PhD position in Groningen Cognitive Systems and Materials Center (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the approximately 32.000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Groningen Cognitive systems and Materials Center is a research initiative that started beginning of 2018 and aims to address fundamental questions of relevance for developing materials and systems for cognitive computing. The center is embedded in the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) and is created to provide structure, coherence and visibility to a joint research programme that comprises researchers from materials science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and artificial intelligence. The research programme aims to generate focus and critical mass to address the challenge of including new functional materials in the design of the new generation of cognitive computers, focussing on the fundamental research aspects.

Job description

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate to work in an interdisciplinary environment under the supervision of Prof. Tamalika Banerjee at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. The PhD programme entitled ‘Towards a cognitive computer architecture based on memristive devices: developing Short- and Long-Term Memory’ is part of a larger project, with the overarching goal to build a pattern- completion memory for neuromorphic chips. This experimental project will focus on the design and testing of circuit boards with memristive devices and microcontrollers. The objective is to build neural network for different learning schemes based on simple circuits. Different types of memristive devices have been demonstrated and actively researched in Banerjee lab. The student will benefit from this knowledge and will expand on developing new approaches to study essential device characteristics such as reliability of switching process, statistical (in)variance and the underlying process that controls the nonvolatile and multilevel nature of the devices in a circuit. This project will be carried out in close collaboration with CogniGron partners, Prof. Niels Taatgen and Dr Jelmer Borst along with a second PhD student.


• a Master student with a background in Electrical Engineering or in physics/material science (a good background in semiconductors, circuit designs, solid state physics is desirable)
• excellent track record
• excellent communication skills in both oral and written English
• experience in programming (e.g. Python, LabVIEW).

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
• a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year (salary scale PhD students), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a position for four years; a successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years.
• a fulltime position of 1.0 FTE
• ability to work in an international and interdisciplinary research environment closely together both with colleagues from Artificial Intelligence and Physics at different Institutes (Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, CogniGron, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen).
The position is immediately available.

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:
• a motivation letter of a maximum of two A4 pages
• a recent curriculum vitae.

Please, submit your application in English until 1 March 11:59pm / before 2 March 2020 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Interviews will be scheduled with shortlisted candidates.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Tamalika Banerjee

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 220026

Digital application form