PhD University of Bonn

The Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience at University of Bonn seeks applications for a funded 4-year PhD to be based at University of Bonn under the supervision of Prof Dominik Bach. The position is within a project funded by the European Research Council: “Action selection under threat – the complex control of human defense”. The purpose of the project is to understand the cognitive-computational control of human action-selection and decision-making under acute, immediate threat. We investigate this in an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment, in which people can move to avoid various threats. In a series of behavioural and magnetoencephalography experiments, we seek to understand the algorithms that control this behaviour, and their neural implementation. Behavioural research takes place in Bonn, and magnetoencephalography at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, University College London.

The Hertz Chair is strongly interdisciplinary, and we invite applications from potential students with a broad range of backgrounds including, but not limited to, neuroscience, experimental psychology, statistics, machine learning, computer science, physics, or medicine. The candidate will be enrolled in an international doctoral programme at University of Bonn ( This programme offers unique training in concepts and methods across the neurosciences. Training involves seminars, methods workshops, participation in summer schools, and collaboratively supervised research. The Hertz Chair provides training in all relevant aspects of computational neuroscience, decision-making, and statistics. Project collaborators at the Institute of Computer Science, University College London, Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen and University of Tubingen provide additional expertise and supervision opportunities. The Hertz Chair is part of the interdisciplinary iBehave network.

We offer generous funding (usually starting with 33’000 € p.a.) and support travel to conferences or advanced courses. Students will participate in international summer schools, seminars and workshops.

Requirements: Successful applicants should have, or expect to get, an excellent MSc degree (or equivalent), and should have an interest in computational and statistical methods as well as programming. The university is committed to employing more people with disabilities and especially encourages them to apply. The university also seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Deadline: 27 June 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed online in July 2022.

HOW TO APPLY. Please send in one PDF, your CV, a statement of why you want to do this PhD (no more than 1 page), and a copy of your strongest piece of academic work (e.g., thesis, publication). Please provide the name of two referees who can send us reference letters upon request. All documents and references should be sent to by 27 June 2022 at midnight. Enquiries about the project can be directed to