A call is open for one research fellow at the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI) of the University of Madeira (Funchal, Portugal), in the context of the “NeuroAugVR – Stroke Neurorehabilitation Augmented by Virtual Reality and EEG-neurofeedback: Neuroimaging-based Validation and Optimization” project financed by the FCT (PTDC/CCI-COM/31485/2017).
Scientific areas: Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, Biomedical Engineering
The ideal candidate would be a computer scientist, electric, electronic or tele-communications engineer or a closely related discipline with background in one or more of the following fields: Game development, Human Computer Interaction, Signal processing.
Applicants should fulfil the following requirements:
- MSc degree in computer science, electric, electronic or tele-communications engineering or other relevant disciplines for the project;
- Strong oral and written English communication skills, people skills, the ability to work independently as well as a team member of the NeuroRehabLab (http://neurorehabilitation.m-iti.org/lab/) and taking the initiative and being proactive;
- Willingness to participate and lead End—User evaluations with healthy, elderly and patients.
This project combines the latest research findings for effective stroke rehabilitation together with novel biomedical systems for brain monitoring (EEG, fMRI) and VR biofeedback, providing simpler and effective neurorehabilitation solutions. The aim of this project is to develop a novel and more inclusive rehabilitation system with the use of novel ICT technologies, in order to overcome current limitations. This will be achieved by identifying the neural correlates of motor action during motor imagery through brain imaging (fMRI), and differences in brain activation with different training feedback protocols for formulating user-specific models that will be used later in neurofeedback rehabilitation sessions through immersive VR feedback. The socio-economic impact of such a system is significant, allowing for novel personalized and home-based eHealth solutions for all patients. Thus, also decreasing the financial burden in the national health system.
The main task for the accepted candidate will be to design clinical interventions using BCI-VR tools and support the research project with the development of Virtual Rehabilitation scenarios using BCIs applied to stroke, and related research tools.
The main tasks will consist of:
- Supporting the development of BCI-based virtual reality scenarios using the Unity game engine (https://unity3d.com/) for post stroke rehabilitation, with emphasis on the motor aspect.
- Creating study-designs for EEG-based experiments.
- Acquiring EEG (Electroencephalography) signals through the OpenVibe platform and analyzing physiological signals together with machine learning methods.
- Performing clinical interventions of virtual-reality-based platforms together with Brain-Computer Interfacing.
- Physiological Signal processing and Statistical data analysis mainly through Matlab (EEGLAB)
- Create fMRI protocol design and perform brain imaging under the supervision of specialized medical staff.
Legislation and regulations: The scholarships are directed to applicants under the law no. 40/2004 of August 18th (Research Grant Holder Statute) and the current conditions established on the FCT regulations: http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/docs/RegulamentoBolsasFCT.pdf
Work place: The candidate will work within an interdisciplinary team of researchers with competences in both technical and clinical domains. The work will be conducted at Madeira-ITI (Funchal, Portugal) in close collaboration with the NeuroAugVR project partners and end users, under the supervision of Prof. Sergi Bermúdez i Badia (http://neurorehabilitation.m-iti.org).
Scholarship length: The scholarship will have a length of 12 months, with the possibility of renewal for additional periods, for a period never after the project’s end. The start date is expected to be in September or the soonest after if not possible.
Monthly stipend: The student will receive a stipend of 989,70€/month as determined by the FCT regulations (http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores). Voluntary Social Security (SSV) and accidents insurance are included.
Selection process: The selection process will be based on:
- Motivation letter (10%)
- Curriculum Vitae (30%)
- Previous experience (20%)
- Interview (40%)
Recommendation letters are facultative but can contribute positively to the evaluation.
Speaking and understanding Portuguese will also be considered as a plus.
Evaluation based on the scale: Excellent (4), Good (3) Satisfactory (2), and Poor (0). Selection committee: Mónica S. Cameirão, PhD, Sergi Bermúdez i Badia, PhD (President), Eduardo Fermé, PhD.
Notification of results: The final results will be published through an ordered list by final note that will be posted in a visible and public place at the Madeira-ITI, being all candidates notified by email.
Candidacy term and applications form: The competition will be open over the period of 29-07-2019 and 31-08-2019.
Required documents include a transcript of degrees, CV and motivation letter.
Applications and queries must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the reference “NeuroAugVR_HR01.”