PhD Candidate in Bioengineering of Human Heart Development

0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary
€ 2,541 - € 3,247
Required background
Research University Degree
Organizational unit
Faculty of Science
Application deadline
We are looking for a PhD candidate to participate in a multidisciplinary team in Nijmegen and Twente to develop innovative human heart organoid models. Cardiovascular disease is one of the major causes of death and morbidity worldwide, and congenital heart disease is the most common cause of death among deaths attributable to birth defects. Importantly, cardiomyocytes obtained by differentiation of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells can be used to model cardiovascular disease and to identify drug targets for therapy. Notably, these cardiomyocytes exhibit features that reflect the disease pathology of the patient, representing a cutting-edge platform for drug discovery, disease modelling, and regenerative medicine. Exciting recent results of the team have opened new avenues for bioengineering heart tissues that feature multiple layers and cell types, which could revolutionise heart disease modelling.

As a member of this team you will perform state-of-the-art single-cell genomics and epigenomics experiments to study the self-organisation and differentiation potential of cardiac cell types in bioengineered human heart tissue. You will collaborate with team members who specialise in stem cell differentiation (Twente), bioengineering (Twente) and computational biology (Nijmegen, Twente) as part of an NWO-XL project called HeartEngine. As part of the Veenstra lab in the Department of Molecular Developmental Biology, you will enter our four-year PhD programme at Radboud University. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.


  • You are a team science-minded professional with an MSc degree in Biology, Molecular Life Sciences or equivalent, and a specialisation in molecular biology, developmental biology, cell biology, or molecular life sciences. This has equipped you with a strong molecular or developmental background to perform state-of-the-art omics analyses with human heart organoids.
  • You are an experimentalist who is not afraid of big data sets.
  • You have experience in one or more aspects of the project, for example next generation sequencing, single-cell transcriptomics, proteomics, or stem cell differentiation.
  • You are keen on collaborating with others and have the communication skills to make collaborations pleasant and effective. You are excited about scientific discovery and would like to make a contribution to improved heart disease modelling.

We are

The Department of Molecular Developmental Biology is part of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS-Science, Faculty of Science, Radboud University), which is affiliated with the Research Institute for Medical Innovation of the Radboud university medical center. Research areas of the RIMLS-Science institute include epigenetics, stem cell and developmental biology, cancer biology, inflammation, and computational biology. The central research theme is regulation of gene expression during development and in health and disease. Important technologies that are used include single-cell multi-omics analyses, proteomics, super resolution microscopy, single-molecule biophysics and computational biology. For this, RIMLS-Science operates its own high-end facilities. Our fundamental and applied research in medical biology and molecular life sciences has clear connections to other institutes of the Faculty of Science as well as to more clinically oriented research programmes at departments within the Radboud university medical centre.

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 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed 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 (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Gert Jan Veenstra, Professor, at gertjan.veenstra [at]

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 31 March 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Gert Jan Veenstra. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV including the contact details of three references.
The first round of interviews will take place on Tuesday,11 April and Wednesday 12 April.
You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.
Apply now Application deadline

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Prof. Veenstra, G.J.C. (Gert Jan)


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