PhD student Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology

PhD student Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology

Published Deadline Location
2 Nov 2 Dec Delft

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How do neurons form networks? What are the molecular determinants of neuronal circuitry formation? How do neuronal connections change during health and disease?

Job description

The goal of this interdisciplinary project is to generate accessible in vitro experimental models to allow visualisation of neuronal circuits with molecular precision. The PhD candidate will reconstitute complete neuronal networks from mouse primary cell cultures and human brain organoids and obtain high-resolution information on changes in network architecture and function using a multi-scale, multi-modal approach, including molecular and cellular biophysics, light and electron microscopy and electrophysiology measurements. The project consists of two parts, where first neuronal connectivity in complete networks will be mapped, and then underlying molecular mechanisms will be identified.

Concretely, the PhD student will start with establishing mouse neuronal networks from different brain regions (hippocampus, cerebellum) and mouse models (CAMK2, mTOR, SORCS2, TDP43) using high-content confocal microscopy and then apply that knowledge to neuronal network formation in brain organoids from patients suffering from neurological disorders. During the final phase of the PhD trajectory, the PhD student will zoom in on one of the mouse/human neuronal network models to unravel the molecular underpinnings of the disease.


This project is part of the Convergence program Integrative Neuromedicine, a large-scale collaborative effort from Erasmus University, Erasmus Medical Center and Delft University of Technology to develop integrated biological and computational models of the human brain. The PhD student will be part of the Meijer lab, while the project will be carried out in a tight collaboration with the Erasmus Medical Center. 


The Meijer lab consists of an international, growing team of multidisciplinary scientists. We aim for a high impact, supportive environment, where talented people work together to solve quantitative questions in neuroscience. See also our group website 




Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for a highly motivated and goal-oriented researcher with a M.Sc. degree in in nanobiology, neuroscience, cell biology, biophysics, biomedical sciences, or related field. The ideal candidate has a background in cell biology and imaging and is interested in applying advanced high-resolution light microscopy to neurobiological questions in health and disease. The candidate should be fluent in English and motivated to work in an ambitious and collaborative research team

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.



With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Department profile:

Bionanoscience is a multidisciplinary department that is dedicated to the study of fundamental and applied biological questions with cutting-edge tools from biology, physics and nanotechnology. Research topics range from single molecule biophysics and cell biology to synthetic biology and artificial cells. The department offers excellent technical facilities, including an advanced microscopy suite and next-generation sequencing.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02987


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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