Postdoctoral Researcher for Fluorescence Lifetime Microscopy (FLIM) in Brain Slices

0.8 - 1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary
€ 2,960 - € 4,670
Required background
Organizational unit
Faculty of Science
Application deadline
Are you an enthusiastic scientist with a PhD degree in a biology- or neuroscience-related field? And would you like to figure out how synapses are formed, and how axonal and dendritic signalling is regulated? Then you have a part to play as a postdoctoral researcher. Put your ideas to the test at our leafy green campus and push your boundaries in an internationally friendly environment. 

We recently demonstrated that the coordination between excitatory and inhibitory synapses is actively maintained within dendrites of CA1 cells. We found that clustered excitatory activity induces dendritic production of endocannabinoids which trigger inhibitory synapse formation via CB1 receptors on the inhibitory axons (Hu, Kruijssen et al., 2019). Axonal CB1 receptors induce presynaptic bouton formation via a rather unconventional signalling pathway which involves an increase in intracellular cAMP levels (Liang et al., 2021). In this NWO-funded project, you will employ the newest generation of biosensors (Ma, Jongbloets et al., 2018 & Massengill et al., 2021) to directly visualise the spatial and temporal fluctuations in cAMP and PKA signalling in axons and dendrites. You will perform two-photon fluorescent lifetime microscopy to obtain highest sensitivity in living intact brain tissue. We will directly test the hypothesis that tight spatiotemporal regulation of axonal cAMP and PKA signalling regulates the local formation and turnover of boutons in inhibitory axons. You will perform this research independently, but in close collaboration with other experienced lab members.


  • You are a highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical, creative and team-oriented young scientist with a particular interest in neurophysiology. 
  • You take initiative and you are eager to learn.
  • You can work independently, but you also enjoy interacting within a group.
  • You have a PhD degree in life sciences, biology, biomedical sciences or a related discipline, and an interest in intracellular signalling and synapse formation.
  • You have working experience in advanced microscopy in living brain tissue and good programming skills (in Matlab or a similar environment).
  • Working experience in electrophysiology is an advantage.
  • You are fluent in English (written and spoken) and have good communication skills.
  • You demonstrate continuous integrity and positivity and motivate others to do the same.
  • (If you are a highly motivated student with the experience and skills listed above, please contact me to discuss the possibilities of a PhD).

We are

Our research team is a diverse team of international scientists interested in the role of inhibitory synapses in the brain at the molecular, cellular and systems level. We use a combination of two-photon microscopy, electrophysiology and molecular techniques to study formation and plasticity of inhibitory synapses in organotypic and acute brain slices from mice. We are particularly interested in the interactions between excitatory and inhibitory synapses within dendrites during synaptic plasticity, in brain development and in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Wierenga lab is embedded within the Donders Centre for Neuroscience (DCN), at the Faculty of Science of Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands). DCN is part of the world-renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, a world-class interfaculty neuroscience institute with a lively and interactive culture housing more than 800 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the brain.

Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is being conducted at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as 'excellent' and recognised as a 'very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent'. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.

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 - 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €2,960 and a maximum of €4,670 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 10).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a temporary employment for 3 years.
  • 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 Prof.dr Corette Wierenga, Professor of Neurophysiology at corette.wierenga [at]

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 30 October 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Prof.dr Corette Wierenga. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A motivation letter.
  • Your CV, including the contact details of at least two references.
The first round of interviews will take place in week 47. The starting date is flexible.

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. Wierenga, C.J. (Corette)

Professor of Neurophysiology

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