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PhD candidate Machine Learning for Real-time Motor Decoding in Neurotechnology Wanted at Maastricht University in the Netherlands

JOB DESCRIPTION

The department of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the Donders Centre for Cognition (DCC) and the research institute MHeNs (School for Mental Health and Neuroscience/Maastricht University) are looking to recruit a highly motivated PhD Candidate for an exciting new position. You will work on the development of new machine learning models for the decoding of motor and speech signals from brain activity. You will be part of the Dutch consortium ‘INTENSE’ (intenseproject.eu funded by NWO, 2019-2026) – a large group of researchers working in the field of neurotechnology in the Netherlands.

The project focuses on the development of machine learning methods for decoding of motor events from neural activity with a long-term goal to apply the developed tools to the clinical setting, such as control of a robotic arm and/or the restoration of speech in patients with severe motor paralysis due to stroke, trauma or a neurodegenerative disease. To bring the decoding approaches closer to future clinical application, specific attention will be given to development of a real-time (online) decoding framework and focus on session-to-session neural variability, continual learning and model adaptation. During the project, you will develop machine learning models and apply them to human intracranial neural data (stereo-electroencephalography, sEEG) collected by our project collaborators at Maastricht University/MUMC+ and UMC Utrecht.

REQUIREMENTS

Profile

  • You should have an MSc degree in artificial intelligence, computer science, or a related field.
  • You have a strong technical background (e.g. in statistical machine learning, time serie analysis and/or deep learning)
  • Affinity with applied machine learning in the context of neurotechnology is a plus.
  • You have a high proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • You are enthusiastic about communicating your research to scientists as well as students in the AI educational program.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Fixed-term contract: 4 years (1+3). Working hours: On average 38 hours (1.0 fte) per week for a period of 4 years, in line with working hours regulations for this function. The salary is € 2.443,- gross per month in the first year increasing until € 3.122,- gross per month in the fourth year, in line with the PhD salary scale. An 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance is also provided. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > About UM > Working at UM.

EMPLOYER

Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

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!

DEPARTMENT

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Your project will be embedded in the department of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the Donders Centre for Cognition (DCC). You will work under the supervision of Dr. Julia Berezutskaya, Dr. Yağmur Güçlütürk and Prof. Marcel van Gerven. You will also work closely together with our collaborators at Maastricht University/MUMC+ (Dr. Christian Herff and Dr. Pieter Kubben) and UMC Utrecht (Prof. Nick Ramsey, Dr. Mariska Vansteensel). You will also be part of the Donders ICAI lab for Neurotechnology (https://icai.ai/donders-ai-for-neurotech-lab/).

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 decision-making, 3. Development and lifelong plasticity, 4. Natural computing & Neurotechnology. Excellent, state-ofthe-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 is 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For questions about the position, please contact Dr. Julia Berezutskaya [email protected] or Prof. Marcel van Gerven [email protected]l.

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