PhD in de novo design of ice-binding proteins

PhD in de novo design of ice-binding proteins

Published Deadline Location
10 Nov 15 Dec Eindhoven

Job description

Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) protect against freeze damage in polar regions by keeping the nucleation and growth of ice crystals in check. How this works exactly is not yet known. You will engineer IBPs de novo, express and study these to elucidate the relation between IBP structure and function and explore the application potential of IBPs as cryoprotectants. In this project you will combine computational tools for protein engineering (de novo protein design, folding) with biochemical and structural biology techniques (protein expression, structure elucidation, activity assays) to modulate independently the various hallmarks of IBP activity. These include the ability of your novel ice-binders to depress freezing, inhibit recrystallization, control nucleation, and shape ice crystals. In collaboration with group members and external collaborators, you will investigate ice-binding of your designs at the single molecule level as well as their application potential in biomedicine focusing on e.g. cryopreservation of heart cells and tissues.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in Molecular (Life) Sciences, Bionanotechnology, Molecular Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Technology, or related discipline.
  • A solid background in de novo protein design, protein structure prediction (Rosetta, AlphaFold, …), protein expression, structure elucidation, machine learning, C/C++ and/or python with an affinity for biophysics and/or soft matter science.
  • A research and goal-oriented attitude.
  • Experience with microscopy (optical/fluorescence/cryo-TEM) and crystallization is preferred.
  • Ability to work independently and enthusiastic about working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and international context.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English. Good communication skills.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 27 (min. € 2.541 max. € 3.247).
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Additional information

Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.

For further information on this vacancy please contact Prof. Dr. Ir. Ilja Voets, i.voets[at] or +31 40 247 5303.

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment..
You can also contact Leo van Houten, l.v.houten[at] or +31 40 247 8269.

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, with information on education, employment, and research experience including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • A letter of recommendation from one or more of your references.
  • A copy of your MSc graduation thesis or internship report.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V37.6080


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

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