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PhD position

The newly established Emmy Noether Group “The Developing Engram - Imaging Memory Consolidation in Wakefulness and Sleep” at the Institute of Psychology is seeking candidates for a PhD position
  • Bewerbungsfrist: 15.11.2020
  • Veröffentlicht: 01.10.2020
  • Start-date: 01.01.2021
  • Part-time position (65 %)
  • Kennziffer: 00001273


The newly established Emmy Noether Group “The Developing Engram - Imaging Memory Consolidation in Wakefulness and Sleep” at the Institute of Psychology, University Freiburg (Head: Prof. Dr. Monika Schönauer) is seeking candidates interested in the fields of human memory and cognitive neuroscience for a PhD position.


The overall goal of our research is to explore three factors that we think contribute to the formation of long-lasting physical memory traces - retrieval, distributed practice, and sleep. We combine tailored experimental paradigms, functional and diffusion-weighted MRI, and high-density EEG recordings to observe learning-induced plasticity and test how memories evolve in the human brain. We use both univariate and multivariate pattern analysis approaches to track memory representations in brain imaging data. We are a young, international lab and offer a stimulating and collaborative research environment. We embrace efforts to promote diversity and gender equality, as we fully believe that diversity improves our science and our world.


An ideal candidate holds a Masters degree in neuroscience, psychology, biology, engineering, or related fields, and has solid background knowledge in cognitive neuroscience, good technical skills, and programming experience (MATLAB or Python). Fluency in written and spoken English, an independent but collaborative working style, and training in experimental methods and statistics are required. Experience with recording and analyzing functional, diffusion-weighted, or structural MRI data, as well as EEG data, is highly desirable, as is prior experience in the fields of sleep and/or memory research. We encourage you to apply also if you do not fully match this profile.

How to apply

Applications should be written in English and including a detailed CV, a brief (max 500 words) personal statement of research interest and experience, university degrees with grades, as well as names and contact details of two persons willing to provide letters of reference.

Related publications
  • Brodt S, Gais S, Beck J, Erb M, Scheffler K, Schönauer M (2018). Fast track to the neocortex: A memory engram in posterior parietal cortex. Science; 362: 1045-1048
  • Brodt S, Pöhlchen D, Flanagin V, Glasauer S, Gais S, Schönauer M (2016). Rapid and independent memory formation in the parietal cortex. Proc Nat Acad Sci; 15; 113(46): 13251-13256.
  • Himmer L, Schönauer M, Heib D, Schabus M, Gais S (2019). Rehearsal initiates systems memory consolidation, sleep makes it last. Sci Adv; 5: eaav1695.
  • Schönauer M, Alizadeh S, Jamalabadi H, Abraham A, Pawlizki A, Gais S (2017). Decoding material-specific memory reprocessing during sleep in humans. Nat Commun; doi:10.1038/ ncomms15404
The position is limited to 31.12.2023. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E13.

We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.


Please send your application in English including supporting documents mentioned above citing the reference number 00001273, by 15.11.2020 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:

University of Freiburg
Institute of Psychology
Prof. Dr. Monika Schönauer
Engelbergerstr. 41
79106 Freiburg
E-Mail (a single PDF document):

For further information, please contact Frau Prof. Dr. Monika Schoenauer on the phone number +49 761 +49 761 203 2475 or E-Mail monika.schoenauer@psychologie.uni-freiburg.de.