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NAMASEN fellow - PhD position offer

NOTE: This position has been filled.
The post is kept here for archival reasons.

Extracellular potentials in neuroelectronic hybrids

The Neuroinformatics Laboratory ( at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (NENCKI,, headed by Dr. Daniel Wójcik (, invites applications for a graduate student position (36 months starting in October 2012) that will be available as part of the EC-FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) NAMASEN (Neuroelectronics and Nanotechnology: towards a Multidisciplinary Approach for the Science and Engineering of Neuronal Networks; The position comes with very competitive salary and travel money, as well as the possibility of extended visits to the participating groups.

The goal of the project is to develop models of extracellular potentials in cell cultures and brain slices incorporating physical properties of different interfaces developed by partners in the NAMASEN network ( We will simulate electric field that can be measured in the tissue, generated by networks of cells with realistic morphologies. We will combine classical simulators of neural system (NEURON) with potential calculation in other tools (Python) and consider effective models of tissue and electrode-neuronal junction. The models will be tuned using the available material and neural activity data from other NAMASEN partners (UA, ALU, HUJI, IIT). We will build effective models of the interface properties using a combination of computational modeling and techniques and tools for source identification and separation from multi-electrode recordings on arbitrary distribution of contacts recently developed by us (Łęski et al. 2007, 2010, 2011; Potworowski et al. 2012). The project will integrate with existing computational research in the lab (modeling extracellular potential in the thalamocortical loop of the rat somatosensory system). We will aim towards establishing a computational workbench for testing different recording setups and stimulation protocols in silico, which will be shared with other partners. During the project a rotation is planned with the lab of Prof. Ulrich Egert in the University of Freiburg, Germany, which will enable the development of a model of the interface between neural tissue and the carbon-interfaced MEA, which will be later incorporated in the general framework developed.

Requirements for PhD student candidates are:

  • Strong interest in brain research, especially in understanding the brain-machine connection
  • Preference for people with experience in one or more of: numerical solutions of PDEs, electrodynamics, computational neuroscience, nanomaterials, multielectrode recordings or technology
  • Master of Science degree (or equivalent), preferrably in physics/biophysics, mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, computational neuroscience or related fields
  • Exceptional motivation for scientific research (demonstrated in former education record, additional courses completed, list of publications and conferences attended, previous scientific experience, references of the candidate's thesis advisor, letter-of-intent) 
  • Proficiency in English
  • The candidate cannot be a Polish national. He must be a foreigner, but (s)he must have not been residing in Poland for more than 12 months, during the 3 years preceding the recruitment date. The fellow cannot have a PhD and may have a maximum of 4 years of research experience, by the recruitment date.


The application should contain the following documents/information:

  • CV
  • Letter-of-intent
  • 2 letters of reference - upload as optional files
  • Copy of University MSc diploma or equivalent, if available
  • Copy of official transcript of student record
  • Contact information, including e-mail address and phone number
  • Contact (email, phone) information for both referees
  • The candidates may include additional information or copies of documents/certificates in support of the application, such as: additional letter(s) of reference, a list of publications, conferences and courses attended, additional skills, certificates of language proficiency, etc.

Application deadline: June 4, 2012

Short-listed candidates with the highest score will be selected for personal or online interviews. Interviews will take place at the Nencki Institute around June 20, 2012.

Start date: October 1, 2012  

Salary including mobility component: around 40 000 Euro/year (gross)

Further information available at: and

To apply click here.

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