[CogSci] [jobs in NeuroAI] 4 postdoc positions, 1 PhD position and 1 scientific coordinator position to study Abstract Representations in Neural Architectures in humans and machines

Mariya Toneva mariya.k.toneva at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 15:05:05 PST 2022

We are happy to announce that the *DFG funded re*search unit ARENA -
Abstract Representations in Neural Architectures, situated at *Goethe
University Frankfurt*, the *Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies (FIAS) *and
the *Max Planck Institute for Software Systems Saarbrücken*, invites
applications for

*4 Postdoc positions (f/m/d) (E 13, full time),*

*1 PhD positions (f/m/d) (E 13, full time) and*

*1 position as scientific coordinator (f/m/d) (E 13, 50 % part time)*

Preferred starting dates are between February and April, 2023. The duration
of contracts will be up to four years. The salary grades will be based on
the rules of the institution, at which the respective position is located.

ARENA is an interdisciplinary research unit funded by the German Research
Foundation (DFG), with seven research projects from the fields of
Experimental Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence,
and Neural Data Science. Our joint research goal is to combine experimental
and modeling expertise to improve understanding of how abstract knowledge
representations emerge and are coded in different neural architectures - in
human brains and in biologically inspired AI models. To this end, we will
explore how AI models can be used to better analyze experimental human data
- behavioral experiments as well as eye tracking and brain imaging data -
and in turn how such human data can be used to improve AI models. Find out
more about ARENA at *http://neuroai-arena.github.io/
<http://neuroai-arena.github.io/>* and apply to join our interdisciplinary
team to solve these exciting research questions!

We are currently seeking enthusiastic and highly motivated team members for
the following projects:

*(1)   **Bridging Levels of Abstraction in Brains and Natural Language
Processing Machines. Project led by Dr. Mariya Toneva, Max Planck Institute
for Software Systems, Saarbrücken (PostDoc position; E13-TV-L, full time,
2+2 years)*

This project will characterize and bridge the levels of linguistic
abstraction between human brains and deep NLP models by combining
large-scale neuroimaging datasets, behavioral data, and computational
modeling. The ideal candidate should have experience analyzing brain
recordings (fMRI, MEG) obtained from language stimuli, strong computational
and programming skills (python, pytorch/tensorflow), and some experience
with training transformer models. For further information please contact
Mariya Toneva at mtoneva at mpi-sws.org.

*(2)   **Emergence of Abstract Representations in Contextualized Multimodal
Models. Project led by Prof. Dr. Gemma Roig, Department of Computer
Science, Goethe University Frankfurt (PhD position; E13-TV-G-U, full time,
3+1 years)*

The goals of this project include developing multimodal deep neural
networks by integrating different perceptual modalities; to analyze and
study the formation of abstract representations in those models, and then,
use those models as computational models to understand how abstract
representations are formed in the brain. The ideal candidate should have
strong knowledge in machine learning (deep learning, RNN, LSTMs,
Transformers, multimodal models), excellent programming skills in python,
and extensive experience in Tensorflow, pyTorch or related libraries;
knowledge of high performance distributed computing with GPUs. For further
information please contact Gemma Roig at roig at cs.uni-frankfurt.de

*(3)   **Hierarchical Organization of Distributed Semantic Knowledge in the
Human Language System. Project led by Prof. Dr. Christian Fiebach,
Department of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt (PostDoc position;
E13-TV-G-U, full time, 4 years)*

This project aims at investigating computational principles as well as
neuroanatomical localization of lexical-semantic and conceptual-semantic
representations at various levels of abstraction, using embedding and other
NLP models. A main goal of this project is to establish a comprehensive
large-scale human neuroimaging (fMRI, MEG) dataset, which will be shared
within ARENA and publicly. The ideal candidate has expertise in human
functional neuroimaging (fMRI and/or MEG/EEG), strong statistical and
computational skills (data analysis with python, matlab, or similar tools),
and should be motivated to learn and apply computational modeling. For
further information please contact Christian Fiebach at
fiebach at psych.uni-frankfurt.de.

*(4)   **The Hierarchical Structure of Abstract Scene Representations;
project led by Prof. Dr. Melissa Võ, Department of Psychology, Goethe
University Frankfurt (PostDoc position; E13-TV-G-U, full time, 4 years)*

The aim of this project is to understand the emergence and composition of
abstract representations of objects in real-world scenes which allow for
efficient behavior. We intend to pursue this aim by systematically probing
the existence of a hierarchical structure in scene grammar using different
input modalities and different tasks. While the PostDoc candidate should
bring along strong skills with regard to state-of-the-art EEG and/or eye
tracking in VR methodologies, great interest in acquiring new computational
skills will also be key. For further information please contact Melissa Võ
at mlvo at psych.uni-frankfurt.de.

*(5)   **Navigating Knowledge Spaces Using Cognitive Maps; project led by
Prof. Dr. Matthias Kaschube, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
(PostDoc or PhD position; E13-TV-H, full time, 4 years)*

The goal of this project is to explore the computational benefits of low-
dimensional cognitive maps in brains and artificial neural networks, using
state-of-the-art generative models, such as GANs. The ideal candidate
should have strong computational and programming skills (python,
pytorch/tensorflow), some experience with deep generative models and with
the analysis of brain imaging data. Close interactions with all other
projects within the ARENA unit are expected. For further information please
contact Matthias Kaschube at kaschube at fias.uni-frankfurt.de.

Candidates with interdisciplinary expertise at the intersection of
cognitive science, neuroscience, and computer science – or a high
motivation to extend their knowledge in this interdisciplinary field – are
particularly welcome. PostDoctoral candidates should have a University
degree and a very good doctorate in the specified or related fields, as
well as expertise in experimental techniques and/or advanced data analysis
methods. For doctoral positions, applications are invited from students
with an excellent master’s degree in computer science, AI, or related
disciplines. All applicants must be fluent in English.

We are furthermore seeking

(6)   *A Scientific Coordinator (E 13 TV-G-U, part time 50%)* who will
support the research conducted in the unit by a number of centrally
coordinated measures, involving (a) internal, national, and international
scientific cooperation and networking, (b) training and career development
of early career researchers, (c) research data management and quality
assurance, (d) reporting, and (e) strategic development of the research
unit. The ideal candidate for this position has a scientific background
(University degree and PhD in computer science, psychology, neuroscience or
a relate area), high skills in organization and communication, very good
strategic and analytical abilities, as well as very good English skills.
Experience with or interest in research data management and open science
are a plus. The scientific coordinator will closely collaborate with the
speaker of the unit, Prof. Christian Fiebach, and all principle
investigators of the ARENA unit. For further information please contact
Christian Fiebach at fiebach at psych.uni-frankfurt.de.

The ARENA research unit is a collaborative project of Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany, the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies, both part
of a vibrant cognitive science/neuroscience community, and the Max Planck
Institute for Software Systems in Saarbrücken, Germany, one of the leading
institutes in human-centered AI. ARENA researchers will have access to
state-of-the-art research facilities, including laboratory facilities for
human behavioral and brain imaging studies and dedicated GPU computing
resources. Further details can be found at http://neuroai-arena.github.io/.

Goethe University, FIAS, and the Max Planck Institute are committed to a
policy of providing equal employment opportunities for both men and women
alike, and we therefore encourage particularly women to apply for the
position/s offered. Individuals with severe disability will be prioritized
in case of equal aptitude and ability.

If you are interested in joining ARENA, please send a CV, a statement of
research interests, one (PhD positions) or two (PostDoc positions)
publications, and the names and contact details of at least two academic
references (all in one pdf document) *until January 11, 2023* to
neuroai.arena at gmail.com. In your application, please specify the project(s)
you are particularly interested in and cc your application to the
respective principal investigators specified above.
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