EDNE Open Positions

Open Positions are posted about 6 weeks before each deadline.

Candidates should keep in mind to indicate “hiring labs” when filling in the 3-5 labs in which they are interested in the on-line application.

Despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, the April 15th application deadline will be maintained. The PhD program will communicate to you by middle of May if your application is selected for invitation to the Hiring Days. The format of the Hiring Days (on-line, or campus visits) is currently being discussed. In case of an on-line format, the interview dates would be most likely June 15th – 19th. Another option is that the campus visit Hiring Day is held in late summer/autumn. More information will be given in middle of May. We would like to encourage you to apply the EPFL “Neuroscience” PhD program!

Non-visual effects of (day)light
Within the broader objectives of the LIGHTCAP project – which stands for LIGHT Cognition Attention Perception – supported by the Horizon 2020 ITN program which involves 8 universities with altogether 15 PhD openings, research conducted at LIPID will aim to determine how lighting conditions found in the built environment influence the neurophysiological behavior of its occupants with a dedicated focus on daylighting aspects. We will put a special emphasis on alertness and circadian phase synchronization and will explore how these co-called non-visual responses to light (attention and cognition, alertness, phase-shifting effects) complement visual comfort requirements.


Ghezzi Laboratory of Neuroengineering – one position
Use of virtual reality for a rational design of retinal prostheses
Understanding the functional benefit of visual prostheses during daily activities is a key element to account during the design of new prostheses. To understand a priori the potential befit of an implant, we perform augmented reality experiments during which visual perception is converted to match the experience of a patient wearing a retinal implant. Our goal is to optimise retinal prostheses in order to provide the most useful experience during artificial vision. This project focus on the exploitation of augmented reality to evaluate the behavioural performance in healthy subjects while performing tasks under simulated prosthetics vision provided by retinal prostheses. The tasks will focus on both daily activity and social interaction. The ideal candidate must have a degree in cognitive neuroscience (or related fields) and documented expertise in the following activities: virtual reality, cognitive tests, and EEG recordings; experience in data processing, analysis and interpretation is highly relevant.
More information

Gerstner Laboratory of Computational Neuroscience reviews applications for each deadline in view of hiring a PhD student with a strong theory background.  Please apply directly to the EDNE program with your full application package.  No need to pre-contact the lab, since decisions are only made once all the application material has arrived through the official channel.


Gruetter  Laboratory for Functional and Metabolic Imaging
– one position,
Hyperpolarized MRI molecular imaging –
This PhD thesis will focus on molecular imaging of hyperpolarized glucose for monitoring brain metabolism in real-time. The project involves developing and optimizing hyperpolarized MRI tools and implementing them in vivo in healthy rodents and disease models.
More information


Ijspeert Laboratory of Biorobotics and Courtine G-Laboratory of Spinal Cord Injury, one joint position,
Numerical Models of Human Motor Control -The Biorobotics laboratory  in collaboration with the G-Lab  at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) anticipates to have one joint PhD student position in numerical simulations of human motor control. The research will be performed within the context of the work plan of the next phase of the Human Brain Project (HBP). The project goals are: (1) to participate to the development of neuromechanical models of human locomotion and motor control (i.e. numerical models of spinal cord circuits coupled to biomechanical simulations of the body),  (2) to model motor impairments resulting from spinal cord injury, and (3) to investigate with other groups in HBP questions related to motor control, planning and learning, by linking the neuromechanical model to the HBP cognitive architecture. The position will be fully funded.
More information


Ijspeert Laboratory of Biorobotics and Ramdya Laboratory of Neuroengineering,  one joint position
Neural Network modeling of Insect Limb Control – The Biorobotics laboratory in collaboration with the Neuroengineering Laboratory  at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) has one open Doctoral position in the bioinspired motor control and robotics. The goal of the project is to design neural networks that can control a Drosophila melanogaster neuromechanical simulation for limbed behaviors including grooming and walking. This work will be in collaboration with individuals performing recordings of actual neural activity and behaviors in real flies. Our vision is to apply what we learn from the real fly to develop more effective robotic limb control algorithms and simultaneously to use our fly simulation and neural network models to generate predictions that can be tested in the real fly. The position is fully funded for 2 years (possibly up to 5 years).
More information


La Manno Laboratory of Neuraldevelopmental Systems Biology and Giovanni Laboratory of Lipid Cell Biology, two joint positions,
1) Construction and analysis of a Lipid Brain Atlas
2) Characterization of spatiotemporal organization of the brain lipidome

Alexander Mathis Group– three positions
(1) Computer Vision Tools for Animal Behavior Analysis – We are looking for students with a background in computer vision and machine learning to develop algorithms for the analysis of animal behavior. Published work from me in this field includes DeepLabCut, a popular open-source software tool for pose estimation. 

