PhD – Theoretical Work To Investigate Circuit Mechanisms Of Network Activity In The Early Cortex

The group of Matthias Kaschube at FIAS is seeking doctoral students for theoretical work to study the origin of distributed modular activity in the early developing neocortex (ideally starting summer 2021).

The vacant positions are funded by a US-German CRCNS Research Grant joint with experimental neuroscientist Gordon Smith at the University of Minnesota (UMN), Department of Neuroscience. Our goals are to reveal the organization of functional networks in the neocortex at very early stages in development and to dissect the circuit motives that produce these early patterns of neural activity. To accomplish these goals, we combine mathematical modeling and advanced data analysis methods with highly sensitive calcium imaging and pharmacological and optogenetic methods for up-and-down-regulating specific circuit components. The computational part of the project will be conducted at FIAS, and includes many opportunities for collaboration and exchange with Dr. Smith’s group at UMN. The project extends our previous joint work (Smith et al., Nature Neuroscience, 2015 & 2018).

For further information on the Kaschube Group and FIAS please see our group’s website.


We are looking for candidates with:

  • An excellent master’s degree in physics, computer science, engineering or a related field
  • A strong quantitative background
  • Prior knowledge in neuroscience is advantageous, but not required.


We offer:

  • A highly inspiring work atmosphere
  • Exciting and modern research topics bridging theory and experiment,
  • An excellent research infrastructure and dedicate mentoring
  • Excellent opportunities for training and career development. You will be affiliated with the Goethe-University and a fellow of the graduate schools GRADE-iQbio and FIGSS
  • PhD candidates will profit from synergies emerging through the interaction with their experimental/theoretical co-fellow.
  • You will have the opportunity to live in Frankfurt am Main, a vibrant and exciting cosmopolitan city at the heart of Europe.
  • A funded PhD position with a competitive salary (65%, based on TV-H E13)


Required documents:

  • A motivation letter, stressing why you want to do a PhD in the field and in our lab.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae containing academic qualifications, research experiences, skills, possibly a publication list where you highlight your contribution.
  • Name and contact information of at least two scientists who can give references.
  • Detailed transcripts of records of your Master’s and Bachelor’s programs.

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