We have several open several postdoctoral positions.

In particular, if you liked our last NeurIPS paper  and you think you can contribute and imagine, oh, the places we’ll go from here,…from one of the most liveable cities in the world, …

DO apply. 

We are looking for at least two scientists to join the as postdocs at the @ISTAustria near Vienna. 

The successful candidate will join an ongoing ERC funded project to discover families of spike-induced synaptic plasticity rules by way of numerical derivation. 

Together, we will define and explore search spaces of biologically plausible plasticity rules  expressed e.g., as polynomial expansions or multi layer perceptrons. We aim to compare the results to various experimental and theoretical data sets, including functional spiking network models, human stem-cell derived neural network cultures, in vitro and in vivo experimental data. 

We are looking for someone who can expand and develop our multipurpose modular library dedicated to optimization of non-differentiable systems. Due to the modularity of the library, the candidate will have extensive freedom regarding which optimization techniques to use and what to learn in which systems, but being a team player will be a crucial skill. 

A conceivably successful candidate will have a strong expertise in numerical simulations, and specifically spiking neuron models, and some knowledge in the field of synaptic plasticity. A strong background in applied maths, especially in numerical optimization would be desirable. Some of the questions we ponder: How to express high dimensional rules in 

However, we can hire more than one person, and we would also be interested in someone who can contribute to design, implementation and maintenance of a library dedicated to performing numerical optimization in non-differentiable systems on large scales. We are thinking about how to simulate spiking neural networks with complex, unsupervised and supervised plasticity rules efficiently, in parallel, on a cluster. 

Depending on your (flexible, possibly immediate) starting date we can offer up to 4-year contracts with competitive salaries, benefits, vacation time and ample budget for materials and travel in a tranquil and inspiring environment.  The Vogelslab, and the IST Austria is located in Klosterneuburg, a historic city northwest of Vienna. The campus is located in the middle of the beautiful landscape of the Vienna Woods, 30 minutes from downtown Vienna, the capital of Austria that consistently scores in the top cities of the world for its high standard of living.

If you are interested, send an email with your application to Jessica . deAntoni [at] 

Your application should include 

  • your CV,
  • your most relevant publication,
  • contact information for 2 or more references, and 
  • a cover letter with a short description of you & your career, and a brief discussion of what you think is the greatest weakness of the above mentioned NeurIPS paper (and maybe how you would go about fixing it). 

We are looking to build a diverse and interesting environment, so if you bring any qualities that make our lab (and computational neuroscience at large) more diverse than it is right now, please consider applying. 

We will begin to evaluate applications on the 31st of April and aim to get back to you with a decision within 5 weeks of your application. 

We are also looking for people with a strong background in maths and machine learning, and an intense interest in neuroscience. Specifically, we will focus on (GABAergic, codependent, and machine-learning inspired) synaptic plasticity, and modulated neural network dynamics.  We are keen to hear from women and members of underrepresented groups in neuroscience.

Interested in a PhD? You can join our lab by applying to IST Austria

IST Austria is looking for highly qualified candidates to apply for its PhD program. The call for 2020 has already passed, and the next call will open in the Fall of 2020. The deadline for applications is Jan 8, 2021 (23:59 CET) for PhD entry in September 2021.


The application portal will be available in the Fall. To apply, you have to create an online account, which will allow you to track your application through its various stages. We do not accept applications and documents received outside of this system.


Fully-funded PhD positions are offered in the natural and mathematical sciences in a world-class research environment on the outskirts of Vienna. For more information about the PhD program, please visit the PhD Program Overview page.


Students with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biologyneurosciencemathematicscomputer sciencephysics, and related areas are encouraged to apply. IST offers internationally competitive salaries, full health benefits, and subsidized on-campus housing in the first year.


You will be asked to upload the following documents to the application portal:

  • CV
  • Statement of purpose that explains your research experience and your motivation for applying to the IST Austria PhD program. It should 1-2 pages maximum. In your statement, specify up to three research groups you find the most interesting. At this stage you do not need to contact potential supervisors.
  • University transcripts and diplomas of all degree programs and all years you have attended and/or are currently enrolled in (in English and in original language)
  • Contact information of 3 referees

All documents have to be submitted in English and copies of university transcripts also in their original language.


The selection committee uses a collection of indicators to evaluate the applicant’s preparedness, motivation, and potential. The following will be considered:

Scientific promise:

  1. undergraduate performance: overall, with a special focus on relevant field-specific courses
  2. reference letters provided by professors and senior scientists: one letter from industry is acceptable, but letters from an academic background are given priority; referees are asked to address analytical capabilities, technical proficiency, ability to work independently and motivation/commitment;
  3. statement of purpose: the applicant’s past research experience and motivation for applying to this particular PhD program: is it a good academic fit? does the program contribute to the candidate’s future career plans?, etc.;
  4. additional relevant skills (field-specific): demonstrated in, e.g., internships and/or participation in research projects, participation in science Olympiads, programming languages, lab techniques, etc.


  1. quality of the undergraduate background, i.e. quality of the institution attended
  2. transferable skills: e.g. communication skills, experience with working in teams, previous mobility and international experiences, leadership experience as demonstrated in student organizations, etc.;
  3. diversity: e.g. a woman in computer science/math/physics; an applicant who switched fields, etc.;

You can also obtain an overview of the IST Austria PhD program from the “The PhD Experience” brochure.


For more information about the application process and PhD admissions, please read the FAQ page.