The focus of this PhD project is on the cognitive factors that may contribute to developmental disregard in children with unilateral cerebral palsy. A commonly used therapy for these children is ‘forced-use’ therapy, in which the affected side is intensively trained over several weeks. This therapy leads to better capacity of the affected side, but not always to increased use of this side in daily life, so that often the result is a so-called developmental disregard. In this project it is hypothesized that the discrepancy between capacity and performance is due to the fact that the use of the affected side goes parallel with a high cognitive load. This hypothesis will be tested with EEG/ERP measured during single and dual task conditions in children with unilateral cerebral palsy. Your results in this study will also lead to refinement of the existing therapy in close collaboration with the department of paediatric rehabilitation of the Sint Maartenskliniek. Your project will result in a PhD thesis comprising papers published in top scientific journals.


You should have:

  • a Research Master’s degree in behavioural science or cognitive neuroscience, or a Master’s degree in cognitive or experimental psychology, biology, neuropsychology, human movement science, pedagogy/remedial education, or a related field;
  • experience with EEG/ERP measurements and analysis;
  • excellent writing skills (in Dutch and English) and data-analysis skills preferably evidenced by authorship or co-authorship of published articles; – good organization skills;
  • experience with SPSS is desirable.


  • you will be appointed as a PhD student (1 FTE) for a total of 4 or 5 years (0.8 FTE). Your performance will be evaluated after 18 months. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (or by 3.5 years at 0.8 FTE);
  • as part of the contract, you will participate in educational activities (i.e. teaching students);
  • you will be classified as a PhD student (promovendus) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO). the starting salary is €2,042 per month on a full-time basis; the salary will increase to €2,612 per month in the fourth year.

Dienstverband: Temporary


Radboud University Nijmegen Strategically located in Europe, Radboud University Nijmegen is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. A place with a personal touch, where top-flight education and research take place on a beautiful green campus in modern buildings with state-of-art facilities.


Faculty of Social Sciences The Faculty of Social Sciences is one of the largest faculties at Radboud University Nijmegen. The faculty’s ambition is to become one of the top social science institutes in Europe, providing high-quality research and study programmes that rank among the best in the Netherlands.

The Behavioural Science Institute (BSI) is a research institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences which received excellent ratings in a recent evaluation. Its mission is to conduct top-level research on the fundamental principles and processes that govern human behaviour. In addition to this fundamental aim (to understand behaviour), we aim at societal relevance (to influence behaviour).

You will work within the BSI’s Learning and Plasticity programme. This programme deals with the micro-analysis of learning and cognitive plasticity. The main focus of this programme is the learning and development of communication and cognition in normal and atypical populations. Intervention studies involving individuals with a variety of disorders as well as those at risk will also be conducted to gain a better understanding of the dynamic factors that can prevent or remediate learning problems. This project is performed in close collaboration with the department of pediatric rehabilitation of the Sint Maartenskliniek in Nijmegen. The project is supervised by Prof. Bert Steenbergen and Dr Marijtje Jongsma of Radboud University, and Dr Pauline Aarts of the Sint Maartenskliniek.

Additionele informatie

prof. dr. Bert Steenbergen +31 24 3612642 [email protected];;

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