Postdoctoral researcher at FHML-NUTRIM-BioInformatics/BiGCaT: Infrastructure development for nanomaterial risk assessment

Postdoctoral researcher at FHML-NUTRIM-BioInformatics/BiGCaT: Infrastructure development for nanomaterial risk assessment

Published Deadline Location
9 Dec 12 Jan Maastricht

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The Department of Bioinformatics – BiGCaT is seeking an ambitious and qualified postdoctoral fellow to join our growing team to work on researching and publishing novel solutions to make data risk governancemore transparent, more clearly based on our knowledge of biological systems, and generally more FAIR.

Job description

Nanotechnologies are increasing our ability to improve our quality of life. Whether is it innovative medicine, ingredients in new beneficial products, or reducing the cost of smartphones, nanomaterials have found their way into our society. However, like any chemical of natural or synthetic source, sometimes the chemical substance causes adverse outcomes. The European Union has funded research projects to explore nanomaterials, their many uses, and their potential toxicity. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest in the development of Adverse Outcome Pathways for the regulation of chemicals on the market,particularly when combined with molecular pathways, such as found in WikiPathways. However, a common language and infrastructure is missing that unites these research fields. Two EU consortium projects, eNanoMapper (FP7, finished) and NanoCommons, provide solutions to bridge between the fields, and it is now essential that these methods get adopted in predictive toxicology, risk assessment, and risk governance to advise the European Commission.

In your position as a postdoctoral researcher, you will combine solutions from eNanoMapper and
NanoCommons with AOP and computation solutions from the EU-ToxRisk and OpenRiskNet projects.

Your role in the NanoSolveIT project gravitates around the work package focused on setting up the proper infrastructure by reusing solutions from the previous projects. This involves Docker solutions, FAIR data, and particularly data management with ontology annotation. Within the RiskGONE project these approaches will be applied to risk governance. Here, the expected outcome of your work are research papers that describe an innovative approach for risk governance reports that are FAIR from the ground up.

The candidate will contribute to grant writing activities to bring funding to the lab and take on educational roles at Maastricht University.


Maastricht University (UM)


We are looking for a prospective postdoctoral candidate with either a background in bioinformatics,
ontology development, cheminformatics, or equivalent, with affinity for data integration issues and systems biology approaches. The ideal candidate will have covered all aspects, but candidates with experience in one of these and an interest in the other are also encouraged to apply. 

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 12.

We offer a full-time, one-year term position, with the possibility of renewal for up to three more years
depending on the availability of funding and the performance. Yearly evaluations will take place. Salary
range from € 2709 to € 4274 gross per month (pay scale x in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Maastricht University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training, and career development. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information: UM employees.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University (UM) has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. UM is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. UM placed #10 in Times Higher Education’s (THE) Young Universities Ranking 2019, and #127 in THE’s World University Rankings 2020.



NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism 

NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism initiates and catalyzes translational research into nutritional health benefits and risks focusing on metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. Through its research master and PhD programme NUTRIM aims to educate scientists of high academic excellence and ambassadors to support and develop the filed of nutrition, metabolism and toxicology within and outside the Netherlands. 16 Biomedical, clinical, and behavioural-science departments are incorporated within NUTRIM. The school is a partner in the topsector Life Sciences and Health (LSH). These unique consortia of government, industry and research aim to stimulate the transfer of knowledge generated in fundamental research to Dutch industry and thus to strengthen its innovative power and competitive strength.

Department of BioInformatics-BiGCaT

The Department of Bioinformatics-BiGCaT is part of NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational
Research in Metabolism at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. It was founded in 2001 by Prof. dr Chris Evelo aiming at employing bioinformatics approaches in systems biology to integrate experimental data and data with current knowledge. Integrative Systems Biology is being developed and applied in various research fields. The department has four core research areas; 1) metabolic diseases, 2) micronutrients, 3) toxicity and risk assessment and 4) rare diseases. Within these areas, different types of data, like transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and (epi)genomics data, are integrated and combined with existing knowledge.

Evelo’s BiGCaT group is involved in (inter)national initiatives to collect, share and integrate biological data. Moreover, in order to perform data analysis in a state-of-the-art manner, novel methods and tools are being developed. These include i) high-throughput data analysis pipelines, ii) semantic Web tools using RDF, ontologies, and SPARQL, iii) cheminformatics software, iv) structuring and collecting biological processes in WikiPathways, v) pathway analysis in PathVisio and vi) network analysis in Cytoscape.


  • Postdoc
  • Health
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2709—€4274 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT2019.405


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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