PhD-candidate at FHML-NUTRIM / depts. Human Biology and Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology-Hepatology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 07 Jul 2022

PhD-candidate at FHML-NUTRIM / depts. Human Biology and Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology-Hepatology
PhD-candidate at FHML-NUTRIM / depts. Human Biology and Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology-Hepatology
Published Deadline Location
23 Jun 7 Jul Maastricht

We are looking for a PhD candidate with a Medical Degree and a strong interest and affinity for academic research in the area of protein metabolism and aging.
Job description

NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism at Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (MUMC+) is seeking candidates to fill 1 position for a recently graduated, talented medical doctor as a PhD candidate, for a joint project of the department of Human Biology and the department of Internal Medicine/division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology.

Project Description
The progressive aging of our population imposes an increasing demand on our healthcare system. The greater morbidity among the elderly is associated with the progressive decline in skeletal muscle mass and function. Apart from altered protein intake and muscle protein synthesis, this can also be affected by the intestinal digestion and absorption capacity. The resulting decline in lean body mass is accompanied by reduced physical performance, loss of functional capacity, and an increased risk of developing chronic metabolic diseases. Within the M3 research group ( ) at the dept. Human Biology, we study the processes underlying this muscular decline, and the impact of various exercise and nutritional interventions to combat these detrimental changes, in order to better maintain muscle mass and function, as well as overall health, both in the general (older) population and in specific patient populations. Within the div. Gastroenterology, we focus on the interaction between diet and GI-function to maintain intestinal health.

The current project will evolve around protein digestion and absorption kinetics and muscle mass preservation in both healthy and clinically compromised individuals by complex human intervention studies, and the candidate should have strong communication skills to setup and maintain collaboration with various clinical groups in the hospital.

Main tasks and responsibilities:
We are looking for a PhD candidate with a Medical Degree and with a strong interest and affinity for academic research in the area of GI tract physiology and/or (muscle) protein metabolism, who will be responsible for:

  • Contribution to the full project plan (under supervision);
  • Setting up and executing actual research studies (writing protocol for ethical clearance, practical preparation for research, subject recruitment, planning and execution of test days, data handling and analyses);
  • Writing scientific manuscripts for publication (under supervision);
  • Active contribution to other research activities within the research group;
  • Setting up and/or maintaining collaboration with various clinical groups at MUMC+;
  • Keeping up with relevant scientific literature within the field of study;
  • Supervision of research assistants and students, where appropriate;
  • Completing a PhD thesis after 4 years.

  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • Maastricht View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)


Candidates should hold a Medical Degree (MSc) to enable execution of invasive research procedures. Demonstrated research affinity and interest in the area of protein metabolism is recommended. The preferred candidate is a team player with excellent collaboration and communication skills, both in Dutch and English. Finally, the candidate should have a strong drive to participate in in vivo human research on the impact of diet and/or physical activity on muscle mass, function, and overall health.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

Temporary employment for 4 years. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 3 years, which happens in the vast majority of cases.

Your salary would be € 2,443 gross per month in the first year up to € 3,122 gross per month in the fourth year conform the PhD salary scale of the Dutch university collective bargaining agreement.. An 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance is also provided.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website  > About UM > Working at UM.

Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
For more information, visit


The Department of Human Biology is part of NUTRIM, School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, within the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of Maastricht University. The central research theme of the Department of Human Biology is Healthy Living with Obesity, Sarcopenia, Energy metabolism and Cardiometabolic Health as spearheads.

The Division Gastroenterology-Hepatology is part of the dept. Internal Medicine of Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+) and embedded in NUTRIM. Their research combines invasive (mechanistic) intervention studies with clinical data to unravel factors contributing to common GI-disorders and to improve intestinal health and general wellbeing.

NUTRIM - School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism is part of the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences of the Maastricht University. NUTRIM catalyses translational research into metabolic and chronic inflammatory disorders (i.e. metabolic syndrome/diabetes, IBD/intestinal failure and COPD) that will contribute to innovative personalized lifestyle and medicine approaches with a focus on nutrition, toxicology and metabolism. Within NUTRIM, approximately 400 scientists including 245 PhD students, and an additional 70 support staff members work interdisciplinary together in 16 Biomedical, clinical, and behavioral-science departments. Through its research master and PhD programme, NUTRIM aims to educate investigators of high scientific excellence and ambassadors to support and develop this research field.
For more information: NUTRIM Website

Additional information

For further information regarding this vacancy, please contact:

Prof. Dr. L.J.C. van Loon
Maastricht University, dept. Human Biology
Phone: +31 – 43-3881397

Prof. Dr. D.M.A.E. Jonkers
Maastricht University, Div. Gastroenterology-Hepatology
Phone: +31 – 43-3881476

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Application procedure

You can respond to this vacancy by sending your motivation letter and CV, stating the vacancy number AT2022.214, by email to:

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

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