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Several PhD stipends at the Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP)

Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP), Aalborg University
Aalborg (Kommune), Nordjylland (DK)
Closing date
Jun 5, 2024

Are  you enthusiastic about basic human pain research? The Center for  Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP) at Aalborg University is recruiting  several PhD fellows within the doctoral programme "Biomedicial  Engineering and Neuroscience", to start 1st August 2024 or soon  hereafter

Who are we?
We strive to identify and modulate key features of human pain neuroplasticity and its relevance for persistent pain in humans.

CNAP  is a research Center of Excellence inaugurated by the Danish National  Research Foundation at Aalborg University, Denmark(  CNAP applies a basic research approach where new advanced biomedical  provocation and probing platforms are being discovered and applied to  study novel aspects of the human pain neuroplasticity. The ambition of  CNAP is to identify and modulate key features of human pain  neuroplasticity through a systematic approach, including provoking,  probing and modulation of the dynamic neuroplastic properties of the  pain system. We believe that this approach over time will foster new  fundamental discoveries and change the state of the art and offer novel  ways for pain treatment. Our world class lab facilities enable advanced  quantitative sensory/pain testing, application of advanced  neurophysiological techniques(e.g. EEG, TMS, TMS-EEG, rTMS, HD-tDCS),  bio-medical techniques(e.g. linked with epigenetics and general  biomarkers), as well as research based on animal models(e.g. rodents and  pigs).

CNAP is a dynamic and international research  environment: approximately 60% of our staff is international, with an  almost 50-50% gender balance. Our working language is English, and you  will also be writing your thesis in English. We are highly  interdisciplinary and include experts within e.g. biomedical  engineering, neuropsychology, pharmacology, biophysics, and medicine  with industrial specialisation, and medicine. You will thus be joining  an inspiring, enriching, and productive cross-disciplinary research  centre including staff with internationally recognized track records.

CNAP  is affiliated to the Department of Health Science and Technology at the  Faculty of Medicine, which does multidisciplinary research and teaching  in the area of health science and technology(e.g. medicine and  biomedical engineering). The strategic focus of the department is to be  leading within digital health and being well-known for medical doctors  and engineers collaboratively developing solutions together. The  department has more than 250 employees and is responsible for more than  1700 students.

Working at CNAP
CNAP offers  several PhD scholarships for exploring neuroplasticity and pain. You  will be involved in our frontline research to identify novel mechanisms  involved in the dynamics of pain neuroplasticity, and our efforts to  advance the understandings of this topic within the academic world and  beyond. Specifically, your tasks will be to

  • Conduct research under the supervision of senior CNAP staff members. Relevant projects focus on:
  1. Brain Neuro-Adaptability to Pain (
  2. Excitability  and connectivity changes in people with chronic pain using transcranial  magnetic stimulation coupled with concomitant EEG
  3. Exploring neuroplastic potential in humans– is it reduced in people with pain and/or depression?
  • Write up research results in the form of journal articles and book chapters.
  • Participate  in and co-arrange national and international research conferences and  be exposed to external research environments as e.g. a visiting  researcher.
  • Disseminate the results of your research to the public.
  • Follow Ph.D. training courses.
  • Participate in the day-to-day life of the Center(e.g. research meetings, Round Table Meetings, seminars, social activities)

Develop a solid background in pain neuroscience that will allow you to foster a  curious and critical sense to analyse and interpret scientific  information.

We support students who have an ambition to conduct frontline research
We  are committed to offering our PhD fellows the best possible research  training. As a PhD fellow you will join Aalborg University’s Doctoral  School in in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology with more than  150 enrolled PhD students. In addition to getting first class  supervision from your supervisors who will guide you in the process of  conducting and completing your PhD project, you will have access to a  range of different PhD courses. Some will be of specific scientific  relevance to your own project, while others will be of a more general  character offering you training in transferable skills such as  communication, research, and project management. Your scientific  education will be supplemented with participation in joint events like  journal clubs, workshops, and symposia. You will be offered relevant  collaborative research training and/or research visits to external  research centres outside Denmark.

