PhD position – Cognitive Neuroscience & neuroimaging


The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to participate to a H2020 European project called Silver Santé Study ( and and including 10 partners in 6 European Countries. This is an unique large and multidisciplinary clinical trial where 140 elderly participants will have a series of complementary assessment including multiple neuroimaging scans before and after an 18-month follow-up period during which two interventions will be proposed: meditation training versus English learning (versus a passive control condition). The PhD candidate will be in charge of the fMRI component of the project towards understanding the cognitive (attentional) brain mechanisms underlying the effects of the interventions. He will have access to an exceptional datasets and will have the unique opportunity to interact with the other European PhD students working on this multidisciplinary project. Relationships with other imaging modalities (resting-state fMRI, PET scans, etc), but also with other data acquired in this project (neuropsychological tests, sleep assessment, psychological questionnaires, biological bool measures etc) will be encouraged.



Responsibilities – main function

The PhD candidate will participate to data acquisition including for fMRI and for cognitive assessment, both in Liege and in Caen – France). He/She will analyse behavioural and fMRI data, both at baseline (data already acquired) and at follow-up (effects of the intervention) and relate them to the cognitive and brain status. The PhD candidate will work in close interaction with other PhD students and postdocs involved in the project but will have his/her own dedicated project. He/She will also work in close cooperation with the neuroimaging application team and experts in cognition. The research will be supervised by Dr Fabienne Collette, internationally acknowledged researcher on age-related attentional and brain processes.


Qualifications and requirements

  • Candidate should be skilled, highly motivated, have excellent communication and organizational skills, able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Candidates must have an MSc in neuropsychology or cognitive neuroscience.
  • Mastery of French is a requirement; mastery of English is also particularly important in this European project.
  • Candidates must have good statistical skills
  • Pre-exposure to Matlab, R and/or Python, and/or previous experience in fMRI imaging would be appreciated.


Work environment

GIGA-CRC IVI is a research team including psychologists, neurologists, chemists, physicists and engineers, gathering complementary skills in developing novel technical and methodological tools to better characterise the structure and function of the human brain. Applications and fields of research include sleep and chronobiology, healthy ageing and neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis, glioblastomas, and many fields of cognitive neuroscience.

The team has direct access to research-dedicated equipment, including a PET scanner (ECAT+, Siemens), a 3T whole-body MRI scanner (Magnetom Prisma, Siemens), neuro-navigated TMS-EEG, high-density EEG system and a sleep and chronobiology unit with five temperature-controlled, light-calibrated, soundproof bedrooms equipped for EEG recordings. A 7T Magnetom Terra MRI scanner was just installed (operational since April 2019).


Contract duration

The position is currently granted for approximatively 9 months the candidate will apply to a Belgian PhD funding for a full 4 year PhD with the strong support of the supervisor, local team and European project precursors (high level of success). Contract will start from July 1st 2019 and no later than October 1st 2019. Monthly salary will be provided upon request and follows Belgian regulations.



Applicants are invited to respond as soon as possible and no later than June 30th 2019. Please include all the following documents in PDF format: CV (including list of publications), contact information for two referees, a brief letter (maximum 2 pages) describing your personal qualifications, research interests and motivation for applying, and any other information that could help us in appraising the quality of your application. Applications or informal enquiries should be sent via email to Candidates shortlisted for interview will be required to give a short research presentation. Interviews of shortlisted candidates are planned between June 30th and July 15th 2019.

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