PhD Researcher - In Vitro Miniaturized Bone Tissues

PhD Researcher - In Vitro Miniaturized Bone Tissues

Published Deadline Location
30 Oct 19 Nov Maastricht

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We are currently seeking for an exceptional PhD candidate to lead a pioneering project.

Job description

Are you a visionary Master graduate driven by an unwavering passion for scientific innovation and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge in the field of biomimetic biomaterials and microtissue engineering?

We are currently seeking for an exceptional PhD candidate to lead a pioneering project dedicated to the development of in vitro miniaturized bone tissues that mirror the composition, structure, and functionality of natural bone and its intricate interfaces with soft tissues, as part of the LINK2.0 (Limburg Invests in Its Knowledge Economy) project within MERLN Institute.

Why Join Us? Within this position, you will:
  • Pioneer groundbreaking research in the development of biomimetic biomaterials and miniaturized bone tissues and tissue interfaces.
  • Collaborate with a diverse team of experts, where excellence, creativity, and scientific passion are celebrated.
  • Access state-of-the-art facilities and resources for your research.

If you are a Master graduate with interest in biomimetic biomaterials and engineering mini-tissues who aspires to be at the forefront of scientific innovation, we invite you to apply. Within this project, you will mainly focus on:
  • Developing biomimetic biomaterials: You will lead the development of micro-scale biomimetic biomaterials that replicate the chemistry, structure, and mechanical properties of bone matrix, enabling the engineering of bone tissue and its interfaces with soft tissues.
  • Engineering miniaturized bone tissues: You will utilize the tissue fabrication techniques to integrate the biomimetic biomaterials with a diverse array of relevant cell types, including stem cells, osteoblasts, osteocytes, endothelial cells, etc. to create a comprehensive in vitro miniaturized model of bone tissue.
  • Engineering bone interfaces: You will develop biomaterial systems with anisotropic properties that resemble the graded chemical and structural aspects of bone-to-soft tissue interfaces and use them to fabricate in vitro miniaturized models of these interfaces.
  • Biomechanical and biological assessment of mcirotissues: You will employ your extraordinary analytical skills to validate the functionality of the resulting miniaturized tissues, raising the bar by benchmarking them against their natural counterparts.
  • Large-scale production of microtissues: In collaboration with other team members, you will engage in developing and optimizing high-throughput and automated tools to generate microtissues and will work with an automated cell culture pipeline.
  • Collaborative teamwork: You will collaborate seamlessly within our multidisciplinary team, contributing your technical expertise to other projects.
  • Scientific communication and research impact: You will write and publish high-impact scientific papers and communicate your research in international scientific conferences.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • You have a Master degree in Bioengineering, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine, Biomedical sciences or Biomedical Engineering. Candidates from other discipline such as Chemical Engineering or Materials Engineering who have proven knowledge/experience or have a minor in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering are also welcome to apply.
  • You have an outstanding academic background, ranking in the top percentages of your academic cohort.
  • You have in-depth knowledge in the fields of engineering bone tissue and bone-to-soft tissue interfaces, biomimetic biomaterials, biomaterials processing, bottom-up tissue engineering, cellbiomaterial interactions, and biofabrication.
  • You have hands-on experience with biomaterials synthesis, processing, and characterization, and scaffold or tissue fabrication. Hands-on experience with the culture and biological assessment of some of the following cell types is also necessary: human stem cells, differentiated primary cells (e.g., osteoblasts, osteoclasts, endothelial cells) and immune cells.
  • You have also experience with bioimaging and molecular biology techniques.
  • Experience with 3D (bio)printing, self-assembled and self-organized systems such as spheroids and organoids, and induced pluripotent stem cells is a major plus.
  • You have a strong affinity towards working collaboratively in a multidisciplinary team environment.
  • You have a strong ability to work as an independent and responsible researcher, demonstrating maturity in your approach to fulfilling your tasks.
  • You have experience with scientific writing and communication. A track record of peer-reviewed scientific papers is a major plus.

Conditions of employment

What we offer

As a PhD candidate at Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale PhD according to the UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary from € 2.770 in the first year to € 3.539 gross per month in the fourth year (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1.0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.


Maastricht University

Why work at Maastricht University?

At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

is the southernmost city in the Netherlands, and is the capital of the province of Limburg. Situated on the Maas River, within walking distance of Belgium and cycling distance of Germany, it claims to be the oldest city in the Netherlands (a claim it shares with Nijmegen). A great place to spend some time, it contains some magnificent buildings and culture, taking the form of plenty of old houses and buildings, lovely cathedrals and a spectacularly cobblestoned town centre. The city is also well known for its fine cuisine, excellent shops and multicultural atmosphere.


Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

At the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), everything revolves around healthy living. Our research and education are not solely focused on recovery, but place a strong emphasis on prevention, health preservation, and health promotion. Our aim is to use our knowledge and expertise to genuinely contribute to the well-being of individual people as well as society in total.

In, research, and healthcare, FHML is closely collaborating with the academic hospital in Maastricht, together forming the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+). FHML is strongly connected in education, research, and care with the Maastricht academic hospital, together with which it forms the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+).

FHML, which is the largest faculty of Maastricht University, is formed by an (inter)national community of employees and students. The faculty offers a wide range of Dutch and English-taught bachelor's and master's programs in innovative educational concepts in which the emphasis is always on building bridges to practice.

The multidisciplinary research of the FHML focuses on a number of carefully chosen topical current themes. In addition to research aimed at gaining new insights, it also concerns research whose results can be directly translated into concrete applications and innovations. The implementation of the various research programs is organized in our six graduate schools and two institutes.

MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine
The candidate will perform this research under the supervision of Dr. Niloofar Tahmasebi Birgani and Prof. Roman Truckenmüller at the MERLN Institute at Maastricht University. The MERLN Institute for Technology-inspired Regenerative Medicine focuses on developing novel and challenging technologies to advance the field of tissue and organ repair and regeneration. MERLN consists of an interdisciplinary team of researchers from various fields such as (stem cell) biology, materials engineering, chemistry, micro/nanofabrication, additive manufacturing, etc. The scientists at MERLN have an extensive network of collaborators within research institutions in and outside the Netherlands as well as with a number of biomedical companies, including their own spin-off companies, as entrepreneurship is highly fostered. MERLN houses researchers from across the globe who have successfully navigated the transition of moving to the Netherlands.


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 369


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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