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Wednesday, 28 November 2007 10:42


PhD Candidate for Neural Networks for Stochastic Optimal Control Theory (1,0 fte)

Faculty of Science
Maximum salary: € 2,612 gross/month
Vacancy number: 62.89.12
Closing date: 31 January 2013


As a PhD Candidate you will work on the project Neural Engineering Transformative Technology (NETT) is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded under the EU FP7 programme. The project brings together engineering, physics and neuroscience for the design and development of brain-computer interface systems, cognitive computers and neural prosthetics. The project consists of 7 partners and 11 associated partners. The NETT work package on adaptive control methods is coordinated by Prof. Bert Kappen of the SNN research group on Machine Learning. The aim of the work package is to build neural architectures for stochastic optimal control and learning. The research is motivated by the recent work on path integral control methods. For this class of control methods, the optimal control can be computed using sampling. This approach has shown to be very effective for robotics and learning. The current project will address the question of how such control computations can be implemented in neural networks.

The PhD track includes a three-month secondment in the second year and a three-month internship with the project’s industrial partner in the third year. Candidates should therefore be flexible and be willing to move abroad.

Work environment
SNN Machine Learning is a research group dedicated to fundamental research in the fields of machine learning and computational neuroscience. Specific topics are Bayesian networks, approximate inference methods, bio-informatics, expert systems, stochastic control and collaborative decision making. The group currently consists of 11 researchers.

SNN Machine Learning is part of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen, where approximately 400 researchers with backgrounds in physics, biology, medicine, genetics, psychology and the social sciences study the relationships between brain, cognitive processes and behaviour.

What we expect from you
You should be in the first, second, third or fourth year of your research career in physics, mathematics, engineering or computer science. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in mathematical and computational neuroscience. As part of our commitment to promoting diversity, we particularly encourage female candidates to apply. To comply with the mobility rules of the Marie Curie Actions, applicants must not have resided, worked or studied in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the three years prior to September 2012.

You will be selected on the basis of excellence, theoretical background, and willingness and enthusiasm to engage in multidisciplinary research; relevant academic background and training; academic references and/or prior publications.

What we have to offer
We offer you:
- employment: 1,0 fte;
- a maximum gross monthly salary of € 2,612 based on a 38-hour working week;
- in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
- the gross starting salary amounts to €2,042 per month based on full-time employment, and will increase to €2,612 per month in the fourth year. Above this salary there will be paid allowances according to ITN conditions;
- you will be appointed 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
Applications should contain a complete CV, a brief description of your research interests and a copy of a recent publication or dissertation (optional).

Would you like to know more?
Further information on: SNN Machine Learning

Prof. dr. H.J. Kappen
Telephone: +31 24 3614241
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Are you interested?
It is Radboud University Nijmegen's policy to only accept applications by e-mail. Please send your application, stating vacancy number 62.89.12, to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , for the attention of ms. M. van Oostveen, before 31 January 2013.
For more information on the application procedure: +31 24 3652131

No commercial propositions please.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 13:10
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