PhD-candidate FHML / NUTRIM - Department of Human Biology

PhD-candidate FHML / NUTRIM - Department of Human Biology

Published Deadline Location
21 Feb 8 Mar Maastricht

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Within the Department of Human Biology within the Research School NUTRIM, we are looking for an enthiousiastic PhD-candidate for a project on dietary fibres, gut microbiota and metabolic health

Job description

Project description

Evidence is accumulating that the gut microbiome is involved in the aetiology of obesity and obesity-related complications such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The gut microbiota is able to ferment indigestible carbohydrates (for example, dietary fibre), thereby yielding important metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids. This project will elucidate the impact of indigestible carbohydrates on the gut microbiota, its metabolites and metabolic health in overweight, prediabetic individuals. To this end, the project involves the conduction of human dietary intervention studies using state-of-the-art techniques to assess metabolic health parameters and gut microbiota composition.

Role Description

The PhD candidate will :

  • Study relevant literature in the field of the gut microbiota and its metabolites and host metabolism 
  • Work out the details of the project proposal and obtain medical ethical approval 
  • Plan, coordinate and perform the human intervention studies
  • Present and distribute the results and updates of the project in form of oral presentations and high-quality articles

Main Tasks and responsibilities

We offer a challenging PhD research project and we ask for a highly motivated, and enthusiastic researcher who will be responsible for:

  • Contributing to the full project plan
  • Staying abreast of developments in his scientific discipline by keeping up with the scientific literature in his field and visiting scientific meetings
  • Generating ideas within the scope of the defined subject
  • Supervising of research assistants and students, where appropriate
  • Keeping up with the latest scientific developments and integrating these in the project
  • Keeping traceable records of all results and analyses according to good clinical practice guidelines and FAIR Data Principles
  • Writing high-quality clearly written papers about the results obtained
  • Completing a thesis within 4 years.


Maastricht University (UM)


MSc. in medicine, nutrition, biomedical sciences or health sciences, with proven interest in the biochemical and functional  aspect of gut microbiota and metabolism. Excellent communication and organisational skills are a requirement, as well as the qualities to work within a team.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

Temporary employment for 4 years. Your salary would be € 2.325,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.972,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University 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. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.



NUTRIM - School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism / Department of Human Biology

The Department of Human Biology is part of NUTRIM, School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, within the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) of Maastricht University. The central research theme of the Department of Human Biology is Healthy living with Obesity, Sarcopenia, Energy metabolism and Cardiometabolic Health as spearheads.

Research within The department of  Human Biology (Department of Human Biology)focuses on various aspects of human and metabolic health and how lifestyle factors can affect health, with an emphasis on Nutrition and Physical Activity. Using a translational scientific approach, our mission is to generate and transfer knowledge to improve health, well-being and sustainability of our society. The Department has a close fit to the themes and research of the Maastricht University Medical Center+ and the Campus Venlo (Innovative health foods).

Within the Department, four research groups are embedded, related to:

  • Obesity and Obesity-related health risks
  • Exercse Metabolism, Protein Metabolism, and Sarcopenia
  • Molecular Genetics of Obesity
  • and a joint embedding of the research group Microbiology of the Gastro-Intestinal tract with Campus Venlo.

NUTRIM aims to contribute to health maintenance and personalised medicine by unraveling lifestyle and disease-induced derangements in metabolism and by developing targeted nutritional, exercise and drug interventions.

This is facilitated by a state of the art research infrastructure and close interaction between scientists, clinicians, master and PhD students.

Fast facts

  • 18 million euros annual budget
  • annually more than 500 publications in Science Citation indexed journals
  • about 395 researchers, including 245 PhD students, and 70 support staff
  • continuum from fundamental to clinical and applied research
  • led by Prof. Annemie Schols


  • PhD
  • Food; Health
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2020.66


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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