PhD/Postdoc position in modeling cellular decision making during multicellular development (1.0 FTE)

Onderwijs en onderzoek
Uren per week: 
38 tot 40
Faculteit of dienst: 
Faculteit Betawetenschappen
Uiterlijk reageren op: 


The Ten Tusscher lab invites applications for a PhD or postdoctoral research position in Computational Developmental Biology. The focus of the project will be to reveal the regulatory logic of cellular decision making in the context of animal development. Specifically, we seek to better understand how precursor cells commit to a specialized cellular fate, choose between distinct cellular fates, and coordinate fate decisions with a permanent arrest of cell division. To address these questions, we will develop quantitative dynamic models of cell fate decisions. Aim of the project is to reveal the key players, unravel the architecture of the regulatory network they constitute as well as the temporal dynamics this generates to decipher how all of this together shapes cell fate decisions. Developed models will be based on high quality, detailed experimental data obtained through the latest technologies in transcriptome, epigenome, and proteome analysis, and  the project will be carried out in close collaboration with specialists in C. elegans development (van den Heuvel lab, UU, Korswagen lab, Hubrecht Institute), single-cell analysis (Korswagen and van Oudenaarden labs, Hubrecht Institute), and proteomics techniques (Vermeulen lab, Radboud University Nijmegen).

The successful candidate will become part of the highly interactive Computational Biology community at Utrecht University. This will include daily interactions with fellow Researchers in the Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics group, as well as regular meetings with our consortium partners at the Developmental Biology group, Hubrecht Institute and Radboud University. Our PhD research students are associated with the PhD programme “Computational Life Sciences” of the Utrecht University Graduate School of Life Sciences, and will have access to the courses, retreats, and infrastructure of the Graduate School.


We are looking for a curious and ambitious junior scientist who

  • holds a Master’s or PhD degree in Computational Biology, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, or a related field;
  • has a strong interest in developmental biology and gene regulation;
  • has previous experience with independent research;
  • has experience with data analysis, modeling, numerical mathematics and programming;
  • has been trained in scientific writing, communication and presentation in English;
  • has the motivation to work in an ambitious, multidisciplinary and international research team.


  • a full-time position with an evaluation after one year (PhD candidate: for four years total, Postdoc: three years);
  • embedding in a great team of top Computational Biologists and Life Sciences Researchers;
  • a full-time gross salary starting for PhD candidates at €2,325 and increasing to €2,972 per month during the appointment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao)) The salary for Postdocs depends on previous qualifications and experience: the gross salary ranges between €3,255 and €4,978 per month (scale 10/11 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) for full-time employment;
  • the salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year;
  • 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 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 way we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here

Over de organisatie

Research in the Theoretical Biology & Bioinformatics division makes use of a wide range of different data analysis and modeling strategies to decipher the mechanisms underlying biological processes. Research subjects range from plant development and adaption, to the functioning of the immune system, and the evolution of complexity. Together with the Developmental Biology and Cell Biology groups the Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics group forms the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity (IBB), and is part of the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Science at Utrecht University.

Research within the UU Department of Biology is organized in two institutes: the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity (IBB), and the Institute of Environmental Biology (IEB). The Department of Biology coordinates teaching in the Bachelor’s Biology programme, as well as the Master’s programmes and PhD courses that are offered via the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

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 them is made up of distinct institutes which 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.

Aanvullende informatie

If you have any questions, please contact Prof Kirsten ten Tusscher via

Do you have questions 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 the experience to excel in this role, please respond via the “Apply now” button!

Please enclose: 

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity is not 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.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

Uiterlijk reageren op 31 juli 2020.