PhD candidate - Molecular Brain Tumor Detector

PhD candidate - Molecular Brain Tumor Detector

Published Deadline Location
11 Jun 24 Jun Maastricht

Job description

A compact Molecular Brain Tumor Detector that can identify brain tumors within seconds based on molecular profiles in electrosurgical smoke will be developed and validated in a collaboration between M4i and MUMC+ neurosurgery.

You are responsible for the collection, storage, handling and analysis of brain tumor and epilepsysurgery samples collected by neurosurgeons at MUMC. Also keeping track of relevant clinical information, as well as acquisition, data analysis and statistical interpretation of (imaging) mass spectrometry data with the newly developed Molecular Brain Tumor Detector under the guidance of an experienced postdoc is part of your PhD researchproject.

You will be part of a large and rapidly expanding team of imaging mass spectrometry researchers at the UM research group MSI in peri-operative diagnostics at M4I and expected to closely collaborate with oncological and epilepsy surgeons at MUMC. You will be supervised by a joint team of the Neurosurgery Department at MUMC and M4I at UM.

We are looking for a team player who is enthusiastic about neuro-related clinical problems and the search for translatable (bio-)technical solutions (bench-to-bedside / bedside-to-bench). You are not afraid of hands on research in the lab with high tech equipment. Besides you feel comfortable to be present during surgery in the operating room to collect patient-derived tissue samples. You have a master’s degree (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline closely related to (Bio-)medical sciences.
You should be currently living in, or willing to relocate to, the region around Maastricht (which is close to Belgium and Germany). Knowledge of the Dutch language is a plus but not a requirement. You must be fluent in both spoken and written English, at least at the level of B2 or C1 (skilled or advanced). You need to be able to prove excellent communication skills for academic publications and oral presentations and make optimal use of technical and clinical expertise of your colleagues.

We offer

As 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 P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (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 2 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.

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.

About M4I
M4i is a state-of-the art international institute at Maastricht University (The Netherlands) that brings together a powerful palette of innovative molecular imaging technologies. Its mission is to develop instrumentation and perform both fundamental and applied studies in molecular imaging as part of a translational, synergistic, interdisciplinary research program that attracts top researchers from across the world. The PhD will work at the Mass Spectrometry Imaging division where we develop and apply state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for nanomedicine and biomedical research, including mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine in oncology, neurology and cardiovascular medicine. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a label-free molecular imaging technique for which no prior knowledge about the sample is needed. It enables the visualization of molecular distributions on solid surfaces using mass spectrometry by scanning the samples in a pixel-by-pixel manner where for each pixel a mass spectrum is generated. Visualization of molecular spatial distributions provides unique insights in many fields.

About Neurosurgery at Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC):

We treat patients with disorders of both the central and peripheral nervous system. This includes surgery of the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and their enclosing tissues (membranes, skull, spinal column). Top referent functions of the department Neurosurgery are, among others, epilepsy surgery, complex neuro-oncological surgery with neuromonitoring and Deep Brain stimulation. The unit of epilepsy surgery is incorporated in the Academic Center for Epileptology (ACE) in which the MUMC / Brain and Nerve Center cooperates with Kempenhaeghe, one of the two tertiary centers of excellence for epilepsy care in Heeze, The Netherlands. Dr. Schijns specialized in epilepsy surgery and neuro-oncological surgery. The department has a large European network for scientific collaboration.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Eva Cuypers at for more information. Do you have any questions regarding the procedure, please contact Patrick Claus (Recruiter) at

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD candidate - Molecular Brain Tumor Detector? Apply now, no later than 24 June 2024 for this position.

Please upload your CV, motivation letter, grade list, contact information of 2 referees, research plan and publication list.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1033


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 24 Jun 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).