Are you looking for a PhD or Postdoc position in cognitive psychology/neuroscience, and would you like to investigate the nature and role of selective attention inside visual working memory? Please apply for the 4-year PhD or 3-year Postdoc position in the Proactive Brain Lab ( headed by Dr. Freek van Ede at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.


Duration: 3 or 4 years

Job description

General Description
PhD/Postdoc positions for four years (PhD) and three years (Postdoc) for 1.0 fte are available at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Proactive Brain Lab ( headed by Dr. Freek van Ede. The positions are part of the NWO Vidi grant: “Understanding and utilising stimulus-driven selective attention inside visual working memory”.

The Research Project and Lab
The funded Vidi project aims to uncover the mechanisms by which external stimuli may involuntarily draw attention to matching visual representations in working memory – and how such ‘stimulus-driven’ forms of internal selective attention may be utilised to experimentally sculpt long-term memory formation. The project also aims to integrate the study of working memory and selective attention with other complementary cognitive functions and behavior, in line with the broader lab mission.

In the Proactive Brain Lab, we adopt the perspective of the brain as a fundamentally dynamic, anticipating, and action-oriented organ in which core cognitive functions of working memory and selective attention take center stage. We take an integrative focus, aiming to bring together research on visual working memory and selective attention with that on planning, timing, distraction, and action. We use multiple methodologies, with a current focus on eye-tracking (microsaccades), human electrophysiology (EEG), and virtual reality.


  • A Master or PhD degree in cognitive/experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and/or related fields
  • A background in the study of visual working memory, selective attention, and/or related topics
  • Experience with eye-tracking, psychophysics, EEG, and/or related approaches
  • Excellent programming and data-analysis skills
  • Experience in designing and interpreting cognitive-psychology and cognitive-neuroscience experiments
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in effective scientific writing
  • Demonstrated ability to think and work outside-the-box (creativity)
  • Excellent command of English
  • Ideally be able to start early in 2023

What are we offering?

The job profiles are based on the university job ranking system and are vacant for 1 FTE.

PhD: The salary amounts to €2,541 per month during the first year and increases to €3.247 per month during the fourth year, based on full-time employment. 

Postdoc: The salary amounts to minimally €3703 (scale 10-5) and maximally €4670 (scale 10-12) per month based on full-time employment.

The appointment will be initially for 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it will be extended for an additional 3 years (PhD) or 2 years (Postdoc).

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the relevant application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 20 November 2022. In your cover letter, please devote (at least) one paragraph stating what you have investigated and developed so far, and another paragraph outlining what you would hope to investigate and develop if you would be hired for the advertised position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Freek van Ede
Position: Associate Professor