at the BCBL- Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain) 


  • Position: Postdoctoral researcher
  • Researcher Profile: Recognised Researcher (R2 - PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent)
  • Number of vacancies: 1
  • Project: Neural encoding of temporal expectations in the auditory pathway
  • Location:  Spain > San Sebastian
  • Research Field: Neuroscience > Cognitive Computational Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
  • Type of contract/Duration of Contract: Temporary >  3 years
  • Job Status: Full-time
  • Hours per week: 35
  • Starting date: September 2024 (flexible)
  • Application deadline: 31st May 2024


Information about the project:

The freshly established Perceptual Inference Group at the BCBL studies how the subcortical and early cortical stages of the brain work together to make sense of the sensory world. This project will investigate how the brain learns to predict the onset of incoming sounds with high temporal precision, conforming the sensations of rhythm in speech and music. The project will make use a combination of modelling and high-resolution fMRI to explore the encoding of time in the human brain. This is a fantastic opportunity for cognitive neuroscientists who wish to learn modelling techniques, or for computational neuroscientists who want to learn human neuroimaging. Part of this project will be developed in collaboration with the Department of Psychology of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and there will be opportunities for placements in Leipzig.

Job description:

  • Designing and conducting behavioural and fMRI experimental research
  • Designing and implementing computational models of cognition
  • Writing research papers in collaboration with the PI, aiming to publish at top-tier journals
  • Dissemination of results at international scientific conferences
  • Assisting in the supervision of graduate students
  • Candidates selected for this role may also be appointed to teach within the BCBL Master in cognitive neuroscience of language (, subject to further evaluation and approval by the department.

PI and research group:

Perceptual Inference Group is a freshly established interdisciplinary research group at the BCBL in San Sebastian, Spain. The group combines tools from Machine Learning, Computational Neuroscience, and state-of-the-art Human Neuroimaging to explain how our expectations and subjective priors shape our experience of reality. The group has a large network of international collaborations with experimental and computational labs in Leipzig, Dresden, Basel, Pennsylvania, and Cambridge. The PI, Alejandro Tabas, is currently holding an ERC Starting Grant, and the lab has plenty of funding for conference trips and research visits to our collaborators abroad.



Required skills:

  • A PhD degree in Cognitive or Computational Neuroscience. Applications from candidates from related disciplines (Computer Science, Physics, etc) that wish to transition to Cognitive Computational Neuroscience are welcome.
  • Strong publication record
  • Programming experience (python preferred)
  • Fluent knowledge of English
  • Good communication skills and ability to collaborate in interdisciplinary environments
  • Ability to carry out research independently under the supervision of the PI
  • Willingness to develop a combined computational/experimental profile

Desirable skills:

  • Experience with neuroimaging data analysis in Nipype and/or fMRI prep (candidates from Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • Demonstrable commitment to open-science practices such as publishing code and/or data in open repositories or experience submitting pre-registered reports



Salary: 28,000-30,000€/year gross

Entitlements and other benefits:


Training opportunities and Career development plan: Researchers at any stage of their career, regardless of their contractual situation, are given an opportunity for professional development and for improving their employability through access to a Personal Career Development Plan which includes

(1) Training through individually personalized research projects under senior supervision

(2) Exchanging knowledge with the scientific community and the general public

(3) Network-wide training in theory and methods

(4) Complementary training courses

(5) Involvement in proposal writing, task coordination

(6) Development of skills for the organization of training and scientific events

BCBL seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support contact us.



Language policy

  • The corporative language at the Center is English
  • The center provides initial level Spanish and Basque lessons to all the international staff members
  • The interview will be conducted entirely in English



Submission of the application and documentation:

To submit your application, please follow this link applying for “Postdoc Neural encoding of temporal expectations” and attach the following documentation:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A statement outlining research interests and motivation to apply for the position (max 2 pages)
  • Two letters of recommendation

Application process timetable:

  • Deadline for application: 31/05/2024
  • Evaluation by committee: 03/06/2024-14/06/2024
  • Interviews: 18/06/2024-27/06/2024
  • Final decision: 30/06/2024
  • Feedback to all applicants: 01/07/2024
  • Work contract start date: 01/09/2024

Contact details for enquiries:

Alejandro is also very happy to hold informal chats on the project and the position with prospective candidates: