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PhD Studentship - Computational Cognitive Neuroscience

Goldsmiths, University of London - Department of Computing

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: From £18,000 Full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £18,000
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th January 2023
Closes: 1st March 2023
Reference: 511062

Introduction / The role

The Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, has a vacancy for a for full-time PhD student position in the area of Computational Cognitive Neuroscience. The position will be supervised by Dr. Max Garagnani.

The project involves implementing a brain-realistic neurocomputational model able to exhibit the spontaneous emergence of cognitive function from a uniform neural substrate, as a result of unsupervised, biologically accurate learning. Specifically, it focusses on modelling the emergence of unexpected (i.e., non stimulus-driven) action decisions via reward-generated reinforcement signals. The final deliverable will be an artificial brain-like cognitive architecture able to spontaneously learn to act as humans do when driven by curiosity, exploration, and free will.

Requirements

Applicants must hold an Honour's degree in Computer Science or related fields (Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, etc.). Alternatively, candidates should have completed (or being in the process of completing) a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as Computational Neuroscience, Cognitive Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, or similar.

Applicants must possess excellent written and spoken communication skills in English, and be able to demonstrate a strong motivation to conduct research.

Advanced programming skills are essential. Knowledge of cognitive neuroscience and/or brain mechanisms of dopamine-modulated learning would be a plus.

Benefits

The studentship covers tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and provides, in addition, a tax-free yearly stipend of £18,000. Funding is available for three years, on campus, full-time studies only (remote / online study not acceptable). Studentships are conditional on satisfactory progress, which is reviewed each year.

To Apply

Candidates are encouraged to make informal enquiries with Dr Max Garagnani (see email below) before submitting an application.

Please submit your application by clicking on the Apply button, including the following documents:

  • Motivation letter (max. 1 page) describing your research interests, reasons for choosing this project, and relevance of your background to the project;
  • CV (include information about qualifications and any professional and/or research experience);
  • Copies of transcripts, certificates and diplomas;
  • Publications (if any), and, where applicable, copy of Master thesis;
  • Contact details of two referees.

You should arrange for the two letters of references to reach Dr. Max Garagnani (M.Garagnani@gold.ac.uk) by the submission deadline.

Start date

The desirable start date is 1st April 2023, although a later start date may be possible depending on the candidate’s circumstances.

The Computing Department and Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths University of London is a world-leading centre of educational excellence where ground-breaking research meets innovative teaching and thinking. We are looking for inspiring, talented people to help Goldsmiths build on its global reputation as we expand our capabilities as a learning organisation.

As a college we are working to tackle inequality in all its forms and are working to promote equality on grounds of race, disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, and caring responsibilities. We are keen to attract candidates from diverse backgrounds who share our commitment to creating an inclusive culture in which all students and staff can thrive.

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