PhD position: Machine learning to record and enhance sleep and lucid dreaming

Arenar B.V. and the Donders Institute offer a joint PhD position combining data science/AI and wearable EEG technology with sleep/dream research.

In this project, the wearable sleep EEG headband iBand+ will be further developed and applied in several experimental studies. First, we will develop automatic sleep stage detection algorithms using machine learning strategies. We will then implement closed-loop acoustic stimulation procedures to enhance sleep slow oscillations to improve deep sleep. We will further develop combined acoustic and visual stimulation procedures which will allow to enhance self-awareness during sleep (i.e. lucid dreaming) and subsequent mood in the morning. The validity and efficacy of these procedures will be tested experimentally in large longitudinal studies in naturalistic home-based settings.

The successful candidate will be centrally involved in the development, will lead different research projects within this general framework; will be closely involved in daily supervision of MSc students assisting the project; and will participate in the vibrant Donders Graduate School.

Job details

• 4 years at Donders, extension to permanent position at Arenar possible
• Deadline: 31 August 2019
• Starting date: October/November, but somewhat flexible
• Salary: starting with € 40000 gross per year

Candidate profile

• MSc-level background in Data Science, ML, AI, computer sciences, or adjacent field;
• Proficiency in Python, C, C++, statistics
• Interest in sleep, lucid dreaming, meditation
• The capacity to participate in a collaborative, interdisciplinary, international research environment;
• Fluency in written and spoken English.
Candidates who only partially meet this profile are nonetheless strongly encouraged to apply!


The PhD project is a collaboration between Arenar B.V. and the Donders Institute.

Arenar B.V. is a Dutch technology start-up based in Nijmegen, founded in 2016 by a team of engineers/developers with a combined technical industry experience exceeding 40 years working at leading technology companies such as NXP, Philips, Texas Instruments. Work in Arenar’s small enthusiastic team offers plenty of flexibility, responsibility and lots of influence on the product development. In particular, Arenar develops the iBand+ (, and many more upcoming innovative products.

The project is embedded in the infrastructure of the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, providing a unique and stimulating learning environment for young researchers, including a high-profile graduate school and in-house methodological expert courses. Sleep research is a vibrant and rapidly growing field at the Donders Institute, with several new research groups in human and animal sleep research.

The project is further embedded in the Radboud University Medical Center. Radboud UMC strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond.


Please apply here with a brief motivation letter explaining your interest and qualifications regarding the position, your prior research/work experience, a CV, and contact information of two professional references.

For specific questions about this position, please contact

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