Postdoc in the social brain lab

The Social Brain lab has an exciting opportunity for a Post-doctoral researcher in computational neuroscience financed by an ERC grant
2 jaar


The Social Brain lab has an exciting opportunity for a Post-doctoral researcher in computational neuroscience financed by an ERC grant.

Project description and methods

The Social Brain Lab (SBL), has pioneered the investigation of the mechanisms of empathy by combining rodents and humans research. We are currently looking for an ambitious computational neuroscience postdoc that will lead the efforts to use behavioral and imaging data to study the link between embodied processes and social decision-making. You will use both pre- and newly acquired fMRI, EEG and EcoG data in combination with reinforcement learning computational modeling to reveal the circuits and processes linking embodied perception and other regarding choices, in particular when cost and benefits for self are in conflict with costs and benefits for others. By working within the SBL you will have the unique opportunity to collaborate with other members of the lab working with rodents model to bridge and integrate results from the two species.

What we expect from you

  • PhD in computational neuroscience or related fields.
  • Experience with reinforcement learning models.
  • Experience with modeling behavior and fMRI data.
  • Interest in social behavior and empathy, and in translational research
  • Highly motivated, energetic, detail orientated and capable to work and troubleshoot independently and collaboratively.
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • At least one excellent publication in computational neuroscience

You should expect from us

  • Mentoring, supervision and training
  • Access to state-of-the art infrastructure
  • A stimulating international research environment


The Social Brain Lab, is the results of the joint venture of the research groups of Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazzola, aiming at shedding light on the neural mechanisms of empathy by combining studies in humans and rodents. The SBL is funded by multiple European (ERC, Marie Curie) and Dutch (VIDI, VICI) grants, and is characterized by an unusually diverse environment, with members from all over the world, backgrounds ranging from philosophy to engineering with an emphasis on biology and psychology, and neuro-scientific techniques spamming from high field fMRI in humans to ultrasound imaging in rodents.

The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute, and is in close collaboration with the Spinoza Centre for Imaging, which hosts both 3T and 7T scanners and relevant expertise. Both the PIs have an additional position at the University of Amsterdam, one of the top psychology departments in Europe. Together this provides a critical mass of experts in the most advanced neuroscience techniques, together with a dynamic multi-cultural environment. English is the working language of the research group, the institute and is extremely well spoken in the vibrant and international city of Amsterdam, creating an attractive, progressive and easy-to-integrate environment.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or status as disabled status, or genetic information.


The position is for a period of 3 years in total. The first appointment is for one year with the option for an extension for the remaining period pending on an evaluation.


The salary will be commensurate with experience and institutional guidelines based on the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities; CAO NU). Full time monthly salary for a postdoctoral researcher depends on experience and ranges from € 3.217,- to € 4.402.- before taxes. A 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus are excluded. We offer travel expenses, paid parental leave, flexible working hours, 30 days paid leave per year and help by finding a house.

Starting date

As soon as the ideal candidate is identified.

Application and deadline

Applicants are welcomed to submit their application through (and only through) the online form at until January 6, 2021. Do NOT use the respond button on top of this page. The online application will include four sections:
1) general information
2) education and research experience
3) research and personal skills
3) CV, motivation letter and recommendation letters.

For any encountered problems, or further information please email [email protected]

Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately, and after about 4 weeks from the deadline candidates will be informed whether they passed the first round or not. Shortlisted candidates will receive, taking into account candidates’ availability, an assignment to be done within 48h. Based on the results of the assignment, we will organize a 1h Zoom interview followed by a visit on site (if it will be allowed). We foresee a final decision to be communicated within three months after the first submission date. If no excellent candidate can be identified, we might re-advertise the position.

Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated