PhD position in Systems biology (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Job description

Eukaryotic cell growth is tightly regulated by a set of conserved signaling pathways that monitor the extracellular and intracellular environment. In dividing cells, the activity of these pathways needs to be coordinated with the cell division cycle to maintain cellular homeostasis, and disruption of this coordination can lead to a wide range of pathologies. However, we still do not fully understand how these signaling pathways regulate cell cycle progression, even though it has long been known that they exert strong cell cycle control. The project will address this complex question in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast) by combining dynamic perturbations of protein abundances in growth-regulatory pathways (TORC1, TORC2, PKA and AMPK) with single-cell time lapse microscopy of cell cycle progression and statistical modeling. Pathway components with the strongest effects on the cell cycle will be singled out for subsequent experiments to uncover cell cycle regulators affected by these components. This work aims to elucidate a largely unexplored aspect of growth signaling, and thus contribute to our understanding of fundamental cellular processes which are ultimately linked with human health.

The Molecular Systems Biology (MSB) group at the University of Groningen (NL) has an opening for a 4-year PhD position. 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 MSB group, part of the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), aims at generating a systems-level understanding of cellular metabolism (Prof. Matthias Heinemann), growth regulation by signaling pathways (Dr. Andreas Milias-Argeitis) and the regulation of cell division mechanisms (Dr. Julia Kamenz). 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) create an inspiring and highly collaborative research atmosphere. The description for the currently open position is provided below. The project will be supervised by Dr. A. Milias-Argeitis.


- a Master’s degree and a background in molecular biology, systems biology or biochemistry, and ideally some undergraduate research experience. Familiarity with yeast genetic engineering and fluorescence microscopy is a plus
- you have good knowledge of a high-level programming language (e.g. Matlab, Python or R)
- you have a good command of English (oral and written) and possess excellent communication and collaboration skills.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

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

- 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
- 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.

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.

The starting date is in consultation.

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 may apply for this position until 16 April 11:59pm / before 17 April 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

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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Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Andreas Milias-Argeitis

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0164

Digital application form