PhD position in Immune Activation in Human Germinal Centres (1.0 FTE)

Uren per week: 
38 tot 40
Faculteit of dienst: 
Faculteit Bètawetenschappen
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery
Uiterlijk reageren op: 


Dive into the captivating world of adaptive immunity with us! Join us in this PhD position as an enthusiastic immunologist to unveil the secrets of immune activation in human germinal centres (GC). This research offers the chance to redefine how we understand immunity, and has therapeutic potential.

You will embark on a journey discovering:

  • GC dynamics: explore the enigmatic dark and light zones of GCs, where B cells perfect their antibody responses;
  • stromal network: discover the cells behind the cells that regulate activated GCs, guiding us through the affinity maturation process;
  • glycan puzzle: decode the distinct glycans and lectins that drive immune responses in different GC zones.

You will have an impact on areas like:

  • human immunology: focus on primary human cells and decipher the delicate balance between immunity and self-recognition;
  • therapeutic avenues: contribute to therapies by unravelling basic immunological questions.

For this you will use tools including:

  • cutting-edge techniques: employ advanced methods like confocal microscopy, single-cell RNA sequencing, and flow cytometry.
  • collaborative network: partner with chemical biology groups and a hospital network for interdisciplinary insights, work with international collaborators.


Excited by this position? You should bring multiple if not all of the following requirements:

  • a completed Master's in immunology;
  • experience with lab work and cell culture (of primary cells);
  • preferably, experience with FACS analyses, R data analysis, ELISA and microscopy;
  • good level of spoken and written English language skills.


We offer:

  • a position (1.0 FTE) for 1 year, with an extension to a total of four years upon successful assessment;
  • a full-time gross salary between €2,770 in the first year and €3,539 in the fourth year of employment in scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities;
  • 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.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, sports and cultural schemes and you get discounts on software and other IT products. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow. For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

Over de organisatie

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Shaping science, sharing tomorrow.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 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.

The research will be performed at the Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), which is located at the Utrecht Science Park.

Aanvullende informatie

Contact details regarding job position:

    Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff.

    *Note to recruitment agencies: Please refrain from contacting us regarding this job posting.


    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

    If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the 'apply' button! Please enclose:

    • your letter of motivation;
    • your curriculum vitae;
    • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references;
    • a copy of your MSc degree, 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 else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

    Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

    Uiterlijk reageren op 9 oktober 2023.