Two PhD positions available on neural networks for stochastic optimal control theory on project nr 626810.

The project Neural Engineering Transformative Technologie (NETT)is a Initial Training Network funded under the EU FP7 program. The project coalesces engineering, physics and neuroscience for thedesign and development of brain-computer interface systems, cognitive computers and neural prosthetics. The project consists of 7 partners and 11 associated partners.

The NETT workpackage on adaptive control methods is coordinated by Prof. Bert Kappen at the SNN research group on Machine Learning.
The aim of the workpackage is to build neural architectures for stochastic optimal control and learning . The research is motivated by the recent work on path integral control methods. For this class of control methods, the optimal control can be computed using sampling. This approach has been shown very effective for robotics and for learning. The current project will address the questionhow such control computations can be implemented in neural networks.

SNN Machine Learning is a research group dedicated to fundamental research in the areas of machine learning and computational neuroscience. Specific topics are Bayesian networks, approximate inference methods, bio-informatics, expert systems, stochastic control and collaborative decision making. The group consists currently of 11 researchers. See

SNN Machine Learning is part of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen. In the joint effort of approximately 400 researchers with backgrounds in physics, biology, medicine, genetics, psychology and the social sciences, the Donders Institute studies the relationships between brain, cognitive processes and behavior.
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The fellowship includes a three month secondment in the second year. It also includes a three month internship in the third year with the project industrial partner. Candidates must therefore be flexible and able to move between countries as necessary. This full-time post is available from the 3 September 2012 or as soon as possible thereafter and will be offered on a fixed-term contract for a period of 4 years. The maximum gross salary is € 2.379.


Candidates must be in the first 4 years of their research careers in physics, mathematics, engineering or computer science and not been awarded a doctorate degree. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in mathematical and computational neuroscience. As part of our commitment to promoting diversity we encourage applications from women. To comply with the Marie Curie Actions rule for mobility applicants must not have resided, worked or studied in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to Sept 2012.

The candidates will be selected on the basis of excellence, a strong theoretical background, willingness and enthusiasm to engage in multidisciplinary research; possession of relevant academic background and training; strong academic references and/or prior publications.

Applications should contain a complete CV, a brief description of your research interests and a copy of a recent publication or dissertation (optional). Applications should be sent before August 1 2012 to Personnel department, Science Faculty, University of Nijmegen, Toernooiveld 1, 6525 ED Nijmegen, the Netherlands, with reference number 626810.
Electronic submission to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is acceptable.

For further information contact Prof. dr. H.J. Kappen
( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , +31 24 3614241).