PhD Statistical Genetics (CTG)

PhD Statistical Genetics (CTG)

Published Deadline Location
14 Jun 5 Jul Amsterdam

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Do you have a solid background in statistics, strong computational skills and are you interested in genetics? Are you looking for a job in a multi-disciplinary research environment? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Job description

The Complex Trait Genetics lab ( at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see is seeking a highly motivated individual with experience in statistical modelling and an interest in genetics for a PhD position in Statistical Genetics.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been very successful identifying genetic variants involved in a range of traits and disorders. The majority of GWAS studies however make use of very simple models, testing for main effects only. More complicated models (such as including gene x environment interactions) have been proposed, but post-GWAS follow-up for these types of analyses are generally difficult as the multitude of outcome parameters do not necessarily fit into the standard post-processing toolboxes. This project aims to develop methodology to improve interpretation of non-standard GWAS.

The successful candidate needs to be proficient in scientific programming, has proven experience analyzing large datasets and knowledge of statistics. The candidate will work in an enthusiastic team of PhD students and postdocs, with diverse backgrounds, including statistics, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, psychology and stem cell biology

Your duties
  • develop methodology for extended GWAS models
  • application of tools to data on brain-related traits
  • authoring and co-authoring manuscripts submitted to high quality journals
  • some support (10%) to teaching activities is expected
  • present work to international community


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • a Master's degree in computational neuroscience, statistics/mathematics, bioinformatics or a related field
  • demonstrable experience in scientific programming (e.g. python, R) and working in a UNIX environment
  • preferably also demonstrable experience in genetic data analysis
  • good communication skills
  • support of 'open science': share tools and data with the wider scientific community.

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 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a 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)


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 more than 11,000 students.

About the department Complex Trait Genetics
Research at the department of Complex Trait Genetics focuses on identifying the genetic mechanisms of brain-related traits. We develop novel statistical and bioinformatics tools to optimally analyze large genome-wide data sets for complex traits, combine them with biological data and generate hypotheses that can be tested in functional studies to obtain mechanistic insight.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—38 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12035


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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