PhD Student position at the Dept. of Cognitive Neuroscience/Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience/

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with a strong interest in pursuing empirical research involving cognitive-behavioral and neuroimaging (EEG) measures to gain understanding of how children acquire stable and exact representations of numbers (number symbols).

Job Specifications - (uitleg)

Solliciteer binnen 31 dagen op deze vacature

Job Description

From the start of development infants have a rudimentary ability to discriminate between quantities, such as different numbers of toys, without the use of language or symbols. Later on, children will acquire more stable and exact representations of numbers that enable them to learn more complex mathematical skills. The present PhD project is focused on discovering the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in the successful acquisition of such exact symbolic number representations by performing studies in children as well as in adults and using cognitive-behavioral and EEG measures.

The primary responsibilities of the PhD student will be:

1) to actively participate in the experimental design of studies and the acquisition and analysis of behavioral and EEG data in adults and children and 2) writing and publication of scientific papers.

The successful candidate will perform her/his PhD research within the “Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience” group in close collaboration with the “Perception, Attention and Learning group. Supervisors will be Dr. Lisa Jonkman and Prof. Peter de Weerd.

Preferred starting date: October/November 2016

  • Master or research master (MSc) degree in a (Developmental) Cognitive Neuroscience (or Neuropsychology) related field.
  • A genuine interest in the interdisciplinary nature of this project (the topic of number processing and both the neurocognitive and developmental aspects).
  • Sufficient mastery of the Dutch language to be able to interact with teachers/children or a willingness to learn Dutch within the first years of the PhD.
  • A willingness to work with standard and advanced data analysis methods.
  • Strong team-playing, organizational and communication skills.
  • Excellent proficiency in written (and spoken) English.
  • Research experience with EEG/ERP application and analyses as well as with programming skills are an advantage.


Temporary employment for 4 years.
Your salary would be € 2.174,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.779,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


Temporary, 4 years


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,000 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Department of Cognitive Neuroscience

The Cognitive Neuroscience (CN) department in Maastricht combines research in human perception and cognition with the development of advanced methods in neuroscience. Various brain imaging methods are employed to describe and predict behaviour, such as single cell recording, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electro- and magneto-encephalography (EEG and MEG). Furthermore, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and neurofeedback are being used to manipulate behaviour. The research is embedded in the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-BIC).

Additional Information

Dr. Lisa Jonkman, email: