Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: ;

Do you have a background in (behavioral) genetics and strong computational skills? Do you want to unravel the biology of comorbidity in human disease? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The Complex Trait Genetics lab (

) at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (

) offers a PhD position in Comorbidity and Genetics. Do you have experience in genetical modelling, and an interest in statistics? Are you motivated to work in a multidisciplinary research environment? Then this may be an interesting offer for you.

Medical/mental disorders often show a higher comorbidity with other disorders than would be expected by chance. This comorbidity may have a genetic basis, which we can study using genetic data from large population samples. Such studies allow use to describe the biology of comorbidity among networks of disorders in more detail. The aim of this project is to examine such comorbidity disease networks from a genetic perspective. You will work with existing statistical tools, and develop new tools where necessary.

At the CTG lab, you will work in an enthusiastic multidisciplinary team of PhD candidates and postdocs with diverse backgrounds, including statistics, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, psychology, and stem cell biology.

Your duties

  • you develop methodology to extend the genetic comorbidity tool kit
  • you apply existing comorbidity tools to data on human disease traits
  • you author and co-author manuscripts submitted to high quality journals
  • you dedicate around 10% of your time to teaching activities
  • you present your work to the international community

  • a Master’s degree in human genetics, computational neuroscience, statistics/mathematics, bioinformatics or a related field
  • demonstrable experience in statistical analyses and scientific programming (e.g. python, R) and working in a UNIX environment
  • demonstrable experience in genetic data analysis is an asset
  • good communication skills
  • you support ‘open science’: we encourage sharing tools and data with the wider scientific community

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

About the department Complex Trait Genetics
Research at the department of Complex Trait Genetics focuses on identifying the genetic mechanisms of brain-related traits. We develop novel statistical and bioinformatics tools to optimally analyze large genome-wide data sets for complex traits, combine them with biological data and generate hypotheses that can be tested in functional studies to obtain mechanistic insight.


You are requested to write a letter in which you describe your abilities and motivation, accompanied by your curriculum vitae, a list of grades of your MSc and the names and contact details of two scientific referees. Please compile all this together in one document and convert it to pdf.

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your documents as mentioned above until 25/07/2022. The job interviews are planned for 26/07/2022 and 29/7/2022, when possible please take them into account when applying for the position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Sophie van der Sluis
Position: Associate Professor
Telephone: + 31 20 598 68 33

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