PhD positions in the field of antiviral drug discovery using Single-Molecule Biophysics

PhD positions in the field of antiviral drug discovery using Single-Molecule Biophysics

Published Deadline Location
2 Jun 1 Jul Amsterdam

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Do you have experience in experimental biophysics, biochemistry, physics and/or molecular biology, with a passion for interdisciplinary research? Do you want to make a difference in the discovery of new antiviral drugs against coronavirus and other RNA...

Job description

The Dulin lab has to offer several fully funded PhD positions (4 years) to start as soon as possible in the field of biophysics to investigate new antiviral drugs targeting RNA viruses, such as coronavirus, enterovirus, flavivirus. The successful candidates will investigate the RNA synthesis machineries of these viruses using state-of-the-art single molecule techniques. Within the lab, the successful candidates will design, perform experiments, and develop new computational analysis tools to analyze their data.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • outstanding experimentalists with experience in biophysics, enzymology, biochemistry, physics and molecular biology. Candidates must have a MSc. degree. Experience in optics, computer programming (LabVIEW, Python, Matlab, C++, etc.) and enzymology will be strongly appreciated. If not familiar with programing, the candidates will have to learn Python to process their data.
  • a creative, hard-working and independent individuals with a strong work ethic and a passion to cross research fields. A strong ability to work in team is essential.
They will successfully develop and combine different expertises in physics, biology and software programming to establish new single molecule assays and investigate how novel antivirals drugs interfere with RNA virus genome synthesis. Proficiency in English (both speaking and writing) is required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2.443 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,122 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended (with three years) for a total duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

The Dulin lab has recently relocated its activity at VU Amsterdam from FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany ( The VU Amsterdam is one of the best universities in the Netherlands, and a leading environment in biophysics, located in the vibrant and international city of Amsterdam. Our team is an inclusive and diverse environment, welcoming excellent students from all backgrounds. We are embedded within the Physics of Living System Section of the Physics Department of VU, together with several other biophysicists, forming a vibrant environment in physics of life, specifically in single molecule biophysics. The Dulin lab has a strong expertise in investigating RNA virus genome synthesis machinery using single molecule biophysics techniques, with several breakthrough studies on SARS-CoV-2 genome replication and antiviral drugs evaluation (Bera et al., Cell Reports 2021; Seifert et al., eLife 2021). The successful candidates will join an enthusiastic and international team of biophysicists and biochemists ready to tackle highly challenging problems related to antiviral drug discoveries. They will have access to a large variety of cutting-edge assays in single molecule force and fluorescence spectroscopy techniques (e.g. magnetic and optical tweezers, TIRF…), and a molecular biology facility to perform their research. They will also benefit from the support of an experienced staff in molecular biology, biochemistry and data analysis. They will have the opportunity to learn from the best scientists in the field, publish in high-impact journals and present their work at international conferences.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • 11882


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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