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PhD Position – Neuromorphic Engineering / Computing

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen (DE)
Pay will be in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service
Closing date
Sep 15, 2022

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Conducting research for a changing society: This is what drives us at Forschungs­zentrum Jülich. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, we aim to tackle the grand societal challenges of our time and conduct research into the possibilities of a digitized society, a climate-friendly energy system, and a resource-efficient economy. Work together with around 7,100 employees in one of Europe’s biggest research centres and help us to shape change!

There exists a substantial gap between the computational abilities of modern computers and those of the brain. The new Peter Grünberg Institute – Neuromorphic Compute Nodes (PGI-14) – aims to close this gap and develop novel computing capabilities by incorporating some of the remarkable features found in biological brains. We take a hands-on approach building and programming novel test chips, and applying them to important application areas. We particularly focus on in-memory, mixed analog-digital approaches to develop architectures integrating novel components, such as memristors, combined with traditional CMOS. Practical application areas include AI and machine learning, NP-hard optimization problems, scientific computing, and signal processing. Our institute works closely with the new Peter Grünberg Institute – Neuromorphic Software Ecosystem (PGI-15), as well as device, materials, circuit researchers and neuroscientists in other institutes at Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen.

We are offering a

PhD Position – Neuromorphic Engineering / Computing Your Job:

There are multiple openings for new PhD students interested in the co-design of neuromorphic circuits and systems with novel algorithms. You will work in a diverse team, targeting societally relevant computing applications to build more energy-efficient technologies to tackle today’s most challenging computational problems.

Multiple funded projects are available, please see PGI-14 webpage for some research areas:

Depending on the project area, tasks will include:

  • Development and design of novel neuromorphic circuits, integrating analog and digital blocks with emerging device technologies, such as memristors
  • Invention, simulation, and prototyping of more efficient, specialized non-von Neumann architectures for application areas in AI, optimization, probabilistic computing, and scientific computing
  • Design and quantification of hardware realizations of several physics-based and biologically-inspired compute models (Hopfield networks, Ising machines, Cellular Automata, etc.) applied to specific problem areas
  • Exploration of event-driven (aka, spiking), asynchronous neuromorphic system concepts to reduce energy and communication costs
  • Integrated Circuit (IC) design (CMOS 28 nm and below), simulation, and testing using Cadence development tools
  • Quantitative performance benchmarking to state-of-the-art competing approaches

Your Profile:

  • Master’s degree in electrical / electronic engineering, computer engineering, physics, computer science, or a related field
  • For IC projects a strong electronics background, with experience in design and simulation of analog, digital, or mixed-signal circuits, including SPICE and related tools, is strongly desired
  • Coursework and experience with computer architecture, FPGAs, accelerators, and/or embedded systems are strongly desired
  • For algorithm and computing application projects, coursework in algorithms supplemented with practical programming experience is required
  • Coursework in theoretical areas, including computational complexity and information theory, is desired
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team are essential
  • Strong English skills will be required for the international working environment

Our Offer:

We work on cutting-edge research topics with a high potential to positively impact society. We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • A world-leading, international research environment with state-of-the-art equipment
  • Opportunity to work in the highly interdisciplinary and exciting field of neuromorphic and brain-inspired computing, collaborating with physicists, neuroscientists, materials scientists, and engineers
  • Flexible working arrangements and 30 days of annual leave
  • A structured doctoral degree program with comprehensive additional training and networking in our doctoral researchers’ platform JuDocs
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

The position is for a fixed term of three years, with extension agreed upon as needed to complete PhD. Pay will be in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60% of a monthly salary as special payment (“Christmas bonus”). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at

Place of employment: Aachen

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities, in which everyone can realize their potential, is important to us.

We look forward to receiving your application until September 6, 2022, via our Online Recruitment System!

Questions about the vacancy?

Get in touch with us by using our contact form. Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.


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