Apr 23, 2018

Post-Doctoral Researcher: Control of Impulsive Action

  • Ghent University
  • Ghent, Belgium
Postdoc Addictive Behaviors Behavioral Cognitive Cognitive Neuroscience Experimental Postdoctoral

Job Description

At least one post-doctoral research position is available for 2+2 years, funded by an ERC (European Research Council) consolidator grant. The research will be led by Frederick Verbruggen at Ghent University, in collaboration with several national and international researchers.

The successful applicant will work on a project that focuses on the origin and control of impulsive actions. Impulse control (or a lack of it) has been linked to health outcomes, school and job success, and personal finances. The idea that people have voluntary control over their impulses and urges also permeates our current socio-economic and legal systems. Therefore, establishing a good understanding of impulse-control mechanisms could be hugely beneficial for both individuals and society at large. Yet many fundamental questions remain unanswered.

In this project, we will use carefully designed behavioural paradigms, cognitive neuroscience techniques (TMS & EEG), physiological measures (e.g. facial EMG), and mathematical modelling of decision-making to specify the origin and control of impulsive actions. The ultimate goal is to replace the currently dominant ‘inhibitory control’ models of impulsive action with detailed multifaceted models that can explain impulsivity and control across time and space.

The successful applicant will be responsible for the development of experiments (in collaboration with the research team), collection and analysis of behavioural and neuroscience data, publication and dissemination of the results, and will be involved in the supervision of research assistants, MSc and PhD students.

We offer:
- A 2 year period postdoctoral position (potentially renewable for another two years) with a competitive salary.
- The applicant will have access to state-of-the-art tools and facilities.
- The research group is embedded in the internationally-oriented Department of Experimental Psychology at UGent (http://expsy.ugent.be). The applicant will also have the possibility to collaborate with other national and international research groups.
- The research group is situated in Ghent, a lively city in the heart of Europe (https://visit.gent.be/en/HOME).


Job profile
Preferred start date: September or October 2018. 

You hold a PhD in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or related field of study, or you will obtain a PhD in the near future.

In addition: 
- Excellent English writing and communication skills are mandatory. Knowledge of Dutch is not required. 
- Applicants will have a good knowledge of the executive/cognitive control or impulsivity literatures. 
- Good programming skills (e.g. Matlab or Python; R) are required.
- Knowledge of one or more of the following is desirable: neuroscience techniques (TMS, EEG), psychophysiological techniques (SCR, EMG), computational modelling. 
- Prior Open Science experience (e.g. data or code sharing, study preregistration) is highly desirable. 

How to Apply / Contact

To apply, please send a CV (containing a list of publications and a summary of past research), letters or contact information of three academic referees, and motivation letter as a single pdf to Frederick Verbruggen (frederick.verbruggen@ugent.be). For further information on the project or details about the position, please also contact Frederick Verbruggen. 

Closing date: June 8 2018. Interviews are expected to take place in the third or fourth week of June 2018. 

For further information about the job profile and the application procedure, please see UGent's job website: 



Ghent University


Experimental Psychology

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