PhD position in Software and hardware development for STED microscopy (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 offer this position in the stimulating, diverse, international research environment of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. A world class academic institute with a multi-disciplinary research programme that encourages close collaborations between theoretical and experimental groups with different expertise.

Job description

We are looking for a PhD candidate for our research on life cell STED nanoscopy. The aim of the PhD project is to build and develop software and hardware solutions for STED super resolution microscopy. Experience in general programming (Python) and preferably also in machine learning and optics is desirable.

Job description
You will have the following main responsibilities and tasks:

• developing software solutions for efficient measurement and data analysis routines for STED nanoscopy
• developing hardware solutions optimised for life cell imaging.

We are studying how protein structures change during cell division with STED microscopy. Cell division is a very dynamic process, and errors in this phase of the cell cycle have far-reaching consequences. Studying the protein dynamics at relevant scales 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. STED microscopy however does allow imaging with a resolution of 30-40 nanometres even in living cells. This dynamic process at the best resolution is sophisticated to study successfully. We build and develop software and hardware vital to establish efficient measurement and data analysis routines for STED nanoscopy.

With your strong background in programming and preferably optics, you are the ideal fit to lift our research to another level! The work will be diverse, and besides developing software and optics, also include (life cell) sample preparation, measurements and data analysis.

You will work in an interdisciplinary and international research environment with local colleagues and international collaborators from physics, biomolecular sciences, and informatics.


You have/are:

• a European master’s degree (or equivalent) in physics, biophysics, 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 required.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

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

• a salary of € 2,395 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3.061 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:

• motivational letter (your motivation letter should include what attracts you in this PhD project, and why you think your background and interests fit well)
• CV.

You can submit your application until 1 September 11:59 pm / before 2 September 2020 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,

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

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 220001H

Digital application form