Job ID: 80875
Postdoc position: Cell type specific function in visual cortex during multisensory processing
Position: Post-doctoral Position
Deadline: 31 August 2022
Employment Start Date: 1 September 2022
Contract Length: 3 yrs
Country: The Netherlands
Institution: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Department: Center for Genomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR), Faculty of Sciences
The In Vivo Neurophysiology team is looking for a postdoc for a 3-year project that will be carried out at the Integrative Neurophysiology (INF) division at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR) at the VU Amsterdam (chair prof.dr. Huib Mansvelder).
See, touch, feel! How does our brain combine different senses?
Our brain has specialized regions to encode information from our five main senses. To experience the world around us, senses need to be combined, but we do not yet understand how our brain performs this function. We will test the hypothesis that the cerebral cortex combines information already in areas specialized for a single sense. We will record brain activity in behaving animals performing a combined touch-vision task to understand how multisensory information is coded. Detailed understanding of the mechanisms operating at the level of cells and brain systems can provide clues to develop therapeutic treatments after brain damage.
As postdoc in the in vivo neurophysiology team, your research will aim to elucidate cell-type specific function in primary visual cortex underlying the emergence of multi-sensory integration and sensory-guided decision-making.
This postdoc project is funded through a collaborative grant from NWO (ENW-M-2), which involves a synergistic collaboration with prof. Cyriel Pennartz from the University of Amsterdam and a 2nd postdoc position at UvA-SILS. The VU position will focus on disentangling the cellular substrates during multisensory processing, whereas the postdoc position at the UvA will elucidate the contribution of ensembles of neurons to the same standardized behavioral task. We envision surplus value by constantly aligning the 2 postdoc projects through regular meetings (see also https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.22.449366v1).
The INF department and CNCR institute are the home of several groups at the frontier of studying the link between brain circuitry and well-defined rodent behavior. The postdoc project will be fully integrated with ongoing research and the postdoc candidate will experience a jump-start because necessary techniques and expertise are readily available within the project and associated research teams.
Your duties at the VU:
- You will use a repertoire of state-of-the-art approaches in circuit neuroscience such as single unit and population electrophysiology in anaesthetized and behaving mice, opto- or chemogenetics and histology.
- You will have the opportunity to supervise Bachelor’s and Master’s students.
- Work in close collaboration with the UvA postdoc and group.
- We are looking for candidates with a PhD in Neuroscience and a strong motivation to pursue a career in science. This translates to a finished PhD thesis (or submitted to the assessment committee) with one or more first-author data manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals or submitted. Candidates without a PhD or without published/accepted manuscript(s) will not be considered.
- Prior experience with single unit electrophysiology (silicon probes, Neuropixels, cluster analysis, patch clamp or loose patch electrophysiology) or surgical techniques is essential.
- Experience with spike data analysis and knowledge of a programming language (Matlab, Python) is preferred.
- A permit to work with animals is preferred.
What are we offering?
A challenging position in a socially involved organization and multidisciplinary department. INF/CNCR hosts research group focusing on research questions that range from curiosity driving to bench-to-bedside research (cncr.nl). You will be part of a collaborative, enthusiastic team consisting of multiple PhD-students and experienced post-docs with diverse cultural backgrounds in which we collectively work on important research questions, using experimental approaches. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €3561 (scale 10.5) – €4490 (10.12) per month depending on previous research experience, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.
The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 3 years.
Additionally, the VU Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
- 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
- contribution to commuting expenses
- 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 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 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.
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 around 6,000 students.
Are you interested in this position? Go to:
Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 31 August 2022. Dates on the VU website may slightly deviate, please ignore.
The application procedure involves an initial ranking based on previous experience, publication record and motivation letter/CV. Next, top ranked candidates will be invited to an interview through Zoom and as a final step, a lab visit/tour is organized to meet group members and explore the academic setting.
Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Dr. Christiaan de Kock
Relevant previous work at INF:
De Kock et al, CommBiol 2021
De Kloet et al, NatComm 2021
Oude Lohuis, Pie et al, BioRxiv, 2021
Terra et al, Curr Biol 2020
Egger et al, Neuron 2020
Mohan et al, JNeurosci 2019