PhD in Cognitive Architecture for Touch-based applications (1.0 FTE)

University of Groningen
February 29, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 2,770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD in Cognitive Architecture for Touch-based applications (1.0 FTE)


Job description

Cognitive Architectures have been used extensively to study the nature and structure of human intelligence. They are also a source of inspiration to build novel AI systems. In this project, we aim to build a cognitive architecture that is rooted in spiking neural networks that can be implemented in neuromorphic hardware. One of the challenges is to find the right transition between the continuous processes at the neural level, and discrete symbol manipulations at higher levels of abstraction. If we meet this challenge, we can combine the advantages of neural networks (learning, robustness) with the advantages of symbolic computing (versatility, control).

In addition to this fundamental challenge, this position is part of a larger consortium project on neuromorphic computing, NL-ECO, in which we aim to implement cognitive architectures in brain-like hardware. In the subproject that this position is part of, you will work with physicists and engineers to build a demonstration of a touch-based application. You will also be part of the Cognigron center for Cognitive Systems and Materials, and multidisciplinary center that includes material science, mathematics, computer science and artificial intelligence.

In this project we will:

  • build spiking neural networks that implement symbolic decision processes
  • study how a discrete state-based model can be transformed into a dynamical system
  • be part of a multidisciplinary team to build a touch-based demonstration of neuromorphic hardware
  • The objective of the temporary position is the production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr) at the University of Groningen.


    The successful candidate should:

  • have a keen interest in pursuing fundamental and interdisciplinary research at the interface of artificial intelligence, engineering and physics
  • be interested in building things
  • have a master's degree or equivalent in, artificial intelligence, computer science, computational cognitive science or other relevant field
  • good technical skills in terms of programming
  • good analytical skills and a positive attitude towards interdisciplinary work.
  • Organisation Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 35,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

    Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence with the topic of Cognitive Architecture for Touch- based applications. The candidate would become a member of the Cognitive Modeling Group of the Artificial Intelligence Department and will work under the supervision of Prof. dr. N.A. Taatgen.

    Organisation Conditions of employment

    We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
  • a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.
  • Preferred starting date: 1 May 2024


    Applications should include:

  • letter of motivation
  • CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
  • transcripts from your bachelor's and master's degree.
  • You can submit your application until 29 February 11:59pm / before 1 March 2024 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

    Applications received before 29 February 2024 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

    The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https: // www. strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

    Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https: // www. and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https: //

    We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

    Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


    For information you can contact:

  • Niels Taatgen, n.a.taatgen
  • Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

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