(2) Modeling of Sensorimotor Representations – We are looking for students to develop normative theories of neural systems that are trained to perform sensorimotor behaviors. Furthermore, we will compare and contrast those with data from various animals performing motor skills.
More information here: https://www.mathislab.org/


Mackenzie Mathis Laboratory: Bertarelli Foundation Chair of Integrative Neuroscience – one position
We aim to reverse engineer the neural circuits that drive adaptive motor behavior. We hope that by understanding the neural basis of adaptive motor control we can open new avenues in therapeutic research for neurological disease, help build better machine learning tools, and provide fundamental insights into brain function. Example projects include:
(1) Large-scale 2-photon imaging in mice during motor behaviors. This project combines 2-photon neural recordings, electrophysiology, and optical feedback with state-of-the-art computer vision tools (like DeepLabCut) to uncover neural circuit computations during skilled motor paradigms.
Tools used in the lab: 2-photon imaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, computer vision, and computational modeling.


Petersen Laboratory of Sensory Processing, one position,
In this project, we will use optical methods to measure and manipulate brain function as a mouse learns a simple perceptual task through reward-based feedback. The goal is to understand how sensory neuronal circuits become linked to motor circuits through reward-based learning. Specifically we investigate how whisker sensory information can be transformed into goal-directed licking motor output through reward-based learning.


Rahi Laboratory of Physics of Biological Systems, one position,
reviews applications for each deadline in view of hiring a PhD student with a strong quantitative background.  Please apply directly to the EDNE program with your full application package.  No need to pre-contact the lab, since decisions are only made once all the application material has arrived through the official channel.


Ramdya Laboratory of Neuroengineering, one position,
We investigate transgenic flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to understand how behavior is controlled and to design more intelligent robots.
We have one PhD opening to study one of the following interdisciplinary areas:
(1) Optical recordings of neuronal population dynamics for limb control.
Key techniques: 2-photon microscopy, Machine learning, Genetics”

(2) Data-driven neural and biomechanical modeling of limb control.
Key techniques: Computational modeling, Simulations

(3) Electrophysiological recordings of synthetically rewired behavioral command neurons.
Key techniques: Electrophysiology, Genetics, Confocal microscopy”


Schürmann Laboratory  in Blue Brain Project, two positions,
(1) Characterizing Neuromorphic Computing Systems
Based on our work on analytical performance models for simulation kernels on general purpose computing architectures, this project aims to provide a similar characterization of existing neuromorphic computer systems. Today, the characterization of these architectures is at best empirical. Understanding in detail how their design trade-offs affect the type of models they can simulate and how the execution is rate-limited provides an important basis for adoption and future development direction. For this project, we will look into extending our performance models to asynchronous kernels and work with research groups developing neuromorphic hardware to analyze their current and future systems. The outcome of this project has the potential to impact which type of neuromorphic circuits may get integrated into future general-purpose computing architectures.

(2) Biophysical Modeling of the Mouse C2 Barrel Cortex
In collaboration with the laboratory of Carl Petersen, this project aims at building biophysically detailed models of the mouse C2 barrel cortex. The project will be using advanced computational approaches to build morphologically detailed neuron models and to reconstruct the C2 barrel microcircuit. The research will cover neuroinformatic organziation of data, computational methods to predict parameters, validation of the model against experimental paradigms and exploitation of the model for exploring the functioning of the Barrel cortex in collaboration with the experimentalists of the Petersen lab.

Please check this space in mid-September.

Gerstner Laboratory of Computational Neuroscience reviews applications for each deadline in view of hiring a PhD student with a strong theory background.  Please apply directly to the EDNE program with your full application package.  No need to pre-contact the lab, since decisions are only made once all the application material has arrived through the official channel.