NeuroAgents Project: Sensory-motor systems and autonomous robotic agents

Applications are invited for a doctoral student to work on the “NeuroAgents” ERC-Consolidator project. The overall goal of this project is to understand how to integrate the hardware neural computing circuits, devices, and technologies currently being developed, with the recent findings in theoretical neuroscience and machine learning software, in order to build fully fledged artificial behaving systems that can be “programmed” to carry out complex tasks in uncontrolled environments and that can operate autonomously, adapting to unexpected changes in the environment, while being able to cope with noise and uncertainty in both the input signals and their internal states.
The PhD student will be responsible for the “Body” part of the work-plan, which deal with the design of mixed signal neuromorphic learning circuits and the development of multi-chip neuromorphic computing systems.
Ideal PhD candidates have substantial experience in programming embedded computing platforms for robotics, have mechanical/electrical engineering skills for assembling robotic platforms and interfacing custom electronic components together, and are knwledgeable with robotic motor control strategies.
The INI offers advanced, interdisciplinary PhD training and participation in cutting edge neuroscience and neuroinformatics research projects. The institute is home to a lively and interactive educational atmosphere and highly competitive salaries. Successful candidates will participate in the ZNZ Doctoral Program where they receive additional theoretical and practical training. Compensation/salary will be paid according to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Successful candidates will receive their PhD from the Faculty of Science at the University of Zurich.


Applicants should hold a diploma or Masters degree in a quantitative discipline (e.g. engineering, physics, informatics, mathematics) or neurobiology/neuroscience (e.g. systems neuroscience, neurophysiology). Experi- ence in programming using Python or similar programming languages and basic knowledge in computational neuroscience is beneficial. Proficiency in English and a team-oriented working attitude are crucial for the appli- cant’s success. Suitable candidates should have an intrinsic motivation to design novel circuits and systems for implementing neural information processing and learning.


Applicants are asked to submit their complete application as one PDF via email. The application should include the following documents:

  1. A cover letter that includes the main motivation for doing a PhD at the INI
  2. Contact details of 2 references (email and phone number).
  3. A CV outlining prior education, research and publications (if applies).
  4. Academic transcripts (bachelor and master/diploma).
  5. A 1-2 page personal research statement. The research statement should cover applicant’s future research goals, research project interest and how the applicant fits into the INI research culture.

E-mail: giacomo (at) Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland

© 2019 Institut für Neuroinformatik