PhD position in computational systems biology (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

The Molecular Systems Biology group at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) has an opening for an enthusiastic and talented PhD student. The University of Groningen, located in the North of the Netherlands, enjoys an international reputation as one of the oldest and leading research universities in Europe.

The Molecular Systems Biology group aims at generating a systems-level understanding about the functioning of metabolism (Prof. Matthias Heinemann) and of growth regulation by the TOR signaling pathway (Dr Andreas Milias-Argeitis). Towards these goals, the group members combine experimental approaches using state-of-the-art single cell technologies such as microfluidics and optogenetics, and develop new methods to address the computational challenges that arise. Together, the members of the international and interdisciplinary team (PhD students and postdocs with backgrounds in biology, engineering, physics and mathematics) build an inspiring and highly collaborative research atmosphere. The description for the currently open position is provided below. The project will be supervised by Dr Milias-Argeitis.

Job description

Heterogeneous dynamic behavior is very commonly observed even in isogenic cell populations. To study the origins and effects of this heterogeneity we are working with mixed-effects ODE-based models, and have already developed new methods for propagation and quantification of parametric uncertainty for this class of models. In this project, we will use our methods as a basis for the construction of computationally efficient parameter inference and model selection algorithms for mixed-effects ODE systems modeling biochemical networks with cell-to-cell variability. The developed algorithms will be employed to evaluate the effects of different dynamic input perturbations, with the goal of determining experiments that can maximize the information on particular aspects of a given system. Our ultimate goal is to generate dynamical models for the regulation of key targets of the yeast TOR signaling pathway, making use of our rich single-cell microscopy datasets.


• you have a background in systems biology, applied mathematics, (control) engineering or (bio)physics, and ideally have some undergraduate research experience
• you have good knowledge of programming languages (e.g. Matlab, Python or C++) and sufficient experience with dynamical system simulation. Familiarity with the basics of probability theory, Bayesian statistics and/or uncertainty quantification methods is also highly desirable
• you have a good command of English (oral and written) and possess excellent communication and collaboration skills.

Job tags
Dynamical systems theory, probability theory, Bayesian inference, Monte Carlo methods, mathematical modeling, biochemical networks, systems biology, mixed-effects models, Bayesian inference, uncertainty quantification.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 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 holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The successful candidate will first 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 that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.

Job Application

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

1. CV
2. Information about grades and other measures of success
3. Two letters of recommendation (these can also be emailed directly)
4. Statement of prior experience/expertise could be connected to the project.

You can submit your application until 31 January 11.59pm / before 1 February 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The preferred starting date is as soon as possible.
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 Andreas Millias
+31 50 - 36 36 225

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 220244H

Extra informatie kan worden verkregen via een van de volgende links:

About the group About Groningen

Digital application form