Research Associate in advanced in vitro modelling (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
36 to 40
Faculty of Science
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology
Application deadline: 

Job description

As a Research Associate in the Division of Pharmacology in the Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, you will be responsible for the transition of modelling concepts towards a functioning computer-aided design. Thereafter, you will test these concepts for a variety of aspects, e.g. cell compatibility and leak tightness. The main goal will be exploring compatibility with a microbiome/immune component.

The position is at the University of Utrecht for a minimum of one year. After that, the model will be valorized and it is likely that an organ-on-a-chip start-up will be formed based on this innovation. Our ideal candidate is willing to take part in this newly formed company.


  • further develop the intestinal in vitro model (intestinal tubule). Analyze, interpret and translate research results into model improvements;
  • develop computer-aided designs for the valorization of the model;
  • test and optimize the model for a variety of aspects.


We are looking for a candidate who is motivated, communicative and resourceful. You are an effective independent worker, and a collaborative team member. You have an appropriate publication record and are willing to travel, and apply for grant funding. You also have:

  • at least a Master’s degree in bioengineering (PhD in bioengineering);
  • sufficient laboratory experience to be a ‘self-starter’;
  • experience in biological in vitro model development;
  • experience in CAD-software;
  • an understanding of the intestinal biology;
  • an entrepreneurial mindset.


  • a position for a minimum of one year;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,329 to €3,144 in scale 7;
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao).

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.
More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

About the organisation

You will be working in the Experimental Pharmacology group, focused on regenerative pharmacology and disease modeling within the Pharmacology Division, headed by Professor Garssen. The research in the division focuses on the basic mechanisms underlying especially, but not exclusively, non-communicable disorders (NCD) and their pharmacological manipulations via drugs, vaccines, biologicals, and/or medical food components. Their objective is to gain deeper insight into the pathways in which cells and mediators of the immune and/or central nervous systems interact, aimed at developing new concepts for prevention and/or treatment with a strong focus on inflammation management and organ function restoration.

At the Faculty of Science there are six departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Additional information

If you have any questions, please contact:
Paul Jochems, via

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button, enclosing:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references;
  • optional: a copy of your PhD certificate, or a letter from your university stating when your defence will take place.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward the link to them.
Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Corona virus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.
Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 12 April 2021.