PhD student: The role of the gut in brain disorders


Biomedical Sciences of Cells & Systems (BSCS)

Working Enviroment

The project focuses on the role of the intestine in brain disorders: Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These disorders are associated with changes in gut microbiome composition and intestinal symptoms, sometimes years before brain symptoms appear. This has drawn attention to the intestine as a candidate organ for intervention. In this project, clinical data and results from blood and fecal biomarker studies will be combined with the generation of intestinal organoids to study disease-specific-phenotypes and identify intervention strategies.

Task description
- You will report project results in various meetings, scientific journals, international congresses and your PhD thesis.
- You will work in an enthusiastic multidisciplinary research team.
- You will supervise undergraduate / intern students.
- Your PhD education is embedded in Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Job description

You will work in the department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells & Systems (BSCS) of the University Medical Center Groningen, located in the vibrant university city of Groningen in the north of the Netherlands. Studies in the BSCS are focused on understanding basic functions and processes of the cell & systems and how they lead to diseases if disturbed. We strive for identification and, if possible, exploitation of targets to prevent or cure disease, and to promote Healthy Aging. The BSCS is connected with the Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNC), the mission of which is to understand the cognitive mechanisms that underlie psychiatric and neurological disorders.

More information about the department you can find on our website: Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems.


We are looking for an enthusiastic person who recently obtained a university master’s degree in the field of biomedical sciences (e.g., cell biology, biology, microbiology or related field). In addition, you should:
- have tangible affinity for biomedical research;
- have hands-on experience with mammalian cell culture, preferably stem cells or organoid culture;
- hands-on experience with bacterial cultures is a pre;
- have excellent communication skills (written and oral);
- have excellent organization skills;
- be fluent in written and spoken English;
- be a team-player but also able to work independently;
- talent and joy in supervising undergraduate students.

Conditions of employment

It concerns a fulltime appointment (36 hours a week) for a period of 4 years, to be concluded with a PhD examination. After 1 year, the performance of the candidate will be evaluated to decide whether there is sufficient progress to expect a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the coming 3 years.

Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.495,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.196,- (scale PhD) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC).

Full applications including a motivation letter, your CV and contact information for at least references will receive full consideration.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy you may contact:

Prof. Dr. Sven van IJzendoorn

Applying for a job

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 17 November 2021. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Digital application form