and the Sint Maartenskliniek as clinical partner. Mentoring BSc and MSc students and teaching-related tasks will also be part of the candidates' responsibilities.

Your education task may be up to 10% of your appointment.


  • You have an MSc in cognitive neurosience, psychology, artificial intelligence, engineering or a related field.
  • You have a proven affinity with experimental research in humans and/or mathematical modelling of behaviour.  
  • You have demonstrable experience with techniques for quantitative data analysis (e.g. Matlab or Python).
  • You are highly motivated to conduct interdisciplinary empirical research.
  • You have good collaborative and communication skills.

We are

The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre, that houses 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, multidisciplinary, 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 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will be employed 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) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • 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.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. 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 subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Pieter Medendorp, Professor of Sensorimotor Neuroscience at +31 24 36 16 041 or pieter.medendorp [at]

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 1 April 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Pieter Medendorp. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation, with an indication which PhD project you apply for: A. Walking B. Reaching, or both.
  • Your CV, including the contact details of two referees.
The first round of interviews will take place in April/May. You would preferably begin employment on 1 September 2023.
We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with 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.

Contact information

Professor of Sensorimotor Neuroscience
+31 24 36 16 041

No matching job opportunity?

Create a job alert or check the job opportunities from our partners.