PhD Candidate in Developmental Neurobiology
Radboud University

PhD Candidate in Developmental Neurobiology

  • 40 hours per week
  • Maximum gross monthly salary: € 2,972
  • Faculty of Science
  • Job level: Research University Degree
  • Duration of the contract: 4 years
  • Application deadline: 15 April 2020


We are looking for

The main aim of the NWA ProMiSe project is to improve our understanding of biological mechanisms underpinning psychiatric and cognitive aspects in rare Mendelian syndromes (e.g. Witteveen-Kolk syndrome) to be able to design tailored intervention strategies targeted at the severe behaviour and psychiatric problems that are frequently encountered. To investigate the role of neurodevelopmental disorder-causing genes in human corticogenesis, we have already generated various patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines carrying loss-of-function (LOF) mutations, and age-matched control lines. Forebrain-type organoids of the various patient-derived/control iPSC lines will be generated and screened. In addition, we use various mouse models to unravel the role of these disorder-causing genes in prefrontal maturation. As a PhD candidate you will work on the assessment of gene expression changes in specific cell populations, cell biological characterisation and analyses of the organoids that will include 2D (immunofluorescence of cryosections) and 3D (light sheet) microscopy and morphometrics. You will further have the opportunity to use a broad spectrum of methods and techniques including mouse genetics, functional and behavioural assays, immunohistochemistry, fluorescence microscopy (wide-field, confocal and light sheet), cell and molecular biology, and biochemistry. You will be expected to supervise Master's students.

We ask


  • You are a highly motivated, enthusiastic, critical, creative and team-oriented individual with a particular interest in neurobiology.
  • You hold a Master's degree (or are about to obtain one) in biology, biomedical sciences, molecular life sciences or a related discipline, and are interested in a scientific career.
  • Previous experience with culturing and/or mouse surgeries would be a plus but is not required.
  • We are a dynamic international lab, so a good command of English is essential.
  • You are capable of working in a team as well as independently.

We are

As part of the Department of Molecular Neurobiology, the Kolk lab combines state-of-the-art functional assays (e.g. in utero electroporation, explant assays, brain organoids) with various molecular approaches to unravel molecular/cellular underpinnings of developing brain areas. Within the NWA ProMiSe project, we specifically focus on the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and how syndrome-causing genes can disrupt its development when absent. The proposed research will be conducted through tight and established collaboration between the Molecular Neurobiology department and the Human Genetics department, and other top-notch research institutes in the country, which combine top-level clinical and biomedical research on genetic disorders. We have the expertise and facilities for functional assays (including a mouse survival surgery room), mouse behavioural analysis, imaging (fluorescence, confocal, light sheet microscopy), histology and immunohistochemistry, molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell culture. We are part of the Donders Institute, a world-class neuroscience institute with a lively and interactive culture.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent and collaboration. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • Employment: 40 hours per week.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.
  • The intended start date is 1 June 2020.
  • Membership of the Donders Graduate School, including offers such as peer coaching and a mentoring programme.
  • Excellent personal development opportunities in both scientific and academic career skills.
  • You will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service: our Dual Career Officer will assist with family-related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.
  • Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Would you like more information?

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Dr. S.M. Kolk, PI NWA ProMiSe within Department of Molecular Neurobiology
Tel.: +31 24 3652580

Apply directly

Please address your application to Dr. S.M. Kolk and submit it, using the application button, no later than 15 April 2020, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • CV, including study grades and contact details of at least two references.
Written applications will be evaluated, and Skype interviews will be conducted with selected applicants. Finally, a further selection of applicants will be invited for a visit, which will include an introduction to all lab members, one-to-one meetings with lab members, a tour of the laboratory facilities, an interview and a scientific presentation.


We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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