• Home (Dutch)
  • Contact
  •  EN 
  • Employee login

15 PhD positions in Re-learning Perception Action In Rehabilitation

Print 
DepartmentUniversity Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Apply no later than28 February 2021

Working environment

Within the REPAIRS network 15 PhD students will be recruited for a 3-year period (for PhD project 15 this will be a 4-year period) and receive an advanced interdisciplinary, intersectorial and international training provided by different universities, industry partners, rehabilitation centers and patient associations across Europe. More detailed information about the network, the training and the research can be found on: www.repairs-etn.eu. The REPAIRS website contains detailed descriptions of each PhD project including a list of specific skills required for each project. Below is a list with links to the description of each individual PhD project and a contact. Note that this contact is to make inquiries about the project, applications via email will not be accepted. Only applications via the link at the bottom of this vacancy advertisement will be accepted.

PhD project 1: A neural account of learning adaptations in manual reaching movements
Host organization: Ruhr-University Bochum, Institute for Neural Computation, Bochum, Germany; contact: Prof. dr. Schöner (Contact)

PhD project 2: Learning new coordination patterns in a manual visuomotor adaptation task
Host organization: University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands; contact: Dr. Bongers (Contact)

PhD project 3: Stimulating the search of coordination patterns in arm joints to improve arm function after stroke
Host organization: University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands; contact: Dr. Bongers (Contact)

PhD project 4: Learning to grasp objects with a hand-worn sensory substitution device
Host organization: Autonomous University of Madrid, Faculty of Psychology, Madrid, Spain; contact: Dr. Jacobs (Contact)

PhD project 5: Towards a therapeutic interaction game: the informational coupling in joint interception
Host organization: University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands; contact: Dr. Zaal (Contact)

PhD project 6: Towards a therapeutic interaction game: developing the adaptable artificial agent
Host organization: Aix-Marseille University, Institute for Movement Sciences, Marseille, France; contact: Prof. dr. Bootsma (Contact)

PhD project 7: Towards a therapeutic interaction game: the role of communication in joint interception
Host organization: University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands; contact: Dr. Zaal (Contact)

PhD project 8: Towards a new conception of the social brain: implications for autism and schizophrenia
Host organization: Aix-Marseille University, Institute of Systems Neuroscience - INS, Marseille, France; contact: Dr. Boussaoud (Contact)

PhD project 9: Reaching decisions: neural mechanisms underlying learning and development of action decisions
Host organization: Ruhr-University Bochum, Institute for Neural Computation, Bochum, Germany; contact: Prof. dr. Schöner (Contact)

PhD project 10: Reaching decisions: integration of action selection and action performance in learning tool use during middle childhood
Host organization: University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, Netherlands; contact: Dr. Smith (Contact)

PhD project 11: Manual joint-actions: informational basis of upper-limb coordination modes and benefits for mild arm paresis
Host organization: Aix-Marseille University, Institute for Movement Sciences, Marseille, France; contact: Prof. Dr. Bootsma (Contact)

PhD project 12: Improving postural stability after lower limb injury through joint action
Host organization: University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics, Laboratory of Motor Behavior, Portugal; contact: Dr. Passos (Contact)

PhD project 13: Patient-specific, data-evidence-driven treatment pathways
Host organization: MEDIAN Unternehmensgruppe B.V. & Co., Berlin, Germany; contact: Dr. Golenia (Contact)

PhD project 14: Implementing rehabilitation tools of REPAIRS in commercial rehabilitation videogames
Host organization: COREHAB, Trento, Italy; contact: Dr. Tacconi (Contact)

PhD project 15: Conceptual and practical reflexions on the systems perspective
Host organization: University of Antwerp, Centre for Philosophical Psychology, Antwerp, Belgium; contact: Prof. Dr. Myin (Contact)

Job description

REPAIRS is a European Training Network (ETN) within the H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovation Training Network programme, funded by the European Union. As of 1st September 2021 the network will employ 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) for high quality PhD training. These PhDs will be employed in a network covering a broad range of disciplines, ranging from human movement science, rehabilitation, engineering, neural (mathematical) modelling to philosophy. This network provides innovative training-through-research preparing the PhD students to become the next generation of creative, innovative and leading academic and entrepreneurial researchers.

The objective of REPAIRS is to improve rehabilitation training by combining insights from fundamental research on how individuals re-learn perception and action with cutting-edge rehabilitation practice. In the different projects, experimental and modelling studies will be performed at the behavioral and at the neural level applying technological innovations and using novel data analysis techniques. Observational studies will also be performed. The training takes place through supervision of experts in the field, close interactions with other PhD students in the project, collaborative training projects, local and network wide journal clubs, network wide training events and secondments in academic, clinical and industry settings. The training focusses on research and academic skills but also on transferrable skills, teamwork skills, leadership and entrepreneurial skills (see below for more details). The goal of the training is to provide PhDs with the skills that enable them to push the field of re-learning perception and action and the field of rehabilitation to the next level.

The partners hosting PhD students are: University Medical Center Groningen (Netherlands), Aix-Marseille University (France), RUHR Universität Bochum (Germany), University of Antwerp (Belgium), COREHAB (Italy), MEDIAN Unternehmensgruppe B.V. & Co. KG (Germany), Faculty of Human Kinetics (Portugal) and Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain).

