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Postdoctoral fellowship in Computational Cognitive Neuroscience

City: Within a National Research Council Office across Canada

Organizational Unit: Medical Devices 

Classification: RO 

Tenure: Term 

Duration: 2 years 

Language Requirements: English or French 

Note: In the current context of the pandemic, the NRC-MD Cognitive Care team is currently remote working withing Canada and as such, the PDF will be provided with the necessary equipment and access to work autonomously to carry out independent research from home and connect with the team. This takes into consideration the possibility that the pandemic will continue for the duration of your contract, and is in compliance with current COVID-19 regulations.

The NRC Advantage

Great Minds. One Goal. Canada's Success.


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.


We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.


At NRC, we know diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system. 


NRC welcomes all qualified applicants and encourages candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.


Please advise of any accommodation measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. They are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially.

The Program

The NRC’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program offers PDFs access to unique world-class facilities and the opportunity to work alongside multi-disciplinary teams of expert researchers and technicians on projects of critical importance to Canada. PDFs will carry out research on innovative research projects, with opportunities for career development (publications and/or industry interaction).

PDFs will be offered appointments to the staff of the National Research Council on a term basis and will be offered salaries and benefits currently available to Research Officers. Salaries commensurate with experience are taxable and subject to other deductions. As a guide, the current annual PDF  recruiting rate is $73,133. In addition PDFs will be allocated a travel fund to support their work.

Project Title

Cognitive computational modeling of biosensor data and behaviours during virtual reality interventions

We are currently seeking a talented and recently graduated postdoctoral candidate in the fields of cognitive and/or computational neuroscience. The successful candidate will join the NRC Cognitive Health Technologies team focused on examining how interactive and immersive technologies can be used for cognitive assessment and remediation. The team has developed a platform integrating multisensorial (tactile, auditory, 3D visual stimuli) and multimodal (augmented/virtual reality, physiological sensing) components. The research project focuses on identifying cognitive models that mimic brain information processing during the performance of cognitive tasks in controlled simulated environments.

Your Challenge

It is an ideal project for researchers with interest in developing models that use bio-sensors (ex: EEG, GSR, heart rate) and behavior (ex: movements, performance) to infer cognitive state. The successful candidate will work towards identifying and optimizing select models, designing experiments to gather data and testing models against the multifaceted datasets collected.

The pdf will contribute to all phases of research, in particular by providing essential competencies in cognitive modelling to guide task design and collecting/interpreting data, while making use of modelling approaches with reference to hypothesized cognitive processes. The pdf will work in a multidisciplinary, diverse and dynamic team of 30 employees. The successful candidate will have access to a multi-purpose infrastructure with capabilities in agile software development, multimodal physiological sensing, component prototyping and the latest generation of virtual reality devices. The position will provide the opportunity to collaborate with NRC’s Cognitive Care Network of clinicians and neuropsychologists specifically researching cognitive disorders and interface with enterprises currently working with the team to build a system for simultaneous capture of multiple types of physiological data (ex: EEG, heart rate, breathing, and electrodermal activity) for use with VR.


PhD in cognitive science, computational neuroscience, data science, statistics or related fields including clinical psychology and neuropsychology.


For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency


Research interests in one or more of the following: computational/cognitive modelling, neuroscience, psychophysics (visual/multisensory) and/or neuropsychology. Motivation to create and iteratively test cognitive models, process behavioural and physiological data and contribute to the development of virtual reality environments. Experience in manipulating datasets through statistical software, scripting languages and/or other methods and knowledge of signal processing and time series data analysis. Software development experience is not a prerequisite, but basic programming skills and a willingness to learn Unity and C# would be considered an asset.

Language requirements

Condition of Employment

Reliability Status

Who is eligible?

  • Fellowships will be for two years contingent on satisfactory progress achieved during the first year.
  • Candidates should have obtained a PhD (or equivalent) within the past three years (PhD received on or after July 1, 2018) or expect to complete their PhD within 6 months of appointment.

Although preference will be given to Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents, Fellowships are open to nationals of all countries. The offer of a Fellowship does not ensure foreign nationals Permanent Residency in Canada. Non-Canadian candidates should apply for non-immigrant status (i.e. temporary status) and an employment visa.  For further information, please contact the closest Canadian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in your area.

Application Requirements

In order to be considered for the program please include the following in your application, please note that you will need to attach the required documents as per the list below when submitting your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being excluded from searches.


  • Resume
  • Statement of Interest in the project (maximum one page in length)
  • PhD Transcript - an electronic copy is sufficient, it does not have to be an official version.
  • List of Publications


When submitting your application you can include the required documents in any attachment field such as «Second language evaluation results» or «Other attachments»


In addition, applicants who best meet the requirements of the position will be asked to provide three letters of recommendation at a later stage of the competition process.


Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC's directives.

Salary Range

From $56,374 to $159,364 per annum. 


The Postdoctoral Fellowships Program is unique to the NRC. It falls under the RO/RCO classification system which uses a person-based classification system instead of the more common duties-based classification system. Candidates are remunerated based on their expertise, skill, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience.


  • A pre-qualified list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.
  • NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.
  • Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
  • The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
  • We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.



Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (11456) to:


Telephone: 613-299-4639 

Closing Date: 19 March 2021 - 23:59 Eastern Time



For more information on career tools and other resources, check out Career tools and resources


*If you are currently a term or continuing employee at NRC, please apply through the SuccessFactors Careers module from your NRC computer.


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