KU Leuven

2 PhD students in Cognitive (Neuro)Science – KULeuven UCLouvain

2024-05-31 (Europe/Brussels)
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We are recruiting 2 motivated PhD researchers (m/v/x) for a 4-year appointment within a KULeuven – UCLouvain research consortium, supervised by prof. Bert Reynvoet and prof. Arnaud Szmalec.
1 PhD student will be based at the KULeuven campus Kulak Kortrijk (Kortrijk, Belgium), 1 PhD student will be based at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium).
Here you can apply for the job opening at KULeuven.
If you want to apply for the Louvain-la-neuve position, you need to do so by sending a mail (with cv, motivation letter) to arnaud.szmalec@uclouvain.be and bert.reynvoet@kuleuven.be
Both full time (100%) positions are funded through an FWO-FNRS WEAVE project.
Starting dates are September 1st or October 1st 2024.
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The Language of Mathematics
Although mathematics is a fundamental tool in life, there is a lack of a clear scientific understanding about how mathematical abilities precisely develop. The central premise underlying this project is that mathematics is fundamentally a language that uses meaningful symbols which must be organized according to a finite set of rules in order to exchange ideas, concepts and theories among people. One of the most impactful insights that emerged from the psychology of language over the last decade, is that language acquisition seems to be largely acquired through a simple, robust and rapid learning mechanism, which is called statistical learning. Statistical learning (SL) refers to the human ability to extract regularities in how stimuli co-occur in the environment over space and time. The goal of this project is to make a case for the integration of SL and mathematics and to make a first, large-scale empirical attempt at investigating how sensitivity to distributional properties in the environmental input (i.e., SL) can subserve the development of mathematical skills. We will set up developmental studies, compare typical and different atypical populations and use experimental training paradigms as well as neuroscientific techniques in children and adults to investigate the SL mechanisms underlying mathematical abilities.
Your function:
  • Conduct high-quality scientific research (mostly experimental and longitudinal studies) about the cognitive (neuro)scientific fundamentals of mathematical development, with the prospect of obtaining a PhD in Psychological Sciences.
  • Publish the results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and present the results at (inter)national conferences.
  • Supervise research activities of master students within your area of expertise.


  • You obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, Cognitive Science, Educational Science or any related discipline. Also final year master students are invited to apply. 
  • You obtained good grades for your Master’s degree. 
  • You have a marked interest in conducting scientific research and you are eager to learn the entire research cycle: conception, operationalization, data collection, data analysis and publication of findings. 
  • You are a good spoken and written communicator.
  • You have basic spoken and written proficiency in English.
  • You have good social skills and are comfortable functioning withing a team.
  • You work autonomously, quality-oriented and with integrity.
  • Previous experience with research methods or statistical analysis techniques is a plus. 


The study will lead to a PhD degree in Psychological Sciences  from the KU Leuven.
As a PhD student, you will have every opportunity to develop yourself further in your professional career, by studying literature, attending seminars and workshops, participating in international conferences and interacting with leading researchers from multiple disciplines.
The position offers flexibility and the opportunity to work in an enthusiastic team in a stimulating multicultural environment. 
We offer a full-time appointment (initially for 1 year, but conditional on a positive evaluation extended to 4 years). 
Your workplace is primarily located at the KU Leuven campus Kulak in Kortrijk, but regular traveling to Louvain-La-Neuve will be required.
In addition to a competitive salary, KU Leuven offers a number of additional advantages, such as the possibility of flexible working, hospitalization insurance, eco-vouchers, reimbursement for commuting by public transport, inexpensive meals, a KU Leuven bicycle, etc.


Upload a motivation letter, detailed CV and contact details of at least 2 referent persons. 
Please indicate whether you apply for the KULeuven and/or the UCLouvain position. 
The deadline is May 31st 2024. 
The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in the course of June, 2024.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Bert Reynvoet, tel.: +32 56 24 61 77, mail: bert.reynvoet@kuleuven.be and/or mail: arnaud.szmalec@uclouvain.be

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.


2 PhD students in Cognitive (Neuro)Science – KULeuven UCLouvain
Oude Markt 13 Löwen, Belgien
2024-05-31 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-05-31 23:59 (CET)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Besuchen Sie die Arbeitgeberseite

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