PhD position in human fetal neuroimaging

University Children's Hospital Zürich
Zurich, Switzerland
Job Type: 
Full Time
Closing Date: 
Friday, September 15, 2017

The Center for MR-Research at the University Children’s Hospital Zürich in Switzerland is offering a PhD position for 2 years (extension possible) in the project entitled:

“How does the brain change its structure and connections in congenital diseases before birth? A fetal magnetic resonance imaging study”

The project will take place in a unique interdisciplinary environment that merges MRI research, computer science and clinical sciences. As a central question of our project, we will investigate how human brain morphology and connectivity is affected during the natural course of congenital brain malformations. The possible effects of open fetal surgery on neural (macro-morphology and connectivity) development will be investigated. The project will characterize the formation and plastic changes of brain structure during the second and third trimesters of gestation, and establish a link between morphology, white matter architecture and the clinical-neurological outcome in the key congenital diseases of the project.

The PhD researcher will be working with challenging fetal and neonatal MRI data, which will necessitate the advancement of what is currently possible in image processing. The researcher will use and further develop computer algorithms that are specifically designed to process fetal MRI data. The researcher will help to answer the central question of the project, and will contribute to broadening our knowledge on prenatal brain development in pathological conditions and after surgical intervention. 

What we expect:
- Master’s degree in computer science, neuroscience or related fields. Candidates with a medical or psychology degree will only be considered if they can demonstrate experience in medical image analysis, computer science or programming knowledge
- Experience in medical image analysis, especially structural MRI and diffusion tensor image analysis is favourable (for example FSL, DTI toolboxes, Matlab)
- The candidate should demonstrate basic knowledge and interest in human physiology and neuroanatomy
- High motivation to learn new image analysis techniques, and to get involved in clinical and neuroscientific research
- Excellent English knowledge, academic writing and presentation skills

What we provide:
- Supervision by Dr. András Jakab and working in the team led by PD Dr. Ruth Tuura O’Gorman
- The PhD researcher will have the opportunity to join the International PhD Program in Neuroscience at the Neuroscience Center Zurich (
- Good research facilities, access to fetal and neonatal MRI data acquired with 1.5T and 3.0T MRI scanners
- Exciting collaborations with computer scientists and physicians
- High quality of life and attractive working conditions in the city of Zürich, Switzerland

The starting date of the project is September 1st, 2017 or later. Compensation will be according the SNF salary levels for PhD researchers ( The University Children’s Hospital Zürich is an equal opportunity employer, and international applicants are encouraged.

The application should include the following documents in English or German language, in PDF format.
- Motivation letter (“Bewerbungsschreiben”)
- Curriculum vitae with list of achievements, publications (“Lebenslauf”)
- Letter of recommendation from a faculty member / thesis supervisor (“Weitere Dokumente”)
- Copy of a publication (thesis, conference paper, journal paper) in a related field (“Weitere Dokumente”)

The application to this position is only possible via the online job portal of the University Children’s Hospital Zürich (in German) under the following link:
“Doktorandin / Doktorand 100% / Zentrum für MR-Forschung”, and then click “Jetzt bewerben!”

For further information (no applications) feel free to contact:
Dr. András Jakab

E-mail:  andras.jakab at