Phd MRI development and applications in autism research NIN Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam

Max hours per week: 38 hours per week
Max salary: E 3539,00
Duration of agreement: 4 years

Apply until: 12 May 2024


What you will be doing
Autism is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, characterised by difficulties in social functioning and communication, and repetitive and inflexible behaviour. Autism is diagnosed far more frequently in males than in females. Currently, we do not know to what extent this is due to different biological mechanisms , or to bias in the diagnostic process.

SCANNER is a large multidisciplinary study that aims to close the knowledge gap underlying sex differences in autistic traits occurrence and diagnosis, and ultimately translate this knowledge into sex-sensitive diagnostic eHealth tools. SCANNER strives to answer the question: “Why are there more men than women with autism?” from both the biological and diagnostic pathway perspectives. The NIN will contribute with an MRI project to the aims of SCANNER, for which we seek an excellent PhD candidate.

The PhD project will focus on brain structure and function in females and males with autism, specifically the correlation between structural brain changes over development, autistic traits and sensorimotor difficulties. One part of the PhD project will involve MRI sequence development, whereas the other part involves data acquisition and analysis of different cohorts within the SCANNER consortium.

What you will be contributing
We are looking for a researcher that combines MRI physics with a vivid interest in neuroscience and autism. The ideal candidate will have, or will be about to receive, an MSc in physics, biomedical engineering, biology or a related field. Proficiency in spoken and written English, as well as with programming languages (Python, MATLAB) and pulse sequence development is a plus.

What do we offer?

You will be joining a highly collaborative research environment of the Computational Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuroimaging group of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, and the SCANNER consortium. This research environment combines state-of-of the art neuroimaging expertise and facilities, including 7T MRI, with a diverse interdisciplinary community of neuroscientists, psychologists, and clinicians.

It concerns a position for 1.0 fte (38 h/week). You will have ample opportunities for further development of knowledge and technical and personal skills through courses at the Academy and (inter)national conferences.

More information
General information about the group, the centre and the SCANNER project can be found on our websites:, and

For more information about the vacancy, please contact Dr. Wietske van der Zwaag (

Application Procedure
You can submit your motivation letter and curriculum vitae no later than May 12th, 2024. We will aim to conduct the first-round, online interviews on May 29th-30st.

About the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute, in the international and progressive city of Amsterdam. It provides a critical mass of scientists (spanning more than 27 nationalities) and neuroscience facilities, in a highly interactive, dynamic, multi-cultural environment, with English as the working language.

Terms of employment
Depending on education and experience the minimum salary is 2770,- euro and the maximum salary is 3539,- euro gross per month for a full-time appointment (Phd scale,  cao Nederlandse Universiteiten/KNAW). This is exclusive of 8% vacation allowance, 8.3% year-end bonus, travel allowance, internet allowance, home working allowance and pension accrual with ABP.

The KNAW offers its staff an excellent package of secondary benefits. A package that meets the different needs of employees depending on their stage of life, lifestyle or career ambitions. For example, by working an extra two hours a week, it is possible to increase the number of days off from 29 to 41 days a year (with full-time employment).

For a complete overview of the terms of employment, please refer to the web page: werken bij de KNAW.

Applying for a Certificate of Good Conduct can be part of the employment procedure.

Diversity & Inclusion
The KNAW considers a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated of great importance. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would therefore like to invite candidates who want to contribute to this through their background and experience. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to the candidate who thus enhances diversity within the Academy.

We will not respond to any supplier enquiries based on this job advertisement.