Postdoctoral researcher Epigenetics

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;

Do you have experience within epigenetics and/or genetics? Would you like to work in a multidisciplinary team of behavioral geneticists, biomedical researchers and genetic epidemiologists? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Are you a talented postdoc with excellent programming skills? Then we would like you to join our epigenetics research team! As a postdoc, you assist with the expanding epigenetic database of the Netherlands Twin Register (


The Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) biobank has one of the largest genome-wide DNA methylation datasets worldwide. Recently, another round of epigenetic profiling (Illumina EPIC arrays) was completed. This generated a total of over 6000 samples measured on DNA methylation arrays. This database includes DNA methylation data from multiple tissues, and longitudinal samples from twins and family members with extensive longitudinal phenotype data available. For subsets of participants, it includes genomic data and other omics data as well. Ongoing NTR-led epigenetic projects focus on the development of asthma, effects of twinning and assisted reproductive technologies, effects of victimization in youth, effects of substance use and physical (in)activity. In addition, the NTR participates in large international consortia focusing on the role of DNA methylation in (mental) health.  

Our research focuses on the epigenome, to enhance insights into the mechanisms through which environment and genome interact. We study how these mechanisms give rise to individual differences in behaviour and health. We also aim to contribute to the identification of novel biomarkers. We study the connections between the epigenome and exposures and disease across the lifespan, from prenatal development to childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Through epigenetics, we study the biological embedding of societal inequalities, and the impact of adversity and health behaviors on vulnerability and resilience.
You contribute to these projects by assisting in data analysis, data management and QC. Plus, you present results on conferences and to the lay audience, and write scientific papers.

This project receives financial support by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

  • a PhD in (epi)genetics, bioinformatics, statistical genetics, epidemiology, artificial intelligence, or similar
  • excellent programming skills in R, including R packages for high dimensional OMICs data analysis (preferentially DNA methylation array analysis)
  • experience with the analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation array (or highly similar) data
  • experience in working with large datasets and cluster computing
  • interest in human molecular genetics and twin research on behaviour and health
  • excellent English writing and speaking skills
  • interest in supervising students

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,960 (scale 10)

and a maximum €4,670 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge
  • contribution to commuting expenses

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences focuses on the broad domain of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society, from healthy aging to e-health, from juvenile crime to dealing with depression, from training for top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We are unique in that we combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education.

Working at Behavioural and Movement Sciences means working in an ambitious organization that is characterized by an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. Our faculty offers tremendous scope for personal development. We employ more than 600 staff members, and we are home to around 3,400 students.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until


Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr Jenny van Dongen
Position: assistant professor
E-mail: j,

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