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PhD - Combining Bio-Impedance and EEG for reliable mobile EEG
  • Aarhus Universitet
  • Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus N
Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Electrical and Computer Engineering programme. The position is available as soon as possible but no later than 01 January 2025 or later. You can submit your application via the link under 'how to apply'.

Title:
Combining Bio-Impedance and EEG for reliable mobile EEG

Research area and project description:
The European Doctoral Network for Neural Prostheses and Brain Research (DONUT) is a 4-years EU-Horizon Europe Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Network project that is aimed to bring together leading experts from several European universities with the mission to provide a multidisciplinary and intersectoral Doctoral Network for talented young researchers (Doctoral Candidates). The network connects leading scientists and institutions with several industries over different research fields, providing opportunities for young researchers to gain experience in translational research in electroencephalography (EEG)-based measurements and Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) applications, healthcare, and industry.

Ph.D. project description:
An exciting development in modern neuroscience is the advent of mobile EEG recording devices. These have been made possible by improvements in batteries, materials, and electronics design, and are presenting opportunities for new devices for health monitoring (sleep, epilepsy, etc.), treatment, and user assistance such as brain-computer interfaces.

However, with new opportunities also come new challenges. When EEG recordings are moved out of the controlled environment of the laboratory, possible issues with the signal quality grow exponentially. This can be due to damage to equipment, incorrect use, or simply body movement and muscle activity. In this way, connection issues may be both brief or near constant, and they can influence the recorded signal in very different ways. Additionally, due to their similar frequency ranges, it can be difficult to distinguish between the disturbances and actual EEG signals. The recent move from wet to dry-contact electrodes has only made the problem more pertinent as the impedance of the electrode-skin interface for dry-contact electrodes is often several orders of magnitude larger than the impedance for wet electrode interfaces. In addition, impedance mismatches between the electrodes are also typically higher for dry-contact electrodes compared to wet electrodes. These characteristics require carefully designed electrical instrumentation to obtain high-quality EEG measurements.

Using modern, advanced integrated electronics, it is possible to measure the impedance (and so the quality of the electrode contact) between electrode and skin, even for mobile systems with dry-contact electrodes. By repeatedly measuring it, we can obtain not only a rapidly updated status on the electrode contact but also ground truth labels, which can be used in designing a pipeline for post-hoc labeling of the recordings.

During this research, continuous and semi-continuous bio-impedance measurements will be investigated. The bio-impedance measurement features low-noise current injection, large dynamic range, and high resolution. While being technical in nature, the project would have a huge impact on wearable EEG, and through that, developments in real-life uses of neuroscience. Estimating signal quality is a hugely important task when developing and deploying new devices, which may be overlooked when planning the project. The proposed project would culminate in a general recipe for a solution that could be implemented across devices, helping to lift the entire field.

Salary, holiday payment, pension contributions and the like include all employer and employee's taxes and contributions. Thus, figures are before taxes are paid, and taxes may differ depending on individual circumstances. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement, and salary is depending on seniority. Salary includes a non-pensionable PhD supplement. The allowances mentioned in the EU work programme (living allowance, mobility allowance and, if applicable, family allowance) will be part of the salary. Allowance rates can be found in the relevant EU Work Programme (under MSCA doctoral network - Applicable unit contributions), and country correction coefficient can be found in the same document.

Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences:
We are looking for highly motivated and independent studentswilling to take on the challenge to do a successful 3-year Ph.D. programme at Aarhus University. The design will have tape-out in nanoscale CMOS technologies. The successful candidate will work in an interdisciplinary team of people from different fields, and close collaboration with industry partners.

The ideal candidate will have all or most of the following profile:
  • Relevant Master’s degree (120 ECTS) (e.g., Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering).
  • Excellent undergraduate and master’s degree grades are required.
  • Background in IC design, especially in front-end design is highly desired, but candidates from other disciplines will be considered based on their merits and potential.
  • A thorough understanding of low-power design challenges (Amplifiers, Filters, voltage and current references, etc.) in CMOS technology.
  • Background on instrumentation amplifiers.
  • Experience with Cadence software.
  • Background in linear algebra, mathematics, and statistics is desired.

Language Proficiency:
  • Exhibit a good command of English, both in written and spoken forms.

Team Collaboration:
  • Willingness to work collaboratively in a group setting within the laboratory.
  • Ability to contribute to common projects, share experimental results and learn from colleagues.

Motivation:
  • Display high motivation to actively participate in the 3-year Ph.D. program leading to a doctoral degree.

Flexibility:
  • Willingness to engage in mandatory secondments between members of the DONUT consortium.
  • Ability to work independently when required.

Initiative and Proactivity:
  • Demonstrate a proactive and highly initiative approach to tasks and challenges.

Preferred Experience:
  • Previous experience in IC measurement will be highly valued.

Specific Requirements
  • Relevant Master’s degree (120 ECTS) (e.g., Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering).
  • Background in IC design
  • Experience with Cadence software.

Languages:
  • English. Level: good

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus.

EU eligibility requirements in Marie Curie Doctoral Networks:
  • Supported researchers must be doctoral candidates, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment. Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible.
  • Researchers must be enrolled in a doctoral programme leading to the award of a doctoral degree in at least one EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country, and for Joint Doctorates in at least two.
  • Recruited researchers can be of any nationality and must comply with the following mobility rule: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date.
  • Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays and time spent by the researcher as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention75 are not taken into account.
  • Secondments are eligible for up to one third of the actual months spent implementing the research training activities under the action.
  • In case of industrial doctorates, doctoral candidates must spend at least 50% of their fellowship duration in the non-academic sector.’

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:
How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application.

Application deadline is Sunday 26 Maj 2024 at 23:59 CEST.

Starting date can be as soon as possible but no later than 01 January 2025.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note:
  • Only documents received prior to the application deadline will be evaluated. Thus, documents sent after deadline will not be taken into account.
  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.