PhD position in systems / molecular biology (V23.0028)

Job description

Proper cell growth and division is crucial for all forms of life. The Heinemann Lab at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) has recently uncovered that next to the well-known cyclin-dependent kinase system, metabolic oscillations have a crucial role in cell cycle control (Papagiannakis et al, 2017, Molecular Cell; Litsios et al 2019, Nature Cell Biology). However, it is not known yet how metabolism performs this cell cycle control. This is what we would like to find out in this project.

To this end, we will use budding yeast as a model and latest state-of-the-art fluorescence time-lapse microscopy and microfluidics as a key tool to uncover how metabolism performs this important function. Fluorescent reporter constructs will allow us to retrieve cell cycle-resolved information, and optogenetic tools and tools for inducible protein depletion will allow us to perturb the system dynamically and even with single-cell resolution. With combining in a clever manner knowledge from the literature, the insights from the dynamic observations during the cell cycle, and the targeted dynamic perturbations, we will be able to derive testable hypotheses on how metabolic cell cycle control is exerted.

Exploring on how an intrinsically dynamic cellular metabolism controls the process of cell growth and division is not only a great scientific adventure, but also harbors significant potential for medical relevance, as compromised cell cycle control has been attributed to several diseases, such as cancer.

About the University of Groningen Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage currently more than 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and the top 100 universities in the world, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Qualifications

Skills/qualification Fluorescence microscopy, image analysis and molecular biology/genetics (i.e. to generate the reporter and perturbation constructs) will be important tools in this project. Yet, no prior experience in these tools are required. The reason for this is that we are convinced that excellent candidates with the right motivation can learn everything. Thus, if you find the topic of this project interesting, but you do not have any experience in these tools, do not hesitate to apply.

Organisation

Conditions of employment

The Heinemann lab is a mid-sized lab with around 10 lab members. This size is large enough for critical mass, but small enough to warrant excellent support from the advisor.

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

  • For the PhD position: a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month (based on fulltime employment) in the fourth and final year. The 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 successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

Eligibility criteria To apply as a PhD student, the candidate needs to have a Master degree. To apply as a postdoc, the candidate needs to have a PhD degree, which must not have been awarded more than 8 years ago.

The two most important selection criteria for this position are (i) the “motivation” and (ii) the “creativity” of the candidate. With the right motivation, everything can be learned, meaning that the candidate does not need any particular prior skills/qualifications besides having a Master degree (or PhD in the case the candidate applies for the postdoc position). Our lab members come from many different disciplines and we have a great culture of learning and teaching each other.

Application

Selection process Every incoming application is immediately being looked at. Good candidates are then being contacted to schedule a first brief online interview (even before the application deadline), possibly followed by more in-depth discussions and an invitation to come to Groningen for a day or two, to allow for discussions with the current lab members. The preferred starting date is between March 1st and June 1st 2023, but this is flexible and up to negotiation.

For a successful, productive and a joyful PhD or postdoc time it is important that everything fits and is right. This entails that there is good communication between the PhD student / postdoc and the group leader and the group members, that there is a joint view on ambition, etc. Thus, in the hiring process, we make sure that we take sufficient amount of time to make the right decision. The decisions has to be right for us as a research group and also for the candidate.

ApplicationThe application should contain (i) a CV, (ii) information about grades and other measures of success, (iii) two letters of recommendation (these can also be emailed directly), or names of potential references, and (iv) a short statement on how the candidate’s prior experience/expertise could be connected to one of the above mentioned projects.

You may apply for this position until 12 February 11:59pm / before 13 February 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/(…)rsity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/nl/sollicitatiecode and European Commission’s European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

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Information

For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

Additional information