PhD or Postdoc in Cognitive Neuroimaging (1.0 FTE): Time, space and number processing in the human brain and deep neural networks

Onderwijs en onderzoek
Uren per week: 
38 tot 40
Faculteit of dienst: 
Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen
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We are seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Scientist to investigate the representation of event timing, space and numerosity in the human brain. This will combine advanced analyses of ultra-high-field (7T) fMRI data and recurrent deep neural network modelling. The researcher will be supervised by Dr Ben Harvey at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. This PhD is funded for 3.2 years (or 2.5 years for a Postdoc), by Dr Harvey’s NWO VIDI grant. The starting date is between September and November 2020. The position involves 1.0 FTE (full-time) research.

The research builds on the following papers:
Harvey BM, Dumoulin SO, Fracasso A, Paul JM (2020) A Network of Topographic Maps in Human Association Cortex Hierarchically Transforms Visual Timing-Selective Responses. Current Biology 30, 1424-1434.
Harvey BM, Klein BP, Petridou N, and Dumoulin SO (2013). Topographic representation of numerosity in the human parietal cortex. Science 341, 1123-1126.
Harvey BM, Fracasso A, Petridou N, Dumoulin SO (2015). Topographic representations of object size and relationships with numerosity reveal generalized quantity processing in human parietal cortex. PNAS 112, 13525-13530.
Harvey BM, Dumoulin SO (2017). A network of topographic numerosity maps in human association cortex. Nature Human Behaviour 1, 36.
Klein BP, Harvey BM, Dumoulin SO (2014) Attraction of Position Preference by Spatial Attention throughout Human Visual Cortex. Neuron 84, 227-237.


We are looking for someone who:

  • holds (or nearly holds) a Master's (or PhD for postdoc applicants) in Psychology, Neuroscience, Engineering, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, or a related field;
  • takes a strongly quantitative, computational view of psychology and neuroscience;
  • has strong computer programming skills;
  • takes a practical approach to solving technical problems;
  • has excellent written and spoken English communication skills (no Dutch required);
  • has a strong publication record for their career stage;
  • is effective and efficient, able to work within a team and think conceptually.

The following experience is desirable, but not required:

  • designing and implementing visual stimuli for experiments;
  • MRI data acquisition and analysis;
  • model-based data analysis;
  • quantitative analysis of deep convolutional neural network responses.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for one year. Upon a positive performance, the contract will be followed by a period of a further 26 months (18 months for a Postdoc). The gross PhD salary starts at €2,395 per month in the first year for a full-time employment, the gross Postdoc salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €2,790 and €4,402 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Over de organisatie

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

Utrecht is a young and vibrant city with a large academic population, around 30 minutes south of Amsterdam. It combines a beautiful old city center with a modern university. Utrecht has an excellent quality of life, with plenty of green space and a strong bicycle culture.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in Cultural Anthropology, Educational Sciences, Interdisciplinary Social Science, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology. More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has about 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues. 

Aanvullende informatie

Informal enquiries should be sent to Ben Harvey (Associate Professor), via
Interviews will be held through video-call.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Full applications must be submitted through our online system by midnight (Central European Time) on 26 July. Applications should contain: a cover letter describing your interest in this research, a curriculum vitae with a publication list, and contact information for two academics who can provide a letter of recommendation.

Uiterlijk reageren op 26 juli 2020.