Post-doc / PhD position in systems biology


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Job description

Proper cell growth and division is crucial for all forms of life. The Heinemann Lab at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) has recently uncovered that next to the well-known cyclin-dependent kinase system, metabolic oscillations have a crucial role in cell cycle control (Papagiannakis et al, 2017, Molecular Cell; Litsios et al 2019, Nature Cell Biology). However, it is not known yet how metabolism performs this cell cycle control. This is what we would like to find out in this project.

To this end, we will use budding yeast as a model and latest state-of-the-art omics techniques to uncover how metabolism performs this important function. Here, we will focus on proteomics, on mapping of posttranslational modifications and on genome-wide analyses of structural changes of proteins and RNA, using latest state of the art techniques. Advanced statistical methods and network-based computational analyses of the generated cell-cycle-resolved data will allow us to generate testable hypotheses on how metabolic cell cycle control is exerted.

Exploring on how an intrinsically dynamic cellular metabolism might control the process of cell growth and division is not only a great scientific adventure, but also harbors significant potential for medicine, as compromised cell cycle control has been attributed to several diseases, such as cancer.

About the University of Groningen
Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage currently more than 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and the top 100 universities in the world, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.


This project has an experimental component (i.e. omics analyses, done partly together with collaborators) and a computational component (i.e. analyses of the generated data). No prior experience in experimental analyses is required, as there is sufficient expertise present in the lab and with the collaborators, offering an opportunity to learn these techniques. We are convinced that excellent candidates with the right motivation can learn everything. A formal education in computer science, engineering, bioinformatics, or in biology with some experience in computational analyses (e.g. Python) would, however, be helpful as the main challenge here in this project will be the clever analyses of the generated data, such that new insights can be retrieved.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

The Heinemann lab is a mid-sized lab with around 10 lab members. This size is large enough for critical mass, but small enough to warrant excellent support from the advisor.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
- For the PhD position: a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month (based on fulltime employment) in the fourth and final year. 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 successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

For the postdoc position: an appointment of three years and a salary from a minimum of € 3,557 gross per month up to a maximum of € 4,670 gross per month (salary scale 10) based on a full-time position and dependent on qualification and work experience.
- a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees

Eligibility criteria
To apply as a PhD student, the candidate needs to have a Master degree. To apply as a postdoc, the candidate needs to have a PhD degree, which must have been awarded less than eight years ago.

The two most important selection criteria for this position are (i) the "motivation" and (ii) the "creativity" of the candidate. With the right motivation, everything can be learned, meaning that the candidate does not need any particular prior skills/qualifications besides having a Master degree (or PhD in the case the candidate applies for the postdoc position). Our lab members come from many different disciplines and we have a great culture of learning and teaching each other.

Job Application

Selection process
Every incoming application is immediately being looked at. Good candidates are then being contacted to schedule a first brief online interview (even before the application deadline), possibly followed by more in-depth discussions and an invitation to come to Groningen for a day or two, to allow for discussions with the current lab members. The preferred starting date is between March 1st and June 1st 2023, but this is flexible and up to negotiation.

For a successful, productive and a joyful PhD or postdoc time it is important that everything fits and is right. This entails that there is good communication between the PhD student / postdoc and the group leader and the group members, that there is a joint view on ambition, etc. Thus, in the hiring process, we make sure that we take sufficient amount of time to make the right decision. The decisions has to be right for us as a research group and also for the candidate.

The application should contain (i) a CV, (ii) information about grades and other measures of success, (iii) two letters of recommendation (these can also be emailed directly), or names of potential references, and (iv) a short statement on how the candidate’s prior experience/expertise could be connected to one of the above mentioned projects.

You may apply for this position until 12 February 11:59pm / before 13 February 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

- Application form PhD:
- Application form Postdoc:

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/
Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Matthias Heinemann, for further information on the positions

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0025

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

About the group