Potsdam: Academic Staff Member

Universität: Academic Staff Member (Postdoc position) (271/2019)

Young, modern, and research oriented... the University of Potsdam has firmly established itself within the scientific landscapesince its founding in 1991. Nationally and internationally renowned scientists teach and perform research here at Brandenburg’s largest university. The University of Potsdam is successful in acquiring third-party funds, delivers outstanding performance in technology and knowledge transfer, and has a very service-oriented administration. With about 21,000 students studying at three campuses – Am Neuen Palais, Griebnitzsee and Golm – the University of Potsdam is a prominent economic factor and engine of development for the region. The University of Potsdam has a total of over 3,000 faculty and staff members and is located in one of Germany’s most scenic areas.

The University of Potsdam, Faculty of Human Sciences, Cognitive Sciences Unit, Department of Psychology, Cognitive Neurosciences Lab (PI Milena Rabovsky), is seeking to fill the following position preferably by November 1, 2019 (but starting date is flexible)

Academic Staff Member
(Postdoc position)
Requisition No.: 271/2019

The salary is determined by the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13 Ost). The position is for 40 hours per week (100% of a full-time contract). This is a temporary position limited to a term of 24 months in accordance with Section 2 subsection1 of the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (WissZeitVG).

The position is funded by an Emmy Noether grant from the German Research Foundation focused on investigating the processing of language and meaning in the brain using EEG and deep neural network models (see e.g., Rabovsky, Hansen, & McClelland, 2018, Nature Human Behaviour).

The University of Potsdam hosts leading groups in cognitive sciences and linguistics, providing a vibrant interdisciplinary scientific environment (http://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/cognitive-sciences/index.html). The lab will be associated with two Collaborative Research Centers relevant to its research focus, namely SFB 1287 „Limits of variability in language” (https://www.uni-potsdam.de/sfb1287/index.html) and SFB 1294 „Data assimilation: The seamless integration of models and data“ (https://www.sfb1294.de/).

Potsdam is an attractive historical city and its palaces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore, Potsdam is at close commuting distance to Berlin, a culturally vibrant and progressive city. Both cities have a high quality of life at modest living costs.

Project and responsibilities

The goal of this project is to train a neural network model of sentence comprehension that has been successfully used to simulate language related brain potentials (Rabovsky, Hansen, & McClelland, 2018, Nature Human Behaviour) on a large-scale semantically labeled training corpus. Prospectively, the trained model will allow for (in collaboration with others in the lab) the simulation of language related brain potentials using stimulus materials from empirical experiments, and the comparison of representations in the model with representations in the brain via representational similarity analysis.

We offer

  • an interesting collaborative scientific environment at the University
  • international cooperation and travel support
  • excellent computational resources and EEG laboratory facilities
  • research support by student assistants
  • a friendly and open-minded lab research environment


  • very good Master and PhD in relevant field (Cognitive Sciences, Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Machine learning, Data Science, etc.)
  • excellent computational skills (e.g., MATLAB, Python,...)
  • deep learning/ deep neural network modeling skills
  • capacity to work independently
  • excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills (in English)
  • strong interest in several aspects of the lab’s research focus, i.e., neural network models, cognitive neurosciences, language, meaning
  • high motivation and commitment

In addition, the ideal candidate has

  • experience with deep neural network language models
  • excellent track record in a relevant field

Under the laws of the federal state of Brandenburg, employees under this contract are permitted to dedicate at least 33% of their contract time for their scientific qualification. The University of Potsdam strives to maintain gender balance among its staff. Severely disabled applicants shall receive preference in case of equal qualifications. We expressly invite applications from people with migration backgrounds.

Please send your application (including letter of motivation, CV, at least 1 name of a potential referee, copies of academic certificates) as a single pdf file to bewerbung@uni-potsdam.de until August 31th for full consideration. Please direct informal inquiries to Milena Rabovsky at  milena.rabovsky(at)gmail.com.

Potsdam, 16.07.2019

Die Ausschreibung ist auch im Internet unter https://www.uni-potsdam.de/fileadmin01/projects/verwaltung/docs/Dezernat3/Ausschreibungen/2_akadPersonal/271_2019_HWF_Kog_Neuro_Postdoc_Homepage31.07.2019.pdf abrufbar.

Weitere Hinweise

Sie sehen ein Angebot der Universität Potsdam. Das ZPID ist nicht verantwortlich für Inhalt, Aktualität und Gültigkeit des Angebots. Weitere Informationen können Sie beim Stellenanbieter erfragen.

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