PhD candidate: EPND project - Biomarkers for early identification of Alzheimer’s disease

PhD candidate: EPND project - Biomarkers for early identification of Alzheimer’s disease

Published Deadline Location
14 Dec 2 Jan Maastricht

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Within the division of Mental Health and NeuroScience of Maastricht University and the Alzheimer Center Limburg, we are looking for a motivated PhD candidate to work on biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease by using large-scale datasets through international collaborations as part of the EPND project.

Job description

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is among the most common neurodegenerative conditions with a huge economic burden. Treatments that can prevent the disease or modify disease progression are still lacking. One of the key barriers to effective development of these treatments is an incomplete toolbox of biomarkers. The development of effective treatments requires biomarkers for early detection of disease in individuals, for assessing treatment efficacy, and for patient stratification. While AD is one of the few neurodegenerative diseases with some established biomarkers, even these do not capture the molecular complexity of the disease.

The European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND, aims to develop a self-sustainable platform for storage and analysis of high quality clinical and biological samples and data collections. This will facilitate access to samples and data to accelerate biomarker discovery and validation, and eventually support the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. EPND will build further on existing initiatives such as EMIF-AD.

The PhD student is responsible for successful integration of large clinical datasets and bio samples of European Alzheimer’s disease cohorts into EPND in order to develop a sustainable network across all cohorts. To this end, information (meta data) on cohorts will be collected, and data and samples will be identified and centrally merged and stored. By using data collected as part of EPND, the PhD student will investigate the role of amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration biomarkers for early identification and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, proteins in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid will be examined to unravel additional underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. The PhD student will be part of a research team with ample experience in large-scale international and clinical research on cognition and biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Depending on background and Dutch language proficiency, the PhD student will additionally perform clinical work at the Alzheimer Centrum Limburg of the Academic Hospital of Maastricht.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • Masters degree in medicine, psychology, biomedical sciences or mental health;
  • Motivated to perform PhD research;
  • Excellent communication, organisational and analytical skills;
  • Experience with data analyses in R and/or SPSS;
  • Good proficiency in English;
  • Above average study results;
  • Experience with international research is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years (1+3).

Working hours:
On average 38 hours (1.0 fte) per week for a period of 4 years, in line with working hours regulations for this function.

The salary is € 2.443,- gross per month in the first year increasing until € 3.122,- gross per month in the fourth year, in line with the PhD salary scale. An 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance is also provided. 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 > About UM > Working at UM.


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. For more information, visit


School for Mental Health and Neuroscience

Information about the School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, see website:


  • PhD
  • Health; Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2021.500


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 GR, Maastricht

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