PhD position in Single Molecule Biochemistry and Biophysics (2.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage more than 32,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

The Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), one of the larger institutes of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), provides an excellent environment for top-notch research in the field of biomolecular sciences. Twelve vibrant research groups with strong roots in biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, cell biology, computational biology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, and systems biology are organized in two focal areas: ‘Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Processes’ and ‘Physiology and Systems Biology’.

Job description

We are looking for students with backgrounds in biochemistry, physics, engineering, computer science or any other related fields who are motivated to work in an interdisciplinary research environment studying the structure-function relationships of proteins on the single molecule level.

Our research focus is the use and development of biophysical experimental techniques for the study of protein structure/function relationships. We use a combination of single molecule force spectroscopy by optical tweezers, fluorescence-based techniques, standard biochemical characterisation methods and computational analysis to address fundamental biological questions.

For this project, you will become part of the Single Molecule Biochemistry group led by Dr. Katarzyna Tych, which is embedded in the institute GBB. You will have access to a cutting-edge single molecule optical tweezer setup equipped with three-colour fluorescence detection and will receive full training in the use of the instrument.

You will further receive excellent training through innovative research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on generic research, transferable skills and teaching. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within 4 years. You are expected to contribute 10% of the overall workload to teaching.


You should have the following qualifications:

- a MSc degree with specialization in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, biology or related topics is required
- excellent communication skills and command of the English language
- ability to work independently and in a team
- highly motivated, proactive and diligent
- experience in protein expression and purification or single molecule experiments is an advantage.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
- a salary of € 2,325 in the first year to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year (PhD salary scale), based on a full-time position
- 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 position offered is for four years. First you will be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate whether a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School Science and Engineering of the Faculty.

The starting date is flexible

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include (as a single PDF file):

- cover letter with background and motivation to apply for this position
- curriculum vitae, including details of bachelor and master degrees, list of laboratory and data analysis experience as well as other skills and a publication list, if applicable
- detailed (1-2 pages) description of previous research experience, such as the bachelor/master research projects. Indicate exactly your contribution
- contact details of 2 academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position.

You may apply for this position until 29 March 11.59pm / before 30 March 2020 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the online application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Interviews are scheduled to take place in April 2020.

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 Katarzyna Tych

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 220012-13

Digital application form