PhD student

The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging in Amsterdam has two positions available for a PhD student (full-time) to investigate population receptive field dynamics in the human brain using ultra-high field MRI and other neuroimaging methods.

Our world is dynamic and change is the only constant in life. Changes in environment and current goals change which information is available and relevant. Thus, our brain must strike an enormously difficult balance: it must be plastic to adjust to ever-changing demands yet it must also be stable enough to let neural circuits function throughout our lifetime. We aim to find out how the brain achieves this feat. Join us!

Vision is the dominant sense in humans. A fundamental property of brain cells is that they process a limited region of the visual scene, known as their receptive field. With non-invasive neuro-imaging techniques, we can measure the aggregated receptive fields of populations of neurons. The plasticity of the neural circuitry underlying these ‘population receptive fields (PRFs) is controversial. The controversy surrounds observations that under certain conditions pRFs can dynamically change in healthy adults.

We are currently hiring 2 PhD students for related positions. The projects aim to investigate how neural circuitry underlying pRF allows dynamic pRF changes and how these changes influences visual perception. One PhD student will focus on attentional mechanisms and how they may change pRF properties over time. The other PhD student will extend current pRF techniques to MEG, a recording technique with a high temporal resolution, in order to enable more precise measurements of changes in pRF properties over time. Affinity with data analysis is required, as data analysis will form a substantial part of both projects.


  • Ideal candidates will hold an MSc or equivalent degree in neuroscience, psychology biomedical imaging or a related field.
  • Skills in scientific computing and programming are important (Python and/or Matlab).
  • Good collaborative and communication skills to work in a larger team.

We strive for a diverse workforce and welcome letters from candidates who might widen the diversity of our team.

Spinoza Centre

The Spinoza Centre (SC) for Neuroimaging is a Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences institute and a unique initiative by the Amsterdam neuroscience and cognition community to strengthen its infrastructural base and to serve its frontline research. SC aims to provide deep and mechanistic insights into brain function in health and disease by focussing on the mesoscopic organisation scale that bridges the microscopic (cellular) and macroscopic (brain area) organisation scales of the human brain. SC has a unique focus on and bridging function between cognitive neuroscience, i.e. the neural mechanisms underlying human cognition and behaviour, and clinical neuroscience, i.e. the neural mechanisms underlying diseases and disorders of the human brain. The SC offers a resourceful and stimulating scientific environment. The SC houses 3T and 7T whole-body Philips scanners that are fully dedicated to research.


You will be appointed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The appointment is in total for 4 year. Initially, the candidate will be appointed for 12 months followed by an evaluation after which the contracted is extended. Starting dates are flexible.


Gross monthly salaries are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), increasing from € 2395 per month initially, to € 3061 in the fourth year) excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus. We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits.


The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging is located on Meibergdreef 75, 1105 BK Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Inquiries and application

Inquiries about this position can be obtained from . Applications should be emailed to Leonie Warlo (). In the application, please include a curriculum vitae, names and contact information of two references and a statement that summarizes experience, accomplishment and research interests. We will start evaluating applications from August 15st, 2020, until suitable candidates have been identified.

Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated