PhD positions in RNA Structure Ensembles & Dynamics (2.0 FTE)

PhD positions in RNA Structure Ensembles & Dynamics (2.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
17 Jan 31 Mar Groningen

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Job description

We are looking for two talented and enthusiastic candidates for a fully funded 4-year PhD position. The PhD candidates for this project will be working at the RNA Structure Ensembles & Dynamics group led by Dr Danny Incarnato, which is embedded in the Molecular Genetics department of the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB -

PhD candidates will receive excellent training through cutting-edge research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on generic research, transferable skills and teaching. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within 4 years. PhD candidates are expected to contribute 10% of their overall workload to teaching.

The successful applicants each will work on a multidisciplinary project aimed at dissecting RNA structure ensembles in living cells. Particularly, they will:

- develop novel methods (both wet and computational) for the accurate interrogation of RNA 2D and 3D structures in living cells
- apply novel as well as state-of-the-art methods to map and functionally characterize RNA structure ensembles under different cellular conditions
- explore the therapeutic potential of targeting RNA structure ensembles

The Incarnato group uses both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cellular models and exploits (or develops where needed) cutting-edge experimental methods (Marinus et al., 2021 [PMID: 33398343]; Incarnato et al., 2017 [PMID: 28934475]; Incarnato et al., 2017 [PMID: 28180324]; Incarnato et al., 2014 [PMID: 25323333]) and bioinformatics analysis tools (Morandi et al., 2022 [PMID: 35361788]; Morandi et al., 2021 [PMID: 33619392]; Incarnato et al., 2018 [PMID: 29893890]; Incarnato et al., 2016 [PMID: 26487736]; Incarnato et al., 2013 [PMID: 23863844]), complemented by state-of-the-art molecular genetics and biochemistry techniques.

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen ( enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global center of knowledge.

The Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), one of the larger institutes of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), provides an excellent environment for top-notch research in the field of biomolecular sciences. Twelve vibrant research groups with strong roots in biophysics, biochemistry & molecular biology, cell biology, chemistry, computational biology, microbiology or genetics are organized in two focal areas: ‘Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Processes’ and ‘Physiology and Systems Biology’.


University of Groningen


The ideal candidates must be highly motivated, hard-working, ambitious, creative, and really enthusiastic about RNA. Preferably, we seek candidates who are interested in conducting both wet-lab and in silico research. They will have the following qualifications.


- MSc degree with specialization in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics/computational biology (or related disciplines)
- Experience with basic molecular biology research techniques (PCR, cloning, western blotting, etc.)
- Excellent command of the English language (both written and spoken)
- Ability to work independently and in a team


- Prior experience working with RNA and related techniques (RT-PCR, in vitro transcription, northern blotting, etc.)
- Knowledge of UNIX/Linux computing environments and of a programming language (e.g., Perl, Python, Rust, C++, R, etc.).

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the final year (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a fulltime position (1.0 FTE)
- excluding a 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end of the year bonus.

The positions offered are for four years. Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School Science and Engineering of the Faculty.

The preferred starting date is May 1, 2024 (but this can be negotiated on a per-candidate basis).

More information on the conditions of employment:


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • V24.0031


University of Groningen

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Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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