Postdoctoral researcher on epigenetics and intergenerational transmission of psychiatric risk

Postdoctoral researcher on epigenetics and intergenerational transmission of psychiatric risk

Published Deadline Location
24 May 5 Jun Rotterdam

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Job description

The postdoctoral researcher will:
  • Develop a total prenatal exposure transmission score based on DNA methylation at birth.
  • Examine whether the transmission load score is stable over time and predicts the development of psychiatric problems.
  • Test for sex-differences, especially resulting from X-chromosome inactivation.

The project is part of a large European-funded consortium (FAMILY,, involving multiple national and international institutions and the analysis of data from a range of general and high-risk human cohorts. The postdoctoral researcher will have the unique opportunity to access data from the largest neonatal epigenetic cohorts in the world encompassing circa 10,000 participants with epigenetic profiles.

The multi-center design, large sample size and wealth of exposure and outcome data will allow the postdoctoral researcher great power and flexibility to construct and test transmission load scores. The intention is to employ traditional statistical approaches, as well as innovative machine-learning and genetic trio design methods. The postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for data cleaning and analysis, write-up and publication of results.

The postdoctoral researcher will primarily be embedded within GenR, a unique Rotterdam-based birth cohort that started in 2002 and has been following the lives of nearly 10,000 children across development.

The researcher will be supervised by Dr. Alexander Neumann, senior researcher in GenR, Dr. Charlotte Cecil, Director of the inDEPTH Lab and Team Leader of the Biological Psychopathology research line in Generation R, and Prof.dr. Neeltje van Haren, Professor of Brain Development and Psychopathology as well as Coordinator of FAMILY.


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)


  • Experience and good grasp of analyzing large high-dimensional datasets. Preferably genome-wide genetic or epigenetic data.
  • Affinity with scientific questions around genetic and environmental influences on the development of psychiatric problems.
  • Proficient in statistical programming. Preferably in R, Python or Julia.
  • PhD in genetic/molecular epidemiology, psychology, neurosciences, biomedical sciences, cognitive science, bioinformatics, statistics or a related discipline (completed or expected in 2023).
  • Working well in a team and independently.
  • Excellent writing and presenting skills in English.

  • Experience with prediction modelling, machine-learning, and participation in open science culture. A budget for further training and travel costs is available.

Conditions of employment

  • A one year contract will be offered at first, with the possibility of a two year extension based on proven ability. September 1st 2023 is the suggested starting date, but there is flexibility to start at a different date in 2023. While fully remote work is not possible, a hybrid working arrangement can be discussed.
  • The gross monthly salary is € 5.088,- (scale 10) depending on your level of education and relevant experience, based on a full-time working week of 36 hours.
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and a individual travel expense package.
  • A 4% Collective Labour Agreement payraise starting November 2023.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
  • Special benefits, such as a incompany physiotherapist and bicycle repairer. And there is also a gym where you can work on your fitness after work.


Erasmus MC

A healthy population and excellence in healthcare through research and education.This is what Erasmus MC stands for. Conducting groundbreaking work, pushing boundaries and leading the way in research, education, and healthcare. We are practical people with a high level of expertise, working hard to improve and renew the healthcare of today and the public health of tomorrow.

The postdoctoral researcher will be employed at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology, which focuses on patient care, teaching and research activities to improve child and adolescent mental health.

A key aim of the department is to study the frequency, determinants and course of child psychiatric disorders. Using epidemiological methods in the general population, in populations at risk, and in clinical samples. Here, the postholder will be part of the inDEPTH Lab led by Dr Charlotte Cecil (, with a focus on cutting-edge, collaborative and interdisciplinary research at the interface of the biological and social sciences. The postdoctoral researcher will also work in collaboration with the Departments of Epidemiology and Paediatrics at Erasmus MC.


  • Postdoc
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3230—€5088 per month
  • Higher professional education
  • 21.04.23.TS-P1234445-1


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)

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Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD, Rotterdam

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