PhD position Life Cell STED Nanoscopy (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. With its 32,000 students and Nobel prize winning researchers, University of Groningen ranks among the top universities globally. It is situated in the vibrant capital of the northern Netherlands, Groningen.

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate for our research on life cell STED nanoscopy in the lab of Assistant professor Rifka Vlijm in the Molecular Biophysics group of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. We offer this position in a stimulating, diverse, international research environment in a worldclass academic institute with a multi-disciplinary research programme that encourages close collaborations between theoretical and experimental groups with different expertise.

Job description

Cell division is an extremely dynamic process, and errors in this phase of the cell cycle have far-reaching consequences. Studying the protein dynamics at relevant scale is not trivial, as the dynamical interplay is at scales much smaller than the diffraction limit of light, and thus beyond the reach of traditional microscopes. Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy on the other hand does allow imaging with a resolution of 30 nanometres even in living cells.

In this PhD research project, you will have the following main responsibilities and tasks:

- develop hardware and software solutions to study protein structures during cell division
- develop software solutions for data analysis routines for STED nanoscopy
- prepare, measure and analyse samples using life cell STED nanoscopy.

The work will be diverse, as it will besides the optics and software developments, also include among others (life cell) sample preparation and data analysis.

You will work in an international and interdisciplinary research environment closely together both with colleagues of the Molecular Biophysics group at the Zernike Institute, as well as with several labs in the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB) and several international collaborators.


• a European master’s degree (or equivalent) in (bio)physics, nanoscience or (bio)informatics
• an excellent track record
• highly motivated and able to work in a multidisciplinary and international work environment
• excellent communication skills in both oral and written English
• experience in programming (e.g. Python, LabVIEW).

Experience in optics and (cell)biology is highly appreciated but not mandatory.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.

The preferred starting date is as soon as possible.

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:

- CV
- motivational letter.

You can submit your application until 16 February 2020 23.59 pm Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr R. (Rifka) Vlijm, Assistant Professor Molecular Biophysics

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 220001

Digital application form