Postdoc in electrophysiology to study empathy in rodents and human patients

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, KNAW
Euro 43584 - Euro 49041 per an
Jan 30, 2020
Feb 29, 2020
Position Type
Full Time

The Social Brain Lab has an exciting opportunity for

 A Postdoc in Electrophysiology

 To study empathy in rodents and human patients using the most advanced neural probes


Project and methods

The social brain lab has pioneered the investigation of the mechanisms of empathy in rodents and humans. We now look for a talented electrophysiologist with a passion for signal processing to push the frontiers of our understanding of social cognition across species. You would have the opportunity to leverage the lab’s access to human ECoG and depth electrode patients to analyse existing and acquire new data to provide unique insights into how our brain processes the actions and emotions of others. In parallel, you would use the lab’s advanced single cell recording techniques in rodents, including the neuropixel probes, to conduct experiments in awake behaving rats to study emotional mirror neurons. Our lab offers an excellent, highly collaborative international team with expertise in optogenetics, calcium imaging, behavior and neuroimaging in humans and rodents to jointly explore what makes rats and humans prosocial. If you have a positive, flexible, energetic attitude and a strong affinity for social neuroscience and analyzing complex data, this could be a strong opportunity to develop an outstanding CV in the emergent field of social neuroscience.


The project will be held at the Social Brain Lab (SBL), led by Christian Keysers and Valeria Gazzola at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. The lab investigates the neural bases of empathy by combining human and animal experiments with last-generation imaging and neuro-modulatory techniques. The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience ( is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute. 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 and is extremely well spoken in the vibrant and international city of Amsterdam, creating an attractive, progressive and easy-to-integrate environment.

The SBL is highly diverse, with members from more than 8 nations (from South-America to India) with backgrounds ranging from physics to engineering with an emphasis on biology and psychology. 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.

Application and deadline

Applicants are welcomed to submit their application through (and only through) the online form at the 24th of February 2020. The online application will include four sections:

1) general information
2) education and research experience
3) research and personal skills
4) motivation letter and recommendation letters.

For any encountered problems, or further information please email

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 Skype interview followed by a visit on site. We foresee a final decision to be communicated within three months after the first submission date.

Desired skills and experience

  • PhD in behavioral neuroscience or related fields.
  • Research experience with small animal behavioral studies.
  • Experience with small animal surgeries.
  • Experience in programing languages (Python or similar).
  • Experience with electro-physiology and signal processing.
  • 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