Language processing in biological & artificial neural networks

(4-year fully-funded PhD position in the Language and Computation in Neural Systems Group, starting gross salary €2,531 per month)
Supervisor: Dr Andrea E. Martin (MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands & Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging)

Co-supervisor: TBA
Promoter: Professor Antje Meyer (MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands)

Job description

This PhD project aims to investigate the representation and processing of spoken language in biological and artificial neural systems using a theory-driven approach that informed by advanced techniques in cognitive computational neuroscience.

What we expect from you

For this project, we seek an exceptional student with a talent and inclination for first class research as part of a PhD studentship in cognitive computational neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The position is funded by the Language and Computation in Neural Systems Group (LaCNS), led by Dr Andrea E. Martin, and investigates the representation and processing of language in biological and artificial neural systems.

Candidates should have, or shortly expect to obtain, a high quality Research Master’s degree in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, computer science, experimental or mathematical psychology, linguistics or another relevant field of study. Masters degrees should involve several months of experience and training on a scientific project. Data analysis skills in scripting and handling large datasets will be an advantage. Candidates should have a strong interest in the computational basis of language processing in the brain. Familiarity with research methods in computational cognitive science and cognitive computational neuroscience is desirable.

The business of the institute is conducted in English, and candidates should have excellent written and spoken command of this language.

What we have to offer

The PhD position is fully funded for 4 years (starting gross salary is €2,531 per month). LaCNS provides in addition fully equipped research facilities, technical support, as well as a conference and travel budget. PhD students also participate in the International Max Planck Research School, which involves both core and individually chosen coursework to complement the PhD research, and training in soft skills such as writing and presentation.

Work environment

The MPI in Nijmegen is an internationally recognized, leading research institute, with a stimulating environment, excellent facilities and resources. LaCNS uses state-of-the-art methods and theory-driven investigation to study the neurocomputational basis of speech and language comprehension in biological and artificial neural networks; it also benefits from close connection to the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour at Radboud University.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from under-represented minorities, women, and people with disabilities are particularly encouraged.

Application process

Applications should include:

  1. Statement of why you are interested in this post and a good match for the post
  2. CV including publication list
  3. Names, email addresses and contact numbers of three referees who would be willing to provide letters of recommendation     

Applications or enquiries should be made to Ina Grevel (Secretary to Dr. A E Martin).


The deadline for applications is 30 October 2019.

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