Postdoc Position in single cell analysis of cell differentiation in vivo (1.0 FTE)

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Postdoc Position in single cell analysis of cell differentiation in vivo (1.0 FTE)

Job description

Join the Van den Heuvel lab , currently offering a post-doctoral research position in Developmental Biology. The focus of the project will be to reveal the regulatory logic of cellular decision making in the context of animal development. Specifically, we seek to better understand how precursor cells commit to a differentiated state, and how this is coordinated with a permanent arrest of cell division. To address these questions, we will perform detailed quantitative analyses of native cells during their differentiation trajectory in the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), in combination with sophisticated genetic manipulation.
This project is part of a consortium effort and incorporates the latest technologies in transcriptome, epigenome, and proteome analysis. It involves close collaboration with specialists in single-cell analysis from the Korswagen and Van Oudenaarden labs at the Hubrecht Institute, proteomics techniques from the Vermeulen lab at Radboud University Nijmegen, and computational modelling from the Ten Tusscher lab at Utrecht University.
You, as post-doctoral researcher, will become part of the highly interactive Developmental Biology community at Utrecht University. This will include daily interactions with fellow researchers in the van den Heuvel, Boxem and Ruijtenberg labs and with graduate students and post-docs who work on related topics with one of the consortium partners. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with many other researchers within the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity including the Akhmanova, Kapitein, Baubec, and Ten Tusscher labs as well as other researchers across the broader Utrecht University campus.
We also would like to draw your attention to another postdoc position within the Van den Heuvel lab. More information can be found on our website: Postdoc position: Optogenetic studies of cell division and cell fate in C. elegans (1.0 FTE) . The requirements of both positions are similar, so you are welcome to apply to both positions. In case you apply for both positions you may be invited for a joint interview so we can discuss which position best suits your interests and abilities.


We are looking for a curious and dedicated scientist. We would also like you to bring the following qualifications:

  • a PhD degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or a related field;
  • a strong interest in molecular biology;
  • previous experience with independent research, and preferably with genetic model organisms, advanced microscopy, and/or bioinformatic data analysis;
  • experience in scientific writing, communication and presentation in English;
  • a clear motivation to work on a challenging project in a multidisciplinary and international research team.

  • a position for a year that can be prolonged to three years, after a positive evaluation;
  • embedding in a great team of top Life Sciences researchers;
  • a gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - that ranges between €3.226 and €5,090 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment;
  • a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. pension scheme.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions , including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development , (partly paid) parental leave, sports  and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University .

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes . Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.
At the Faculty of Science , there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. 
Research within the department of Biology is organized in two institutes: the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity (IBB) and the Institute of Environmental Biology (IEB). The department of Biology coordinates the teaching of the Bachelor’s programme in Biology, as well as Master’s programmes and PhD courses that are offered through the Graduate School of Life Sciences.
Research in the Developmental Biology division makes use of a multidisciplinary strategy in genetic animal model systems (C. elegans, zebrafish, organoids) to acquire a deeper fundamental understanding of the processes that determine development and health. Three teams that use the C. elegans model work closely together and share experience in C. elegans genetics and biology, as well as technologies (latest CRISPR knock-in/knockout strategies, live imaging, advanced microscopy) on a daily basis. In addition, there are frequent interactions and joint lab meetings with neighbouring labs (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Biophysics), and other groups (Genome Biology and Epigenetics, Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics) in the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity (IBB).

Additional information

If you have any questions about this position, please contact Sander van den Heuvel , via .
Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to .


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you are enthusiastic about this position, apply via the 'apply now' button. Please enclose: 

  • a one-page cover letter describing the reasons behind your interest in the position;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • name, telephone number, and email address of three references.

Promising candidates will be invited to an interview. As part of the selection procedure, you will be invited to give a short presentation about your previous research.
The faculty strives for diversity among its employees and students and is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, as can be read in Utrecht University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.
If this specific opportunity is not for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward the link to them.
The position will be immediately available after acceptance.

The application deadline is
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