PhD Candidate in Virology and Vaccine Development

PhD Candidate in Virology and Vaccine Development

Published Deadline Location
25 Jan 20 Feb Utrecht

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We are seeking a highly motivated and dedicated PhD candidate to contribute to cutting-edge research on the avian coronavirus IBV and vaccine development.

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated and dedicated PhD candidate to contribute to cutting-edge research on the avian coronavirus IBV and vaccine development. You will be a part of a multidisciplinary team focused on understanding immune protection against this viral pathogen in chickens and designing effective vaccines to safeguard poultry health.

Your job
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) poses a significant threat to the poultry industry, causing substantial economic losses. The current vaccination strategies involve live attenuated virus primos and inactivated boosters, but the evolving serotypes of IBV necessitate constant surveillance and development of new vaccines. This project aims to investigate the virological and immunological parameters crucial for eliciting broad, robust, and long-lasting protective immunity against IBV. To this end, you will utilise advanced techniques in structure-based vaccine design and viral vector platform technologies.

The reponsibilities include:
  • design and conduct the experimental work for this research project;
  • collaborate with a postdoctoral researcher and an industry partner to obtain results;
  • utilise structure-based vaccine design to create antigens for eliciting cross-reactive antibody responses against IBV;
  • work with viral vector platforms to express designed IBV antigens and optimise immune responses;
  • development of new technologies for field serosurveillance of IBV infections and antigenic drift;
  • write high quality publications of research findings in scientific journals.


Utrecht University


We are looking for a colleague who:
  • holds a Master's degree in virology, immunology, or a related field;
  • demonstrates hands-on and proven experience in molecular (cell) biology - experience in molecular virology, structure-based antigen design, and viral vector platforms, or related fields, is a plus;
  • showcases proven English skills in both speaking and writing;
  • communicates clearly and effectively, possessing the ability to work collaboratively in a research team.

Conditions of employment

We offer:
  • a position for four years;
  • a working week of 38 hours and a gross monthly salary between € 2.770,- and € 3.539,- in the case of full-time employment (salary scale 10 under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU);
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.


Universiteit Utrecht

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Shaping science, sharing tomorrow.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has a unique position in the Netherlands. Not only is this the only institution where veterinarians are trained, researchers are also working together on innovative scientific research. Furthermore the faculty delivers expert clinical care at the University Animal Hospital. Thanks to this position, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a point of contact for all veterinary matters, both nationally and increasingly internationally. The faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists and support staff and counts 1,500 students. It is is located at the Utrecht Science Park, near the historical city centre of Utrecht.

The Virology Section of the Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine studies the interaction between viruses and their hosts at the molecular/cell biological level as well as at the level of the organism. Ultimately, we strive to translate obtained knowledge into the development of novel vaccines, antiviral therapies, and diagnostic tools.

Your research will be embedded in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, which is part of the Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences within the Faculty of Veterinary medicine. You will be supervised and coached in your development by Dr Berend Jan Bosch.

You will join our large team of about 40 researchers that focuses on the molecular aspects of infection of corona-, influenza- and picornaviruses. We offer a challenging position in a dynamic and professional environment with plenty of room for initiative and entrepreneurship. This position offers a lot of opportunities to develop yourself and your talents. You will join the Graduate School of Life Sciences theme Infection & Immunity.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Health
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3526



Yalelaan 1, 3584CL, Utrecht

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