Postdoc in the Synapse & Network Development group

The Synapse and Network Development group has an exciting opportunity for a Post-doctoral researcher to identify the role of acetylcholine in cortical development
3 years


Are you interested in how synaptic plasticity helps wire the developing brain? Do you want to use cutting-edge optical techniques, including optogenetics and high-speed in vivo 2-photon microscopy combined with patch-clamp recordings to observe how neurons make functional networks, and to understand the mechanisms of brain development in mice? Would you enjoy working in an international environment where you follow up on your ideas with the support of experts around you? Then this job may be for you.

Project description

The developing brain generates spontaneous activity already before the senses receive input from the outside world. The specific patterns of this activity are precisely tuned and underlie the refinement of synaptic connections before the eyes open. At this developmental time-point, the cholinergic system is already fully functional in the visual cortex.

You will be able to take advantage of the latest acetylcholine and calcium sensors in vivo to investigate how cholinergic signaling and spontaneous activity interact in young animals across different behavioral states. This will reveal how this neuromodulator shapes cortical activity dynamics and contributes to neuronal wiring; it will impact our view on the developmental effects of the cholinergic drug nicotine, and possibly the role of cholinergic signaling in neurodevelopmental disorders, which are characterized by altered correlations of spontaneous activity in the developing brain.

You are

A highly motivated, self-driven scientist with a PhD in a relevant field and experience in electrophysiology and/or live cell imaging. You are a team player and you are comfortable communicating, presenting and writing in English. Ideally, you have programming skills in particular with Python for data analysis.

You can expect from us

  • Mentoring, supervision and training
  • Access to state-of-the art equipment
  • A stimulating international research environment


The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience is the country’s leading fundamental neuroscience research institute, in the international and progressive city of Amsterdam. It provides a critical mass of scientists (spanning more than 27 nationalities) and neuroscience facilities, in a highly interactive, dynamic, multi-cultural environment, with English as the working language.


We offer an exciting job at a dynamic research institute and an attractive package of fringe benefits. The position is for a period of 3 years in total for a post-doc. The first appointment is for one year with the option for an extension for the remaining period pending on an evaluation.


The salary will be commensurate with experience and institutional guidelines based on the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities: CAO NU. The starting salary for a postdoctoral researcher depends on experience and ranges from € 3.217.- to € 4.402.- per month, before taxes. In addition, an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus are provided. We offer travel expenses, paid parental leave, flexible working hours, 30 days paid leave per year and assistance in finding accommodation when coming from abroad.

Starting date

The position is available immediately.

To apply

Please send your application before July 1st 2021 to [email protected] (for the attention of E. Pfaff) including:
1. A Curriculum Vitae
2. An application letter
3. Two reference letters

Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled.

For additional information please contact Dr. Christian Lohmann ([email protected]).

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, etc.

Any acquisition further to this advertisement will not be appreciated.