Postdoc in Network Neuroscience

Do you like to work with complex data? Do you like working with big data on the intersection of neuroscience, connectomics and genetics? Do you want to work in an ambitious research environment in the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR)? Please keep reading and apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Location: AMSTERDAM
FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The connectome lab (dutchconnectomelab.nl) as part of the Complex Traits Genetics Department of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see (www.cncr.nl) is seeking applicants for 2 Postdoc positions in cross-disorder connectome analysis of the human brain. The successful candidate will be part of an ERC / NWO Brainscapes project in the group of PI Martijn van den Heuvel as part of the department of Complex Trait Genetics at the VU. The aim of the project is to build new network neuroscience tools to gain insight into transdiagnostic effects of the human brain connectome organization and the integration of connectivity data with genetic discoveries. 

Network neuroscience
In the last decade advances in the field of network neuroscience has started to map and study the complex organization of brain networks, with the aim to get a better understanding of how brain connectivity plays a central role in brain function and disease disfunction. The field of disease connectomics has the specific aim to map and study how changes to the connectome may play a role in the aetiology of a variety of brain conditions, ranging from individual symptomatology to neurological and psychiatric conditions. 

New technologies and data analysis techniques in the field of Network Neuroscience have enabled new ways to map which systems and brain connections are involved in which disorders and ‘why’. One of the postdocs will work on developing new network neuroscience approaches to examine how disease effects across disorders relate to each other in search for new transdiagnostic brain markers. 

Large-scale neuroimaging and genetic data
A second open question is how brain connectivity (and the disease effects herein) relate to underlying common and unique genetic and molecular effects. To address these challenges, the other postdoc will work on integrating MRI findings with genetic discoveries. The candidate will work with large-scale MRI and genetics databases and machine learning approaches. 

You will work in a highly enthusiastic and motivated team of PhD students and Postdocs working on this project, with diverse backgrounds, including, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, neuroimaging, computational neuroscience, psychology and genetics. As a Postdoc you will co-supervise the students and work on both the team and your own projects and studies.

You have affinity with working with large datasets and have knowledge of programming (Matlab, Python, R, or other scientific coding/programming). Affinity with computational neuroscience, genetics, network science and/or Machine Learning is highly appreciated. 

Your duties
  • perform network analysis on neuroimaging data and integrate findings across datasets 
  • work on developing new statistical methods for network neuroscience
  • work on computational modelling of network effects
  • apply bioinformatic tools for integrating results from different biological resources
  • think critically. Supervise MSc and PhD students 
  • actively take part in discussions and have frequent contact with CNCR 
    neuroimaging, genetics and neuroscience labs 
  • authoring and co-authoring manuscripts submitted to high quality journals 
  • teaching (10% of time)

Requirements

  • PhD in any of the of the following fields: Mathematics, Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Informatics, Neuroscience, Genetics, Network Science, Biology, Genetics and/or Statistics
  • experience with neuroimaging techniques, preferably network science; bioinformatics; or genetics. 
  • a good ability to write and read English 
  • experience with programming, data modelling, computational models
  • support ‘open science’: share your tools and data with the wider scientific 
    community. Sharing is caring. 

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,960 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,670 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year with possibility for extension.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity
We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

About the department Complex Trait Genetics
Research at the department of Complex Trait Genetics focuses on identifying the genetic mechanisms of brain-related traits. We develop novel statistical and bioinformatics tools to optimally analyze large genome-wide data sets for complex traits, combine them with biological data and generate hypotheses that can be tested in functional studies to obtain mechanistic insight.

Application

You are requested to write a letter in which you describe your abilities and motivation, accompanied by your curriculum vitae, a list of grades of your MSc and the names and contact details of two scientific referees. Please compile all this together in one document and convert it to pdf.

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your documents as mentioned above until 19/12/2022.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. dr. M.P. (Martijn) van den Heuvel
Position: Full professor
E-mail: martijn.vanden.heuvel@vu.nl
Telephone: +31 20 59 833 43

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Job area: Postdoc
Educational Level: MSc
VU unit: Faculty of Science
Contract type: Temporary with prospects to extension
Maximum FTE: 1
Minimum salary scale: €2,960 (scale 10)
Maximum salary scale: €4,670 (scale 10)
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