PhD Position Neuronal Networks Underlying Learning and Decision-Making: Dynamics and Analysis

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Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

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Functie omschrijving

The Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands is seeking a qualified candidate for a four-year PhD position within the interdisciplinary research platform consisting of control theory, human cognition and AI domains.

Project description
Understanding the mechanisms of human cognition, e.g. learning and decision-making, is among the key components behind developments of efficient human-in-the-loop algorithms as well as advances in human cognitive health. Cognitive abilities are rooted in the activities of dynamic networks of neurons. A central topic in this domain is to understand the relations between the cognitive functioning and the brain neuronal activities in particular in the light of dynamic changes in neuronal interactions. This project will consider system level modeling and analysis of dynamic neuronal networks whose activities form the underlying mechanisms of learning and decision-making. We will capitalize mainly on the tools from nonlinear and adaptive control theory. Physics-based and data-driven approaches will be employed for the dynamical modeling part. The outcome of this project, in collaboration with cognitive neuroscientists and AI experts, will contribute to mechanistic understandings of human cognition as well as advances in artificial learning algorithms.

The department Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) of the faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, coordinates the education and research activities in systems and control at Delft University of Technology. The Centers' research mission is to conduct fundamental research in systems dynamics and control, involving dynamic modelling, advanced control theory, optimisation and signal analysis. The research is motivated by advanced technology development in physical imaging systems, renewable energy, robotics and transportation systems.

Functie eisen

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in Systems and Control, Applied Mathematics, Mechanical / Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or a closely related discipline, with a strong background in systems and control and a genuine interest in cognitive science. Familiarity or a background in data-driven techniques/ machine learning is a plus. The candidate is expected to work in an interdisciplinary research on the edge of control theory, cognitive neuroscience, and deep learning/AI. A good command of the English language is required.


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Informeren en solliciteren

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Matin Jafarian, Assistant Professor, email:

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Irina Bruckner, HR Advisor, email:

In order to apply, applicants should submit

  • a detailed curriculum vitae,

  • an introduction letter indicating their background and motivation (maximum two pages long),

  • their BSc and MSc course programs and the corresponding marks, title and abstract of their BSc/MSc thesis,

  • contact information for at least two academic references.

Applicants should send their application, the required documents along with all other information that might be relevant for their application, compiled into a single pdf file called ‘TUD00512_YourLastName.pdf’, by email to reffering to vacancy number TUD00512.

The application deadline for the position is November 20, 2020.

A first selection will be made based on the submitted material, and selected candidates will undergo a Skype interview.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

38.0 uur per week
Type vacature:


  • Er is geen minimale opleiding vereist
  • Voor deze functie is er geen minimale werkervaring vereist

Wat wij bieden

€ 2.395,- tot € 3.061,- per maand

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