PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences / Department Genetics & Cell Biology

PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences / Department Genetics & Cell Biology

Published Deadline Location
2 Mar 24 Mar Maastricht

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Project "Cellular commitment during early embryogenesis and lineage branching".
Vacancy for a talented and ambitious PhD student interested in studying (epi)genome dynamics in early-stage human embryos. This position is within ERIN consortium and offers a joint PhD between Maastricht University (UM) and University of Tartu (UT) in close collaboration with Karolinska Institute (KI).

Job description

Research groups: The PhD student will primarily be hosted in the laboratory of Cellular Genomic Medicine at the Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+) which aims to decipher the impact of different molecular layers on cellular identity and function at the early stages of human development. The laboratory actively strives translating the knowledge and the developed technologies into the clinic. For this project the PhD student will closely collaborate with the lab of Dr. Sabine van Rijt who are designing nanoprobes to allow lineage and cell tracing in embryos. During the PhD trajectory, the PhD student will also be seconded to UT and KI research groups led by Prof. Andres Salumets.

Job description: During the course of this PhD research, you will investigate cellular heterogeneity and lineage branching during preimplantation embryonic development. Specifically, you will use nanoprobes to profile different molecular layers, namely genome, methylome and transcriptome, of single cells derived from preimplantation human embryos. You will investigate the interplay and connectivity between these layers and how they influence commitment of cells to different cell lineages. Moreover, you will explore the correlation of these interactions with phenotypic features that are derived from radiomic data (e.g. blastocyst images).


Maastricht University (UM)


Your profile Background

  • M.Sc. in Life Sciences or Medicine, preferably in Molecular Genetics or Bioinformatics Skills;
  • A scientific mindset, critical thinking capacity and a strong interest in computational biology;
  • Proficiency in English is required;
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability of working in a team;
  • Ability to be independent and being initiative;
  • Efficient, stress resistant and able to respect deadlines;
  • Experience with high-throughput molecular assays including next-generation sequencing is a plus;
  • Experience with programming and machine learning is a big advantage, but not a prerequisite;
  • Willing to take teaching duties (max 0.1 FTE) and supervision of Bachelor and Master students;
  • Have a genuine passion for development of innovative wet- and dry-lab technologies to advance reproductive medicine.

Our offer:

  • A versatile and challenging PhD position in an international and interdisciplinary environment, with various opportunities to broaden your knowledge and expertise;
  • Funding is available for a 3-4 year position according to the terms of employment of Maastricht University and University of Tartu;
  • This project will be in close collaboration with Prof. Andres Salumets of UT and KI, Dr. Sabine van Rijt of MERLN Institute and Dr. Aafke van Montfoort of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MUMC+ and Prof. Guido de Wert of the Department of Health, Ethics & Society (HES);
  • Starting Date: as soon as practical.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The full-time position is offered for four years (1+3), with a yearly evaluation. Your salary would be € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance.

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 20,000 students and 4,700 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.



  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • AT2021.66


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 GR, Maastricht

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