PhD in Biophysics

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Sep 2022

PhD in Biophysics
PhD in Biophysics
Published Deadline Location
11 Aug 15 Sep Delft

Job description

Proteins are the workhorses in all living cells and, as such, form the basis of all living systems. In order to fully understand biological processes, it is critical to be able to identify and quantify the proteins in cells at any given time in the cell cycle. This can be done by sequencing since each protein has a unique amino acid sequence. However, practical realization of protein sequencing remains an enormous challenge. Small sample size, in which the numbers of specific proteins can differ by orders of magnitude, and the necessity to distinguish 20 different amino acids are only a few of the obstacles currently limiting our ability to sequence proteins. Furthermore, proteins cannot be amplified outside the cell, unlike DNA and RNA, which complicates the sequencing task. The plethora of protein modifications and alternative splicing further increases the complexity of the proteome to several million distinct protein molecules in a cell.

We are looking for a highly motivated student with significant physics or engineering research experience to develop a novel sequencing technique that probes the protein profile using aptamers with sub-nanometre resolution. This high-resolution method, combined with nanotechnology, will be used for analysing proteoforms, particularly, splicing isoforms and post-translational modifications. We will be able to sequence single proteins and their proteoforms and therefore create the opportunity for single-cell proteomics and screening for on-site medical diagnostics. It will lead to a revolution in biophysics, biotechnology, and healthcare. Do you want to join developing this ground-breaking technology? Check the application procedure below. 

  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Delft View on Google Maps

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


The candidate should have an MSc degree in the field of physics or engineering. An application from a candidate who is experienced in biochemistry will be favorably treated, but this is not a requirement. 

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct ). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Faculty Applied Sciences

With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Department profile:

Bionanoscience is a multidisciplinary department that is dedicated to the study of fundamental and applied biological questions with cutting-edge tools from biology, physics and nanotechnology. Research topics range from single molecule biophysics and cell biology to synthetic biology and artificial cells. The department offers excellent technical facilities, including an advanced microscopy suite and next-generation sequencing.

Section profile:

The Joo group is a single-molecule biophysics research lab within the Department of Bionanoscience at the TU Delft. Using single-molecule fluorescence tools, we develop single-molecule protein sequencers.

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Chirlmin Joo (group leader) via

Working at TU Delft

Join the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. Work on clever solutions for worldwide challenges, to change the world and make an impact. Ready to bring your energy to our research?

Challenge, change, impact!

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 15 September 2022 via the application button and upload the following: 

  • Detailed CV
  • Letter of application
  • Contact information of two references

Applications will be evaluated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

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