Are you fascinated by embryonic development? Are you excited by the idea of imaging the dynamic activity of developmental signaling pathways in a 3D in vitro stem cell model for early embryogenesis? Then this may be the job for you!
We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate who is eager to study how individual pluripotent cells respond to developmental signals using gastruloids as a model system. The position is supported by an NWO-ENW-XL consortium grant and will be a highly collaborative effort between the University of Amsterdam, Radboud Universiteit, the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Hubrecht Institute.
You will be embedded in the Developmental, Stem Cell and Cancer Biology group (led by dr. Renée van Amerongen), which is part of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. Research in our group aims to understand how complex tissues are built and maintained. We study this at multiple different levels – “from man or mouse to molecule” – and with a specific focus on WNT and BMP/NODAL signaling. See our website for more details.
What are you going to do?
The early mammalian embryo is composed of pluripotent stem cells that can generate all cell types of the body. At the start of gastrulation, instructive signaling cues determine which developmental trajectory the different cells will take. At the same time, this stem cell population is highly heterogeneous with cell-to-cell variation at the transcriptomic and epigenomic level. The goal of our NWO-XL consortium is to unravel how this collection of heterogenous stem cells becomes an organized structure.
Your focus will be on studying the interplay between BMP, WNT and NODAL signaling using live cell imaging in a 3D model of early embryonic development, termed “gastruloids”. At the beginning of your PhD, a technician will provide experimental support to help you get started. As part of our larger consortium network, you will get the opportunity to incorporate experimental single-cell -omics approaches in collaboration with PhD students and experts throughout the Netherlands.
During your PhD research, you will learn and apply a variety of techniques, including (but not limited to) DNA cloning, 2D mESC culture and targeting using CRISPR/Cas9, 3D gastruloid culture, live-cell confocal microscopy, FACS sorting, and manipulation of gastruloids using a combination of classical developmental biology and state-of-the-art (epi)genome perturbation approaches.
Tasks and responsibilities:
• complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
• use state of the art molecular cell biology approaches to visualize, manipulate and track individual cells in 3D;
• perform your experiments in a systematic and well controlled manner;
• keep accurate records by thoroughly documenting and organizing your work;
• discuss your work in our lab and consortium meetings, incorporate feedback and give input to others;
• assist in teaching and supervise BSc/MSc students during their research internship;
• participate in the Faculty of Science PhD training programme.
You will get the opportunity to:
• Learn a wide variety of molecular, cell biology and imaging techniques;
• Learn, develop and apply quantitative image analysis;
• Build a network as part of our consortium collaborations;
• Present your work at (inter)national meetings;
• Continuously hone your academic, professional and personal skills.
What do you have to offer?
You are an enthusiastic and meticulous researcher who is excited by developmental and/or stem cell biology. You like a challenge, take initiative, and are motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment. You are well organized, enabling you to meet deadlines. Finally, you are a team player and a nice colleague with good communication and problem-solving skills.
Your experience and profile
• a high intrinsic motivation for fundamental research;
• eager to learn new techniques;
• a recent MSc degree in the biomedical sciences (or a related area in molecular and/or cell biology);
• proficient in mammalian tissue culture;
• affinity with confocal microscopy and image analysis;
• fluent in English, both written and spoken.
As long as you are genuinely excited about your project and willing and able to learn, we can teach you everything you need to know. That being said, it will work to your advantage if you already have experience with one or more of the following: embryonic stem cell culture, DNA cloning, confocal microscopy, image analysis (e.g. FIJI, CellPose), bioinformatics analyses and/or computational biology (e.g. R, Python, Matlab).
A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended to a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is September 2023 but we are flexible. We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.
Within the NWO-ENW-XL consortium, you will work closely with researchers from the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (Hendrik Marks group), Hubrecht Institute (Jop Kind group) and Dutch Cancer Institute (Tineke Lenstra group). Your appointment will be at the University of Amsterdam, where you will be co-supervised by experts in developmental signaling and early embryonic development (dr. Thijs van Boxtel and dr. Renée van Amerongen) and quantitative image analysis (dr. Marten Postma).
Your salary will range between €2,541 in the first year to €3,247 gross per month in the last year of employment, on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. A favorable tax agreement, the 30% ruling, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.
Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
• 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
• multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
• a complete educational program for PhD students;
• a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
• the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
• help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.
Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here .
The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.
The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.
The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences is one of eight institutes in the Faculty of Science (FNWI). SILS is a multidisciplinary research institute with a systems biology approach to the life sciences. The institute brings together approximately 240 researchers in 18 research groups.
Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.
Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:
T: +31 20-525 6225
T: +31 20-525 5682
If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 02 July 2023, but we may contact suitable candidates prior to this date.
Applications should include the following information (all files should be submitted in one single pdf file):
• a letter of motivation;
• a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
• the names and contact information of two references (no letters of recommendation are required at this stage)
Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.
The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.
If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.
No agencies please.
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