Potsdam: Academic Staff Member

Universität: Academic Staff Member (PhD student position) (65%) (273/2019)

Job Announcement

Young, modern, and research oriented... the University of Potsdam has firmly established itself within the scientific landscape since 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 avery 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
(PhD student position)
Requisition No.: 273/2019

The salary is determined by the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13 Ost). The position is for 26 hours per week (65 % of a full-time contract). Please note that 65% of full staff member positions are the current norm for PhD student positions in Germany. This is a temporary position limited to a term of 36 months in accordance with Section 2 subsection 1 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 investigate the relation between prediction errors and adaptation/ learning during language comprehension, as reflected in event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Specific tasks include designing and programming the experiments, collecting and analyzing the data (behavioral and EEG), interpretation of the results as well as presentation of the results at international conferences and publication of the results in international peer-reviewed journals.

We offer

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


  • very good Master in relevant field (e.g., Cognitive Sciences, Cognitive Neurosciences, Psychology, ...)
  • experience with and interest in neuroscientific methods (preferably EEG)
  • solid statistical skills
  • good programming skills (e.g., MATLAB, Python, R,...)
  • excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills (in English)
  • strong interest in several aspects of the lab’s research focus, i.e., cognitive neurosciences, prediction, adaptation, language, meaning, event-related brain potentials
  • high motivation and commitment

In addition, the ideal candidate has

  • excellent skills in advanced statistical analyses
  • experience in research on language, prediction and/ or implicit memory

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(at)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/273_2019_HWF_Kog_Neuro_PhD_31.07.2019Neu.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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