REPAIRS
REPAIRS aims to improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation that is concerned with the restoration and enhancement of functional ability and quality of life of people with a disorder. To this end, REPAIRS first reveals novel insight on re-learning perception and action (in people without a disorder). Next, this knowledge is translated into novel clinical practices that will be tested in people with different disorders. Technology, conceptual analyses, data analyses using cutting-edge techniques, and philosophical analyses will be exploited in novel ways to take these two steps.

REPAIRS takes a systems perspective on rehabilitation, from which perception and action in everyday behavior is considered to emerge from mutual, nonlinear interactions among components. The PhD projects exploit knowledge from Dynamic Systems Theory and Ecological Psychology to understand the interactions and relations among components that make up the perception-action cycle. Insights from these approaches are used to innovate rehabilitation science. To fully exploit this systems approach, REPAIRS studies interaction between four levels of the perception-action cycle: brain, muscles & joints, agent-environment and social. This knowledge is integrated with requirements on translation from clinical, technology and philosophical domains, to meet the objectives of REPAIRS. The domains involved in REPAIRS cover a wide range implying that the skillsets required for the PhD projects also vary widely. Therefore, carefully check the individual PhD projects below as well as the list of Masters degrees from which we invite potential candidates to apply. The different projects use experiments measuring at each of the four levels in REPAIRS. Mathematical models will be developed at the neural level and at the level of the agent-environment. In different projects the focus will be on the following disorders: adults suffering from a stroke, people with a Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury or a knee endoprosthesis, children and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), adults with schizophrenia, and children diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

What do we need

  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in human movement science, experimental psychology, cognitive psychology, rehabilitation science, sport & exercise science, philosophy, anthropology, engineering, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, neural modelling, artificial intelligence, cognitive modelling, machine learning, robotics, or a related field, successfully completed before September 1st 2021.
  • Candidates currently enrolled in a Masters degree and due to complete before September 1st 2021 should check the Recruitment information (here) for additional information to be provided as evidence of Masters level academic thinking and working level.
  • Educational background of applicant matches the requirements of the PhD positions applied for.
  • Applicant is an Early Stage Researcher, meaning that at the time of recruitment by the host organization, the applicant shall be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of the research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Applicant must fulfill the mobility criteria defined by the European Commission: at the time of recruitment by the host organization, the applicant must not have resided or carried out the main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the start date of the project (expected September 1st, 2021). Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
  • Applicant must show strong analytical skills.
  • Applicant must show evidence of and willingness to develop teamwork, interdisciplinary knowledge, soft skills and awareness of the impact of science.
  • Applicants must have experience in presenting their work orally and in written form.
  • Applicants must submit evidence of English proficiency from a standardized international test. Language proficiency certificates older than two years are not accepted. Moreover, individual PhD projects might have additional language skills requirements, check the descriptions on the website. TOEFL: Applicants taking the internet-based TOEFL are required to have a minimum total score of 100. IELTS: Applicants taking the IELTS test (academic version) your overall band score must be at least 7.0. Cambridge: Cambridge Proficiency or Cambridge Advanced (only Grades A or B).

What do we offer

The PhD student will be appointed based on a 3-year full-time position, conform the conditions of the host organization indicated for each position. Note that PhD students must work full-time and exclusively for the project (in exceptional cases a part-time employment for personal or family reasons can be granted by the EU-Research Executive Agency). Information about travel, relocation and partner schemes can be found here.
We offer:

  • A stimulating and creative learning environment in an interdisciplinary, intersectorial and international research training programme;
  • Supervision and mentoring from experts in their field with an academic, industry and clinical background
  • Opportunity to advance research skills in the conceptual framework of the Systems perspective and innovative applications of this perspective in rehabilitation;
  • Each PhD student works closely together with a PhD student in another institute, approaching the same problem from another level of study;
  • Experience in intersectorial settings with targeted secondments across Europe;
  • An outstanding opportunity to acquire complementary training in transferable skills (e.g. project planning, presentation techniques, communication and dissemination techniques, Open Science practices, good science practice) as well as leadership, innovation and entrepreneurial skills.

Additional information

  • For more information about a specific position, please e-mail the contact person listed for that position. Check the REPAIRS website first because it provides additional information.
  • For general questions, contact us at Contact

Applying for a job
Please visit www.repairs-etn.eu and carefully read Recruitment information (here) for all specific information on the application and selection procedure.

Applicants have to submit three documents:
Document 1 containing (use page breaks between items):

  • Motivation letter (max 1 page, Font: Times New Roman, 12; line spacing: 1.15)
  • CV

Document 2 containing (use page breaks between items):

  • Two standardized reference letters

Document 3 containing (use page breaks between items):

  • A degree equivalent to a European Master degree according to the European Qualifications Framework (here)
  • Diplomas and certificates (Official English translation and formal grade transcript)
  • Certificate English language test (written and spoken)
  • Applicants who are to obtain their Master degree have to also submit the Bachelor diploma and grade list, a list of obtained grades and course units to be completed in the Masters and a reference explaining the current status of the applicant (see Recruitment information here)

Use the link below to apply for any of these positions. Note that the applications for ALL positions (not only those at the UMCG) need to be done through this link. Only the applications submitted through this link will be taken into consideration, any application submitted through email will not be accepted. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2021.