PhD-candidate position at NUTRIM-Dept. of Human Biology for the CarboSupport-project

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 18 Feb 2021

PhD-candidate position at NUTRIM-Dept. of Human Biology for the CarboSupport-project
PhD-candidate position at NUTRIM-Dept. of Human Biology for the CarboSupport-project
Published Deadline Location
3 Feb 18 Feb Maastricht

The department of Human Biology is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate and an enthusiastic researcher for a challenging research project
Job description

Project description NWO Carbohydrate Competence Center

Evidence is accumulating that the gut microbiome is involved in the aetiology of obesity and obesity-related complications such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The gut microbiota is able to ferment indigestible carbohydrates (for example, dietary fibre), thereby yielding important metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids. This project will elucidate the impact of indigestible carbohydrates and proteins on the gut microbiota, its metabolites and immune and metabolic health in overweight, prediabetic individuals. To this end, the project involves screening of dietary components with ‘in vitro’ colonic fermentation models and the conduction of human dietary intervention studies using state-of-the-art techniques to assess metabolic health parameters and gut microbiota composition. Within this project ‘CarboSupport’ we are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate.

Role Description

The PhD candidate will :

  • Study relevant literature in the field of the gut microbiota and its metabolites and host metabolism 
  • Work out the details of the project proposal and obtain medical ethical approval 
  • Plan, coordinate and perform the human intervention studies and ‘in vitro’ fermentation experiments
  • Present and distribute the results and updates of the project in form of oral presentations and high-quality articles

Main Tasks and responsibilities

We offer a challenging PhD research project and we ask for a highly motivated, and enthusiastic researcher who will be responsible for:

  • Contributing to the full project plan
  • Staying abreast of developments in his scientific discipline by keeping up with the scientific literature in his field and visiting scientific meetings
  • Generating ideas within the scope of the defined subject
  • Supervising of research assistants and students, where appropriate
  • Keeping up with the latest scientific developments and integrating these in the project
  • Keeping traceable records of all results and analyses according to good clinical practice guidelines and FAIR Data Principles
  • Writing high-quality clearly written papers about the results obtained
  • Completing a thesis within 4 years.

  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • Maastricht View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)


MSc. in medicine, nutrition, biomedical sciences or health sciences, with proven interest in the biochemical and functional  aspects of gut microbiota and metabolism. Excellent communication and organisational skills are a requirement, as well as the qualities to work within a team.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

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 > Support > UM employees .

Before the end of the first year, an evaluation takes place and a go-no go decision will be taken for the other three years.
Each year an evaluation will take place.

Your salary would be € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance.

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 20,000 students and 4,700 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.


NUTRIM - School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism / Department of Human Biology

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.

Research within The department of  Human Biology (Department of Human Biology) focuses on various aspects of human and metabolic health and how lifestyle factors can affect health, with an emphasis on Nutrition and Physical Activity. Using a translational scientific approach, our mission is to generate and transfer knowledge to improve health, well-being and sustainability of our society. The Department has a close fit to the themes and research of the Maastricht University Medical Center+ and the Campus Venlo (Innovative health foods).

Within the Department, four research groups are embedded, related to:

  • Obesity and Obesity-related health risks
  • Exercsie Metabolism, Protein Metabolism, and Sarcopenia
  • Molecular Genetics of Obesity
  • and a joint embedding of the research group Microbiology of the Gastro-Intestinal tract with Campus Venlo.

NUTRIM aims to contribute to health maintenance and personalised medicine by unraveling lifestyle and disease-induced derangements in metabolism and by developing targeted nutritional, exercise and drug interventions.

This is facilitated by a state of the art research infrastructure and close interaction between scientists, clinicians, master and PhD students.

Additional information

Additional Information can be obtained from:

Prof dr Ir Ellen E. Blaak, department of Human Biology, , tel 0641737899

Prof dr Koen Venema, department of Human Biology,

Application procedure

You can send your application, with a current CV and motivation letter, to: .
Please mention also the vacancy number/job number (AT2021.32) and/or the project name in your application.

Maastricht University is committed to nurturing an inclusive culture and a welcoming atmosphere. This inclusiveness strategy has resulted in a very diverse representation of nationalities and cultures. We strongly believe that diversity (including, but not limited to nationality, age and gender) of the staff and student population will increase the quality of UM education & research. Fostering diversity and inclusivity creates an academic community where individual talents thrive, and values and differences are cherished. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are qualified for this position.

Apply via postal mail
Apply via postal mail

Don't forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2021.32 in your letter.

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