PhD position in Early life stress and Alzheimer's Disease

PhD position in Early life stress and Alzheimer's Disease

Published Deadline Location
3 Jul 25 Aug Amsterdam

Job description

Are you fascinated by the way early life factors can influence the brain and its structure and functioning in later life? Do you want to know whether early life stress can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease and how? Do you enjoy working in a lab with preclinical models and at the same time enjoy working with human data? Then this position might be perfect for you!

We are looking for a highly qualified and motivated PhD candidate to conduct research activities aimed at unravelling the role of mitochondria in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s Dementia in the context of early life stress. This project has been funded by Alzheimer Nederland.

The position is embedded within The Brain Plasticity Group in the team of dr. Aniko Korosi at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam (UvA). This is a collaborative project with the team of dr. Susanne de Rooij at the department of Epidemiology and Data Science at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, location AMC with whom the human part of the work will be performed with.

What are you going to do?
Your work will focus on assessing the effects of early life stress on mitochondria biology in synapses, glial cells and blood cells of WT and AD mice. In addition, you will test whether manipulations of mitochondria via the diet or targeted strategies protect against AD-related deficits after early life stress in preclinical mouse models. Finally, you will examine in a cohort of individuals who have been exposed to undernutrition during pregnancy whether this form of early life stress affects mitochondrial measures in blood monocytes and whether this can predict cognitive and brain aging.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • gain knowledge of the field through literature survey, discussion with team members, and internal lab meetings;
  • contribute to the design of experiments and perform experiments in the lab;
  • perform preclinical mouse in vivo and in vitro experiments;
  • analyse and interpret results of the experiments;
  • take a leading role in writing manuscripts;
  • be an active member of the research teams at both SILS and AMC and present your results at (inter)national scientific meetings;
  • participate in the Faculty of Science PhD training programme;
  • assist in teaching undergraduates and Master’s students;
  • co-supervise junior scientists (technicians, MSc/BSc students).

What do you have to offer?
You are excited about science and have a particular interest in and preferably have knowledge of early life origins of disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. You like a challenge and you enjoy and are not afraid of combining work on preclinical mouse models with work on human data. You have good statistical skills and experience with statistical packages such as SPSS. You like to work in diverse settings as you have to combine work in the lab with work in an Epidemiology group. You are a team player and a nice colleague who enjoys being part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists. Finally, you have good time management skills enabling you to meet the projects’ deadlines for finishing analyses, reports and other deliverables.

Your experience and profile
You have/are:
  • a MSc degree in Biology, Neuroscience/ (neuro-)immunology or related fields;
  • preferably experience with big data and omics analyses and coding (e.g. python, R);
  • affinity and preferably experience with performing animal experiments;
  • a basic knowledge on classical neuroscientific methods (e.g. dissections, immunohistochemistry, western blot, PCR,

in vitro assays, cell type sorting);
  • good project and time management skills enabling you to meet the projects’ deadlines for finishing analyses, reports

and other deliverables;
  • good analytical, writing and presenting skills;
  • fluent in English, both written and spoken and the willingness to learn Dutch (in case not Dutch native speaker).

It is a preference if you have experience with performing statistical analyses on large datasets and with mitochondria research.

Our offer
A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is 15 November 2024. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2.770 in the first year to €3.539 (scale P) in the last year. This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile PhD candidate applicable. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us
The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 19 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?
Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application
If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 25 August 2024.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):
  • a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the second half of September 2024.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines)

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 13164


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 25 Aug 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).