Theoretical Biophysics PhD position

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 30 Jun 2023

Theoretical Biophysics/coronavirus development and packaging

This project is a four-year theoretical project in collaboration with experimentalists. It focuses on questions of precision surrounding virus gene regulation and packaging, especially in the context of coronaviruses. The project will be pursued in collaboration with experimental colleagues as part of the NWO-XL consortium Sars-CoV-2.

One of the coronavirus proteins is involved in gene regulation and the initial stages of packaging, but how it fulfills these different roles is unclear. We will study this question as an example of how efficient and precise certain intracellular processes are. The practical work will use tools from statistical physics (e.g. Ising models), simulations (stochastic Gillespie as well as polymer simulations) and analytic calculations, connected to information theory and stochastic/non-equilibrium thermodynamics. During your PhD, you will need to develop these techniques. You should be interested in the broader as well as concrete biological questions, and collaboration with our colleagues.

You have a degree in physics, mathematics, nano-biology or a related natural science discipline, with a strong interest in theory as well as biophysics. You are excited about biophysics and on processes on the molecular level; you like programming as well as some analytic calculations and enjoy statistical physics or soft matter. You enjoy working collaboratively, both within in this new theory research group, the Bionanoscience theory sector and the experimental collaborators from the NWO-XL consortium. Good communication skills in English are required.

We offer an appointment as PhD student for a period of 1.5 year, which will be extended with a second term of 2.5 years if the candidate performs well. Remuneration will be according to the PhD scales set by the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU), and will range from € 2.541 per month in the first year to € 3.247 per month in the fourth year (gross amounts, in case of fulltime employment). Applicants should have the right to work in the Netherlands for the duration of the contract. Fulltime is considered to be 38 hours per week.

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! 

The Department of Bionanoscience focuses on the fundamental understanding of biological processes, from the level of single molecules to the full complexity of living cells. This research provides fascinating insight in the molecular mechanisms that lead to cellular function. Furthermore it enables the in vitro bottom-up construction of cellular machinery and it impacts applications ranging from biomolecular diagnostics to novel antibiotics and targeted nanomedicine. The department features a strongly multidisciplinary and international team of scientists, whose research areas include single-molecule biophysics, synthetic biology, as well as (quantitative) cell biology.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Marianne Bauer.

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 30 June 2023 via the application button and upload the following information in English (pdf format only):

  • Letter of motivation (generic letters will be disregarded).
  • Detailed CV.
  • Three names of potential references.

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