Interdisciplinary PhD position in Quantitative Cell Biology and Biochemistry


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 the 35.000 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, 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. Thirteen vibrant research units with strong roots in biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, cell biology, computational biology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, and systems biology are organised in two focal areas: ‘Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Processes’ and ‘Physiology and Systems Biology’.

Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate with a strong background in cell biology, (bio)chemistry, (bio)physics or closely related fields to join the Cell Cycle Dynamics group of Dr Julia Kamenz. The research group is embedded in the Molecular Systems Biology unit at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, which provides an inspiring, interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment.

In a human body, billions of cells divide every single day. Errors during cell division or uncontrolled cell proliferation can have detrimental consequences including cancer development. Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of cell proliferation and cell division. These studies include (1) the intricate regulation of the kinases and phosphatases involved in the processes of cell division, (2) the impact of post-translational modifications in regulating cell division – in particular phosphorylations – and (3) studying the complex signaling networks surveying and controlling cell cycle progression. To tackle these questions, we combine a variety of cell biological, biochemical and systems biological approaches including Xenopus laevis egg extracts, enzyme biochemistry, fluorescence live cell imaging of human cells and computational modelling. The PhD candidate will have access to state-of-the-art microscopes, mass spectrometry, tissue culture and animal facilities.

The PhD candidate will further receive excellent training through innovative research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on 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. PhD candidates are expected to contribute minimally 10% of their overall workload to teaching.


The ideal candidates should have the following qualifications:

• a MSc degree with specialisation in cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology or closely related topics is required (if not graduated yet, please indicate the expected graduation date)
• excellent communication skills and command of the English language
• ability to work independently and in a team
• highly motivated, proactive and diligent
• experience in working with the Xenopus laevis egg extract system, protein purification, human tissue culture, fluorescence microscopy or protein mass spectrometry is an advantage.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48.

We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a salary of € 2,395 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 3,061gross per month in the final year, based on a fulltime position (1.0 FTE)
- an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus
- an position for four years. Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary appointment 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 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 conditions of employment:

The starting date is negotiable, though a starting date between 1 June and 1 September 2021 is desirable.

Job Application

You may apply for this position until 27 May 11:59 pm / before 28 May 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the online application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications for the position 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.

Interviews are going to take place on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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 Julia Kamenz

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221222

Digital application form