Postdoctoral Position in Physics

Liege University




A postdoctoral position is available at the GIGA – Cyclotron Research Centre / In vivo
Imaging (GIGA-CRC IVI), University of Liège, Belgium. The successful candidate will engage
in a multidisciplinary team developing methods for studying the human brain at ultra-high
field (UHF – 7T). You will develop advanced neuroimaging data acquisition techniques, with
particular focus on ultra-high resolution quantitative and microstructural MR imaging, in
collaboration with research centres of excellence across Europe (Leipzig, London,
Hamburg, Maastricht, Lausanne).

Responsibilities – main function

You will be in charge of developing and validating MRI techniques at 7T in close cooperation
with the neuroimaging application team. The position includes the following

 Your own project: focus on one research project to develop, optimize and validate
innovative MRI techniques for at least one of the following applications: ultra-high
resolution MRI for quantitative and microstructural MRI (relaxometry,
magnetization transfer, susceptibility mapping), delineation and automated
segmentation of the brainstem and subcortical nuclei (in particular: locus
coeruleus, substantia nigra, subthalamic nuclei), robust metabolic imaging (in
particular GluCEST). Data acquisition and image reconstruction will be combined
with the development of advanced processing methods.

 Optimizing and validating MRI protocols based on established sequences for
neuroimaging studies.

 Developing quality assurance and quality control tools for 7T data.

 Publishing results at scientific congresses and in high-quality peer-reviewed

Your work will be carried out in collaboration with other UHF centres (see work
environment below) and with the support of Siemens Healthineers (research and
collaboration agreement). The research will be supervised by Dr Evelyne Balteau (MR
physicist) and Dr Christophe Phillips (biomedical engineer).

Qualifications and requirements

 PhD degree in physics, medical physics, engineering, computer sciences, or a
comparable subject. If not already held, the PhD must be obtained by the agreed

 In depth knowledge of MRI physics. A strong background in MRI pulse sequence
design and/or image reconstruction is essential, ideally with experience in
Siemens IDEA sequence development environment (SDE), image calculation
environment (ICE) and/or "Gadgetron".

 Outstanding programming skills, in one or more of the following languages: C/C++,
Python, Matlab. Important: good knowledge and practice of version tracking
software (e.g. git, mercurial).

 Experience in developing advanced MRI methodology and data analysis, in
particular for quantitative and microstructural MRI (e.g. relaxometry,
magnetization transfer mapping, susceptibility mapping, diffusion modelling,
automated segmentation and volumetry).

 Autonomy, communication and cooperation skills within a multidisciplinary team,
to discuss and address questions relevant to neuroscientists and clinicians.

 Good general knowledge of the scientific and clinical research applications of MRI.

 Ideally, experience in one or more of the following fields: parallel transmit
hardware and concepts, shimming and static field homogeneity, dynamic

 Commitment and reliability.

 Creativity and innovation.

 Good spoken and written English.

 The applicant should be able to demonstrate a consistently outstanding academic
record, including a history of publishing in MRI scientific journals.

Work environment

GIGA-CRC IVI is a research team that includes psychologists, biologists, neurologists,
chemists, physicists and engineers, gathering complementary skills in developing novel
technical and methodological tools to better characterise the structure and function of the
human brain. Applications and fields of research include sleep and chronobiology, healthy
ageing and neurodegenerative diseases, multiple sclerosis, glioblastomas, and many fields
of cognitive neuroscience.

The team has direct access to research-dedicated equipment, including a PET scanner
(ECAT+, Siemens), a 3T whole-body MRI scanner (Magnetom Prisma, Siemens), neuro-
navigated TMS-EEG equipment, high-density EEG system and a sleep and chronobiology
unit with five temperature-controlled, light-calibrated, soundproof bedrooms equipped for
EEG recordings. A 7T Magnetom Terra MRI scanner (Siemens) has been installed in
February 2019 with parallel transmit and multi-nuclear (23Na, 13Ca, 31P, 19F) capabilities.
It is equipped for functional MRI and complemented by ultra-fast optical prospective
motion correction devices (Kineticor).

In the fields of in vivo histology using MRI (hMRI), quantitative MRI and UHF MRI, the GIGACRC IVI works in close collaboration with other research centres such as the Max Planck
Institute, Leipzig (Dr Nikolaus Weiskopf), the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging,
UCL, London (Dr Martina Callaghan), the Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre, Maastricht
University (Dr Benedikt Poser), the Department of Systems Neuroscience, Medical Center
Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg (Dr Siawoosh Mohammadi) and the Laboratoire de
recherche en Neuroimagerie, Lausanne (Dr Antoine Lutti).
The GIGA-CRC IVI is also a member of the European Ultrahigh-Field Imaging Network in
Neurodegenerative Diseases (EUFIND), which comprises 24 sites in Europe. Additionally,
GIGA-CRC-IVI has research and collaboration agreements with Siemens.

Contract duration

The position is a full-time position for 2 years. Start date will be preferably no later than
September 1 st 2020. We will prioritize candidates who ambition to sustain a long-term
research career in Liège and to develop a MRI-physic lab at the GIGA-CRC IVI.
Monthly salary will be provided upon request and follows Belgian regulations.


Applicants are invited to respond before July 1st 2020. Please include all the following
documents in PDF format: CV, list of publications including software contributions (GitHub,
Bitbucket...), contact information for two referees, a brief letter (maximum 2 pages)
describing your personal qualifications, research interests and motivation for applying, and
copies of up to two of your publications.

Applications should be sent via email to Dr Christine Bastin (

Candidates shortlisted for interview will be contacted as they arise.

For informal enquiries and discussion
Interested candidates can get in touch with Dr Evelyne Balteau (

In your application, please refer to