PhD Opportunity on Social-Cognitive Development

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PhD Candidate Social-Cognitive Development Young Children (1,0 fte)
Faculty of Social Sciences
Vacancy number: 24.12.16
Application deadline: 16 May 2016

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to conduct research on the cognitive and social development of young children. A large study will be carried out, examining the early development of four key social-cognitive skills (i.e. theory of mind, episodic memory, future thinking and spatial navigation). The project will also investigate the neural underpinnings of these social-cognitive skills using EEG. A third line of research will compare the development of these skills in typical and atypical populations, such as in children with autism spectrum disorder. The empirical studies of this PhD project will be conducted at the infant and child labs of the Baby Research Center of Radboud University. A broad range of state-of-the-art techniques of developmental research are available, such as eye-tracking, motion tracking, EEG and fNIRS.

Work environment
You will work in a vibrant, interdisciplinary team of developmental psychologists, clinical psychologists, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists. Your supervisors will be Dr Mareike Altgassen and Dr Sabine Hunnius. This research is a collaborative project of the Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology group and the BabyBRAIN group of the Donders Institute. The aim of the Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology group is to unravel the neurocognitive mechanisms of learning and memory across the human lifespan, whereas the BabyBRAIN group examines social-cognitive development in infants and young children. Radboud University Nijmegen is a public university with a strong focus on research and was listed as the best traditional university in the Netherlands in 2016. Radboud University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities. Radboud University offers a parental leave scheme and day care on campus. The Donders Institute (DI) is an internationally renowned research centre devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of human cognition and behaviour. It offers excellent experimental and neuroimaging facilities, including a large early development lab ( The DI is home to more than 600 researchers from 35 countries. In 2013, the DI was assessed by an international evaluation committee as ‘excellent’ and recognized as a ‘very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talents’. You will be employed by the Faculty of Social Sciences. The faculty hosts high-quality research and study programmes that rank among the best in the Netherlands.

What we expect from you
You should have a degree in psychology or a related discipline, such as (developmental) neuroscience, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, or education science, and a strong motivation for scientific research. Relevant research experience and experience with neuroscientific methods (such as EEG) are distinct advantages. Advanced data analysis or programming skills would also be a plus. A good command of spoken and written English is essential. Moreover, it would be advantageous if you speak Dutch or are willing to learn it.

What we have to offer
• employment: 1,0 fte;
• in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
• starting salary is €2,174 per month and will increase to €2,779 per month in the fourth year (P scale);
• you will be appointed as a PhD student for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years;
• you will be classified as a PhD candidate (promovendus) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO).

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Other Information
You will be part of the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience. Starting date will be September 1st, 2016.

Would you like to know more?
Further information on: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Further information on: Dr. A.M. Altgassen
Further information on: Baby BRAIN Group
Further information on: Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Dr. Sabine Hunnius
Telephone: +31 24 3612648

Dr. Mareike Altgassen
Telephone: +31 24 3612646

Are you interested?
You should upload your application (attn. of Dr. Sabine Hunnius) exclusively using the button ‚Apply‘ below. Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):
• Application letter
• CV
• Transcript of records

As part of the selection procedure, you may be asked to take part in an assessment.
For more information on your application: +31 24 3611173.