[Comp-neuro] Postdoc and PhD student position using EEG & neural networks to investigate language (Potsdam, Germany)

Milena Rabovsky milena.rabovsky at hu-berlin.de
Mon Aug 5 12:13:06 CEST 2019


Dear colleagues,

I am looking for a Postdoc and a PhD student to join my newly 
established Cognitive Neurosciences Lab at the University of Potsdam 
(Germany) as described in more detail below, and would be very grateful 
if you forward this announcement to potentially interested candidates.

Many thanks and best wishes,
Milena Rabovsky

---------------------------------------

Cognitive Neurosciences Lab at the University of Potsdam
Postdoctoral and PhD student position

The newly established Cognitive Neurosciences Lab at the University of 
Potsdam (PI Milena Rabovsky) is looking for a Postdoc to focus on neural 
network modeling of brain potentials during sentence comprehension and a 
PhD student to investigate prediction and adaptation during language 
comprehension using EEG. The positions are funded by an Emmy Noether 
grant from the German Research Foundation focused on investigating the 
processing of language and meaning in the brain using EEG and deep 
neural network models (see e.g., Rabovsky, Hansen, & McClelland, 2018, 
Nature Human Behaviour). Preferred starting date for both positions is 
November 1, 2019 (but can be discussed).

Postdoc position
The salary and benefits are determined by the collective bargaining 
agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13 Ost, 100%). This is a 
temporary position initially limited to a term of 24 months (with 
possible extension).

Project and responsibilities
The goal of this project is to train a neural network model of sentence 
comprehension that has been successfully used to simulate language 
related brain potentials (Rabovsky, Hansen, & McClelland, 2018, Nature 
Human Behaviour) on a large-scale semantically labeled training corpus. 
Prospectively, the trained model will allow for (in collaborations with 
others in the lab) the simulation of language related brain potentials 
using stimulus materials from empirical experiments, and the comparison 
of representations in the model with representations in the brain via 
representational similarity analysis.

Requirements
- very good Master and PhD in relevant field (Cognitive Sciences, 
Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Machine Learning, Data 
Science, Computational Neuroscience, etc.)
- excellent computational skills (e.g., MATLAB, Python,…)
- deep learning/ deep neural network modeling skills
- capacity to work independently
- excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills (in English)
- strong interest in several aspects of the lab’s research focus, i.e., 
neural network models, cognitive neurosciences, language, meaning
- high motivation and commitment

In addition, the ideal candidate has
- experience with deep neural network language models
- excellent track record in a relevant field

PhD student position
The salary and benefits are determined by the collective bargaining 
agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13 Ost, 65%; please note 
that 65% of full staff member positions are the current norm for PhD 
student positions in Germany). This is a temporary position initially 
limited to a term of 36 months (with possible extension).

Project and responsibilities
The goal of this project is to investigate the relation between 
prediction errors and adaptation/ learning during language 
comprehension, as reflected in event-related brain potentials (ERPs). 
Specific tasks include designing and programming the experiments, 
collecting and analyzing the data (behavioral and EEG), interpretation 
of the results as well as presentation of the results at international 
conferences and publication of the results in international 
peer-reviewed journals.

Requirements
- very good Master in relevant field (Cognitive Sciences, Cognitive 
Neurosciences, Psychology, etc.)
- experience with and interest in neuroscientific methods (preferably 
EEG)
- solid statistical skills
- good programming skills (e.e., MATLAB, Python, R,…)
- excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills (in English)
- strong interest in several aspects of the lab’s research focus, i.e., 
cognitive neurosciences, prediction, adaptation, language, meaning, 
event-related brain potentials
- high motivation and commitment

In addition, the ideal candidate has
- excellent skills in advanced statistical analyses
- experience in research on language, prediction and/ or implicit memory

The University strives to maintain gender balance among its staff. 
Severely disabled applicants shall receive preference in case of equal 
qualifications. We expressly invite applications from people with 
migration backgrounds.

Please send your application (including letter of motivation, CV, at 
least 1 [PhD position] or 2 [Postdoc position] names of potential 
referees, copies of academic certificates) as a single pdf file to 
bewerbung at uni-potsdam.de until August 31 for full consideration (late 
applications may be considered until the position is filled). Please 
direct informal inquiries to Milena Rabovsky at 
milena.rabovsky at gmail.com.

The official ads can be downloaded here (there are some aspects that 
relate to German laws and may be confusing for potential international 
applicants - please get in touch if you have questions!)
Postdoc position: 
https://www.uni-potsdam.de/fileadmin01/projects/verwaltung/docs/Dezernat3/Ausschreibungen/2_akadPersonal/271_2019_HWF_Kog_Neuro_Postdoc_Homepage31.07.2019.pdf
PhD student position: 
https://www.uni-potsdam.de/fileadmin01/projects/verwaltung/docs/Dezernat3/Ausschreibungen/2_akadPersonal/273_2019_HWF_Kog_Neuro_PhD_31.07.2019Neu.pdf


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