PhD position: Innovative biophotonic platforms for next-generation antibiotics resistance testing

PhD position: Innovative biophotonic platforms for next-generation antibiotics resistance testing

Published Deadline Location
21 Sep 30 Nov Amsterdam

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We are looking for an experimental lead to develop an innovative platform for next-generation antibiotics resistance testing as part of our growing team. The project combines concepts from microfluidics, computational/holographic imaging and microbiolo...

Job description

You will develop a compact lab-on-disk assay for highly multiplexed antibiotics susceptibility testing. To unlock its full analytical potential you will then design and implement a dedicated reading platform. The resulting platform technology will provide extremely low-cost analytical capabilities that go far beyond the state-of-the-art: you will be the first to explore them. First, on reference bacteria and then on clinical samples provided by our collaborators, to move towards real-world applications in point-of-care and hospital settings. Throughout the project you will be supported by our ERC PIRO team: you bring your own unique set of skills and learn the rest as we move along as a team.

Your duties
  • develop an all-optical antibiotics resistance testing assay
  • devise a dedicated, low-cost, assay-reader based on digital imaging concepts
  • validate your platform technology in the context of ultra-rapid antibiotics susceptibility testing
  • take first steps towards combating the antibiotics resistance, by working together with clinical partners
  • summarise your large body of work in a PhD thesis


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • degree in chemistry, physics, biology or biomedical/electrical engineering
  • experience with microfluidics, optics or microbiology is a plus
  • excited about interdisciplinary research as part of a highly multidisciplinary team
  • ready to learn new concepts to solve pressing challenges in global health

Conditions of employment

A challenging project that you are leading combined with the opportunity to directly work with the PI in a recently formed research group in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,770 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,539 (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 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total 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,
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge,
  • contribution to commuting expenses, discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)


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 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 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
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.


  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 16179


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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