Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 02 Apr 2024

21 Feb 2024
Job Information

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
Research Field

Medical sciences
Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Application Deadline

2 Apr 2024 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are substances that alter the function of the endocrine system and negatively affect human and animal health. Working within the Horizon Europe project, MERLON (Merging scientific Evidence with Regulatory practices and Leveraging identification of endocrine disruptors using New approach methodologies), we are looking for a PhD candidate to develop New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) focusing on the effects of EDCs and how they impact neuro- and sexual development.

In this PhD project, you will work with zebrafish embryos and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study how exposure to EDCs during early-life stages will lead to adverse health effects. You will also investigate endpoints and health outcomes that are currently not properly addressed in internationally accepted test guidelines. Multi-generational inherited effects will be assessed using C. elegans, and transcriptomic analysis will support cross-species prediction of EDC-mediated effects. This data will feed into the development of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs), including quantitative AOP (qAOP) development, allowing assessment of thresholds needed to cause an adverse effect.

This project is a collaboration between the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Institute for Life and Environment (VUA–A-LIFE) and the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) - Centre for Health Protection, Department of Innovative Testing Strategies. It is financed by the Horizon Europe project MERLON.

The PhD student will be employed at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam within the section of Environmental Health & Toxicology of the A-LIFE department and be enrolled in VUA’s doctoral program. Regular visits to RIVM are foreseen to discuss the project progress. In 2025, RIVM will move to a new building at Utrecht Science Parc. In addition, the PhD student will work a part of his/her PhD at the RIVM to perform experimental and desk work. You will present your results at national and international conferences, and in relevant scientific journals. Your promotion will be at VUA, with (co)promotors from VUA and RIVM.

Specific Requirements
  • You have an MSc degree in Life Sciences, Cell or Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or a related field with an interest in Toxicology
  • You have an affinity for the field of Endocrinology, Developmental Neurotoxicology or Neuroscience, and/or Endocrine Disruption
  • Good wet lab experimental skills, preferably with experience in in vitro (toxicity) studies, molecular biology and biochemical assays
  • You are a highly motivated multi-tasker with a curiosity for science and attention to detail
  • You are able to work independently as well as in collaboration with others
  • Willingness to alternate between two locations, depending on the results and progress of the project (RIVM Bilthoven/Utrecht and VU Amsterdam)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English at a level appropriate to scientific research
  • Previous experience with C. elegans or zebrafish models are not required but will be considered a benefit

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

Additional Information

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month in the fourth year, for a full-time employment
  • an employment contract of initially one year. If there is a positive evaluation and sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • discount on (and occasionally exclusive access to) theater performances and courses at the Griffioen Cultural Center
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Additional comments

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application with the following documents:

  • a letter in which you describe your abilities and motivation for applying to the position
  • a detailed curriculum vitae with two or three references
  • a list of grades, TOEFL and/or IETLS scores (if available)

Applicants are requested to respond before 2ndApril 2024

Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Postal Code
De Boelelaan 1108

Where to apply



De Boelelaan 1105
Postal Code

1081 HV


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