You will join a research team,  which is a larger group of colleagues(PhD students, post-doc  researchers, and professors) who share your primary research interest.  This gives ample opportunity forsparring and deep discussions.  We strive to foster a friendly and supportive working environment,  believing that this is the best way to ensure world class scientific  results. Please see CNAP web-page for a video of PhD life at CNAP here:

The PhD scholarships include:

  • A  competitive salary, enabling you to enjoy living and working in a  growing, exiting and centrally located European city, Aalborg, Denmark.
  • Covered university fees.
  • Danish health insurance.
  • Research costs for your projects.
  • Travel funds for you to present your work at scientific conferences.
  • Opportunity to travel and visit our research collaboration partners.
  • An office for you to focus your research activities.
  • Computer and other practical office necessities.
  • Access to well-equipped laboratories.
  • Guidance on re-location to Aalborg, Denmark.

Who are you?
CNAP requests talent.

CNAP  recruits highly qualified and committed candidates worldwide who  demonstrate great research potential. We expect that our PhD fellows  will serve as first movers in a new generation of researchers capable of  exploiting the synergies between different research disciplines and  technologies. You will be part of an endeavour to optimize and boost  innovation and advance the scientific area of biomedical and neural  engineering together with basic and integrative neuroscience within the  CNAP research groups. You hold a Master’s Degree in in biomedical  engineering, neuroscience, pharmacology, medicine, neuroscience,  medicine with industrial specialisation or equivalent with the prospect  of pursuing studies on human pain neuroplasticity utilizing biomedical  technologies(e.g. quantitative assessment) and human pain biomarkers.  Previous research experience on fundamental pain mechanisms and their  clinical impact is an advantage, but not a requirement. As English is  our working language, it is necessary that you have a high level of  proficiency(orally and written) in English. Good dissemination skills  are important.

Conditions of employment
PhD  stipends are allocated individuals who hold a Master's degree for a  period of three years, and salary is in accordance with the agreement  between the Ministry of Finance and the Central Academic Organisation.  It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate  will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering  and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No.  1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and  Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the  Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed  every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary  payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the  evaluation.

You will receive access to shared office space and  access to laboratory facilities. CNAP also provides administrative  assistance to relocate to Aalborg, Denmark. Please find more information  about working at Aalborg University, living in Denmark etc. at the  homepage of Aalborg University’s International Staff Unit:

You may obtain further information at our website, Associate Professor Daniel Ciampi de Andrade(regarding project 2,, and Centre Director, Professor Thomas Graven-Nielsen (

Shortlisting  will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for  applications the head of department supported by the chair of the  assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All  applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

For  further information about stipends and salary as well as practical  issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Ruth Klitte, The  Doctoral School at The Faculty of Medicine, email:

For more information of the The Doctoral School in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology:

The application is only to be submitted online by using the"Apply online" button below.

  1. A CV(e.g. using the EU model).  Clearly stating your educational background, experience, techniques,  language skills and other skills or experiences relevant for this  position.
  2. A motivation letter(Enter your  motivation for joining CNAP; Please present yourself in few words– this  includes a description of how you intend to succeed in pain neuroscience  and why you are a good match with CNAP; We ask you to briefly describe  your work within neuroscience until now, focusing on methods you have  used yourself; Indicate specifically which of the projects mentioned in  page 1 is of interest)
  3. English language proficiency level if English is not your first or second language.
  4. Recommendation  letter(s) from a previous mentor or supervisor(Alternatively, provide  names and e-mail addresses of 1-2 academic referees)
  5. A list of the main publications and presentations of research output
  6. List  up to 2 scientific papers that you find especially noteworthy and  interesting for the relevant CNAP projects. Explain why you have chosen  these papers and why you find them interesting(max 1 page). To be  uploaded under“project description”

Please also upload your Master's degree diploma.

AAU  wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications  from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or  belief.

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Application deadline




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