PhD Candidate in Computational and Developmental Biology

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 10 Dec 2023

0.8 - 1.0 FTE

Gross monthly salary
€ 2,770 - € 3,539

Required background
Research University Degree

Organizational unit
Faculty of Science

Application deadline
10 December 2023

Apply now
Are you an aspiring researcher with an interest in embryonic development? And are you eager to understand how individual cells in the early mammalian embryo decide their future fate using computational approaches? Then join the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences as a PhD candidate!
The early mammalian embryo, or epiblast, is composed of pluripotent cells that can generate all specialised cell types of the body. The epiblast cell population is heterogeneous, showing stochastic differences in transcriptome and epigenome between cells that affect their differentiation potential. In this project, you will address how a system composed of intrinsically stochastic epiblast cells can show robust and deterministic fate decisions, utilising single-cell genomic/epigenomic datasets from in vitro developing mouse gastruloids that will be generated within the consortium. You will apply state-of-the-art genetic/epigenetic computational approaches, integrative -omics, cellular trajectory analysis, agent-based modelling and other types of predictive modelling, supported by our in-house computational biology unit.
At the Molecular Biology department, you will be part of the Stem Cell group focusing on the unique regulatory mechanisms acting in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to maintain their pluripotent state and prepare for gastrulation. More information on our research can be found in our recent publications in Nature Cell Biology (2022; PMID: 35697783), Cell Stem Cell (2019; PMID: 30472157), and Trends in Cell Biology (2019; PMID: 31178244), and online: Hendrik Marks . The project is embedded within an ambitious and interactive research environment, both in the department and in the NWO-ENW-XL consortium. There are ample opportunities for collaboration in and outside the Netherlands, including a long-term international research visit. As part of the PhD training, you will take part in our medical biology educational programme, assisting in one or two courses per year and supervise BSc and MSc students within the context of your project.
  • You hold a Master's degree in molecular or cellular biology, molecular life sciences, biomedical sciences, physics, or a related field, with a focus on computational biology.
  • You have experience in one or several of the following areas: mathematical modelling, artificial intelligence, single-cell genomics analysis, genome-wide epigenomic approaches, or computational embryology.
  • You have a strong interest in exploring the biological mechanisms underlying early mammalian development, cellular function and cellular communication.
  • You are highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment at the cutting edge of science.
  • You possess strong analytical skills and have a problem-solving, result-oriented attitude.
  • You are proficient in using data visualisation tools and software to effectively communicate complex results.
  • You are a highly communicative and team science-minded professional who is able to collaborate with experimental biologists and provide bioinformatics expertise for their research projects.
  • You have a good command of the English language, both verbal and written.

We are
The Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS) is a leading interfaculty research institute of the faculties of Science (FNWI) and Medicine (Radboud university medical center). The central research theme is regulation of gene expression during development and in health and disease. Research areas of RIMLS-FNWI include epigenetics, stem-cell and developmental biology, and computational biology. Important tools used by the institute include next generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, single-cell (multi-omics) analysis and computational analysis. To perform state-of-the-art research, RIMLS-FNWI operates its own wet-lab and computational facilities. Within the NWO-ENW-XL consortium, you will work closely together with researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute (groups led by Elzo de Wit and Tineke Lenstra respectively), the University of Amsterdam (groups led by Marten Postma and Renée van Amerongen respectively) and the Hubrecht Institute (Jop Kind's group). So that part of your PhD will most likely take place at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and/or University of Amsterdam. RIMLS-FNWI actively contributes to teaching activities in the Biology programme at Radboud University. The RIMLS-FNWI institute currently consists of 50 researchers (including 30 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers) and provides a vivid and international working environment. The institute actively participates in international consortia and collaborations.

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!
We offer
  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P ).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services . Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions . You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

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Would you like more information?
For questions about the position, please contact Hendrik Marks, Associate Professor, at +31 24 361 05 61 or [email protected] .
Practical information and applying
You can apply until 10 December 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Hendrik Marks. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation, outlining your special interest in the position, relevant qualifications, experience and career goals.
  • Your CV, including the contact details of at least two professional referees.
  • A list of grades obtained for the Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
The first round of Interviews will take place in the week of 18 December.
You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.
We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure . It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.
Apply now Application deadline 10 December 2023

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Dr H. Marks (Hendrik)
Associate Professor
[email protected] +31 24 361 05 61
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When are you an internal candidate?
You are an internal candidate if you:
  • Work at Radboud University (i.e. have an employment contract with Radboud University).
  • Are a former Radboud University employee receiving unemployment (WW/BWNU) benefits paid by Radboud University (which started less than two years ago or resulted from the discontinuation of your job/redundancy).
  • Currently work as a student employee at Radboud University through the campus employment office.
  • Work as a temporary employee at, or have been seconded to, Radboud University.

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Last modified: 16 November 2023
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