PhD Candidate in Biophysics: Single-Cell Gene Expression Dynamics

  • 32 - 40 hours per week
  • Maximum gross monthly salary: € 2,972
  • Faculty of Science
  • Job level: Research University Degree
  • Duration of the contract: 4 years
  • Application deadline: 29 March 2020


We are looking for

As a PhD candidate, your aim is to identify core programmes that impact on gene expression variability and ultimately cellular function. You will develop a screen that will identify cis-regulatory elements and a targeted approach to discern physical properties that govern gene expression dynamics in mammalian cells. In the first few months you will focus on getting to know the field, during which you will develop a more detailed project outline. Throughout the project, you will gain extensive proficiency in the most current cell-free biochemistry, sequencing, single-molecule and live-cell microscopy, and mathematical modelling techniques.

You will communicate your findings through research articles during the course of your PhD. You will also be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students. You will develop your own scientific voice, as well as broaden and deepen your knowledge of the field of research by participating in symposia and conferences.

For recent work see: Cell, 2018, 173, 1609: Cell Syst., 2018, 7, 384; Nature Nanotech., 2016, 11, 191.

We ask

  • You have an MSc degree in life sciences (bioinformatics, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, bioengineering or a related field).
  • Wet lab (i.e. mammalian cell culture, cloning) or computational (i.e. mathematical modelling, image analysis) experience.
  • An affinity for maths/computer sciences is advantageous.
  • You have strong communication skills and want to work in an interdisciplinary research team.
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken English.
  • You are creative with an analytical mindset and team spirit.

We are

The research project, led by Dr Maike Hansen, will be carried out in the Biophysical Chemistry group of the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). The IMM's goal is to provide world-leading research and training of students in the area of functional molecules and materials. You will be working with other PhD candidates in the Biophysical Chemistry group of Dr Hans Heus and Prof. Tom de Greef, and in the Physical Organic Chemistry group of Prof. Wilhelm Huck. You will be working in a dynamic, highly interdisciplinary environment, with access to state-of-the-art microfluidics labs, confocal microscopy set-ups, and cell culture facilities.

The field of stochastic processes has long been investigated in mathematics and physics. The study of stochastic processes in biology, however, is relatively recent and has really taken off since the emergence of single-cell technologies. It is therefore an exciting time to be working in this innovative, interdisciplinary field that is constantly evolving.

The IMM is an interdisciplinary research institute in chemistry and physics at the Faculty of Science (FNWI) of Radboud University. IMM's mission is to perform fundamental research to understand, design and control the functioning of molecules and materials and to train the next generation of leaders in science and entrepreneurship to the highest international standards. You will have the opportunity to interact with the researchers at IMM and participate in institute-wide activities.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent and collaboration. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • Employment: 32 - 40 hours per week.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (p scale).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.
  • You will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service: our Dual Career Officer will assist with family-related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.
  • Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Would you like more information?

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
M.M.K. Hansen, Assistant Professor

Apply directly

Please address your application to M.M.K. Hansen and submit it, using the application button, no later than 29 March 2020, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Motivation letter.
  • CV (including the names and contact details of at least two academic references).


We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.