PhD candidate in structural cell biology and cryo-EM, Institute M4I, division Nanoscopy

PhD candidate in structural cell biology and cryo-EM, Institute M4I, division Nanoscopy

Published Deadline Location
16 May 30 Jun Maastricht

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The candidate joins the Nanoscopy Division in the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4I). The M4I Institute is a collaborative and international group with diverse expertise, including microscopy, molecular life science, biophysics, biochemistry, large data processing & engineering.

Job description

Life science is aiming to understand how gene products or proteins work within their cellular environment in health and disease. Therefore we built a state of the art cryo-LM/EM correlative workflow from cellular localization by light microscopy, milling with focused ion beams, down to cryo-electron tomography, subvolume averaging and image processing to study how these nano-machines work under native conditions.

We seek a talented PhD candidate to join our interdisciplinary team. We develop instruments for the vitrification of thin layers of purified proteins for cryo-EM single particle analysis and cells together with our startup The applicant will focus on improving vitrification of human cells thus allowing mechanistic understaning of how nano machinery works in situ. Besides technique development our research focuses on understanding the nano machinery involved in the pathogenicity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. More details at:

The candidate will work within a team of academic investigators and (industrial) engineers to research and develop a next generation Vitrojet device for optimal vitrification of cells.

Job Title: PhD in structural cell biology and cryo-EM

PhD advisers: Peter J. Peters, Carmen López-Iglesias and Raimond Ravelli

Organisation Unit: Nanoscopy division of the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging institute (M4I).


Maastricht University (UM)


We are looking for a hands-on person who is prepared to take a practical, experimental approach within a highly challenging project. Because of the interdisciplinary character of the project, she/he is able to work independently while being a good and pro-active independent team player. She/he holds a master degree in (nano)biology, (bio)chemistry, (bio)physics, (bio)mechanical engineering or related fields. This is an interdisciplinary project involving both science and engineering thereby creating societal impact and commercial value. Good writing and oral communication skills as well as a demonstrated affinity with high-end equipment and/or cell biology are required. Candidates should be fluent in English; knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 +3 years.

We offer an enthusiastic working environment within an ambitious international research team for 1.0 FTE. The appointment will be based on a one-year fixed-term contract. During this period you will be given the opportunity to develop the skills and competencies required for the fulfilment of this position. Your performance will be reviewed in an assessment interview. Upon positive assessment this fixed-term contract will be replaced with a contract for another three years. The terms of employment of Maastricht University (MU) are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local MU provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees

Salary € 2.325,- gross/month growing to € 2.972,- gross/month in the last year. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8,3% per year. We offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes, flexible employment conditions, working-from-home facilities and partially paid parental leave. Facilities for sports and child care are available on our campus, which is only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre.

We have a state of the art international school (United World College Maastricht) for children in the age from 2-18 years, equipping them with the attitudes, skills and that provides them access to international universities.


Maastricht University (UM) is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach and has around 16,300 students and 4,300 employees (> 50% is from abroad). UM is a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a focus on innovative education and research strategies. We see ourselves as an open inclusive academic community, striving for a good mix between Dutch, European and other international students and staff. UM is committed to nurturing an inclusive culture and a welcoming and safe atmosphere. This strategy has resulted in a very diverse representation of nationalities and cultures. We strongly believe that diversity (including, but not limited to nationality, age and gender) of the staff and student population will increase the quality of UM education & research. Fostering diversity and inclusivity creates an academic community where individual talents thrive, and values and differences are cherished. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are qualified for this position.


Nanoscopy division of the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging institute (M4I)

The M4I Nanoscopy division has a state-of-the-art microscopy facility among which a correlative cryo-EM workflow consisting of a cryo-CorrSight, cryo-Scios dual FIB-SEM, and an Arctica cryo-TEM equipped with autoloader, phase plate and Falcon3 electron counting camera. In addition it includes two Tecnai Spirit 120kV TEMs, super-resolution light microscopy (3D-STED) and 2-photon microscopy for live cell imaging. The division of Nanoscopy forms together with the division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry the Multimodal Molecular Imaging institute (M4I) in which more then 50 young scientist from whole over the world bring together a powerful palette of high-end, innovative imaging technologies. We participate in and and have acces to two KRIOS cryo-EMs at NeCEN  Our lab develops with our next-door ‘Instrument Development Engineering & Evaluation’ facility new microscopy technologies.


  • PhD positions
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University Graduate
  • AT2019.185


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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