PhD Student - ERC project - Hubrecht Institute - Utrecht

PhD Student - ERC project - Hubrecht Institute - Utrecht

Published Deadline Location
1 Nov 15 Dec Utrecht

Job description

Description of the project:

DNA carries the instructions of life, but is also under constant attack. The resulting damage, if not repaired, leads to mutation and disease. The recent genome sequencing revolution has revealed unexpected diversity in mutational patterns. One pattern in particular is intriguing as it behaves as a molecular 'clock': the number of mutations increases over time and correlates with age. Although the textbook view of mutagenesis is that cell division is required to convert DNA damage into point mutations, surprisingly, non-dividing cells like neurons also accumulate 'clock' mutations as a function of time, indicating that 'clock' mutations arise without genome replication.

Understanding how cells mutate independently of proliferation is a fundamental question that has been hindered because assays to measure mutation require cell division. Excitingly, we have established a powerful strategy to sensitively detect mutations in single cells, genome-wide. This ERC-funded project will combine this novel sequencing approach with targeted genetic manipulations in cells and mice how cells mutate independently of proliferation. This project will shed light on the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the most common mutational process in humans: 'clock' mutation. We expect that the methods, data, and insights from these studies will impact cancer research and uncover novel sources of DNA damage during ageing.


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)


We are looking for an outstanding PhD candidate (MSc or equivalent qualification) with a strong background in molecular biology, genetics and/or bioinformatics. The candidate should be passionate about biology and be motivated to work in an ambitious, multidisciplinary and international research team. The working language in our international team is English, the candidate should therefore have excellent English communication skills and be able to work as part of a team.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year with the possibility of an extension for three years after positive evaluation.

Terms of employment
Depending on education and experience the minimum salary is € 2.541,00 and the maximum salary is € 3.247,- gross per month for a full-time appointment (scale P cao Nederlandse Universiteiten/KNAW). This is exclusive of 8% vacation allowance, 8.3% year-end bonus, travel allowance, internet allowance, home working allowance and pension accrual with ABP.

The KNAW offers its staff an excellent package of secondary benefits. A package that meets the different needs of employees depending on their stage of life, lifestyle or career ambitions. For example, by working an extra two hours a week, it is possible to increase the number of days off from 29 to 41 days a year (with full-time employment).

For a complete overview of the terms of employment, please refer to the web page: werken bij de KNAW.


Hubrecht Institute

About the Hubrecht Institute
The Hubrecht Institute is a research institute focusing on developmental and stem cell biology. At the institute, more than 20 research groups perform fundamental and multidisciplinary research, both in healthy systems and disease models. The Hubrecht Institute is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and is located on the Utrecht Science Park 'De Uithof'. Since 2008, the institute has been affiliated with the University Medical Center Utrecht, advancing the translation of research into clinical practice. The Hubrecht Institute has a partnership with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

Diversity & Inclusion
The KNAW considers a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated of great importance. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would therefore like to invite candidates who want to contribute to this through their background and experience. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to the candidate who thus enhances diversity within the Academy.

We will not respond to any supplier enquiries based on this job advertisement.

Additional information

For additional information please contact Dr. Juan Garaycoechea or visit the website


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Higher professional education +
  • 1223


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

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Uppsalalaan 8, 3584CT, Utrecht

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 15 Dec 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).