PhD-candidate for the NanoCommons project, FHML/NUTRIM – Department of BioInformatics

PhD-candidate for the NanoCommons project, FHML/NUTRIM – Department of BioInformatics

Published Deadline Location
29 Jun 15 Jul Maastricht

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PhD student
PhD-candidate for the NanoCommons project, FHML/NUTRIM – Department of BioInformatics

Job description

Nanotechnologies is increasing our ability to improve our quality of life. Whether is it innovative medicine, ingredients in new beneficial products, or reducing the cost of smartphones, nanomaterials have found their way into our society. However, like any chemical of natural or synthetic source, sometimes the chemical substance cause adverse outcomes. The European Union has funded research projects to explore nanomaterials, their many uses, and their potential toxicity. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest in the development of Adverse Outcome Pathways for the regulation of chemicals on the market, particularly when combined with molecular pathways, such as found in WikiPathways. However, a common language and infrastructure is missing that unites these research fields. That is where NanoCommons comes in.

This project will focus on using a formal ontology to create a common language to unify research in these fields, among which is the research done in the EU NanoSafety Cluster (NSC). You will actively work together with many international projects and institutes to combine the ontology with approaches to further the European research into nanotechnologies. Among these are projects like eNanoMapper, OpenRiskNet, and EU-ToxRisk. The eNanoMapper project developed an initial ontology, which is continued in the NSC and in this project. This ontology needs continued development which you will coordinate using Open Science approaches. Adoption will be encouraged via collaborations but also using social media channels used by research peers.


Maastricht University (UM)



We seek a candidate with strong academic abilities and the ambition to become an excellent researcher. You have completed a research master  in the natural (biological, chemical, biomedical) sciences, or an equivalent 2-year degree. Outstanding students with a 1-year regular master can be accepted in exceptional cases when their profile exactly matches the requirements for this research project.

We are looking for a prospective PhD candidate with either a background in bioinformatics, ontology development, cheminformatics, or equivalent, with affinity for data integration issues and systems biology approaches. The ideal candidate will have covered all aspects, but candidates with experience in one of these and an interest in the other are also encouraged to apply.

Furthermore the successful candidate should have:

  • A proven interest and demonstrable ability to write computer code and organise data;
  • Experience with source code development (version control, issue trackers, documentation) is preferred;
  • Excellent writing skills in English;
  • Strong demonstrable analytical skills;
  • Affinity for working in an interdisciplinary and highly international environment;
  • Good organisational skills;
  • Willingness to relocate to (the vicinity of) Maastricht.


Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

Temporary employment for 4 years. Your salary would be € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.840,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-candidate salary scale. Each year an evaluation will take place.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism

NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism initiates and catalyzes translational research into nutritional health benefits and risks focusing on metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. Through its research master and PhD programme NUTRIM aims to educate scientists of high academic excellence and ambassadors to support and develop the filed of nutrition, metabolism and toxicology within and outside the Netherlands. 16 Biomedical, clinical, and behavioural-science departments are incorporated within NUTRIM. The school is a partner in the national Top Institutes TI Food&Nutrition and Lygature (merging of  TI-Pharma and the Centre for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM)). These unique consortia of government, industry and research aim to stimulate the transfer of knowledge generated in fundamental research to Dutch industry and thus to strengthen its innovative power and competitive strength.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2222—€2840 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2018.211


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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