As part of the ERC Consolidator project “ACTOR: Towards a computational account of natural sequential behavior” a position in the Human Sciences Department of Technical University of Darmstadt, Centre for Cognitive Science and Institute of Psychology, Working Group Psychology of Information Processing is to be filled as soon as possible as

Research Associate/ PostDoc (all genders)

The position is initially limited to three years and is classified according to pay group 13 of the TU Darmstadt collective agreement (TV-TU Darmstadt).

In this project we will combine human behavioral experiments in naturalistic tasks with computational modeling to better understand how perception, decision making, and actions are intertwined in sequential behavior. This involves developing behavioral experiments in natural or VR environments while tracking the body and the eyes as well as developing or applying computational models from the areas of optimal control, reinforcement learning, deep learning and probabilistic programming to explain and predict human behavior.

Your tasks:

  • Research in the field of cognitive science, artificial intelligence, psychology of information processing within the ERC project "ACTOR: Towards a computational account of natural sequential behavior",
  • Development and implementation of behavioral experiments with human subjects in naturalistic and VR environments using eye-tracking and body-tracking,
  • as well as the development or application of computational models for understanding and predicting human sequential behavior in the areas of optimal control, reinforcement learning, deep learning and probabilistic programming.

Your profile:

  • you have a very good doctoral degree (PhD) in Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Psychology or in a related field,
  • very good analytical and methodological skills,
  • interest in empirical and theoretical research in the areas of cognitive science, AI, psychology of information processing, cognitive modeling,
  • you are self-motivated, reliable, creative, able to discuss/write/present scientific results in English,
  • experience in programming in Python or Julia especially probabilistic graphical models, optimal control, reinforcement learning, deep learning, probabilistic programming or behavioral research methods such as VR eye-tracking, motion-capturing, psychophysics, EEG are a plus.

The fulfillment of the duties likewise enables the scientific qualifications of the candidate.

Technical University of Darmstadt intends to increase the number of female employees and encourages female candidates to apply. In case of equal qualifications applicants with a degree of disability of at least 50 or equal will be given preference. Part-time employment is generally possible.

In your application, please include a brief (max. 2 pages) cover letter explaining your research interests, motivation, and your long-term career goals, a CV, and contact information for 2-3 references. Applications may be submitted to the Dean of the Department of Human Sciences of the Technical University Darmstadt, Alexanderstraße 10, 64283 Darmstadt, in electronic form as a single pdf document via e-mail at: (ref.-no. 168).

Informal inquiries may be made to Constantin Rothkopf at

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Code No. 168

Published on

April 30, 2024

Application deadline

May 31, 2024