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Single-Cell Gene Expression Dynamics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

We are looking for
As a PhD candidate, your aim is to identify core post-transcriptional programmes that impact on gene expression variability and ultimately cellular function. You will work on identifying the physical parameters, as well as circuit architectures (i.e. feedback mechanisms) governing gene expression dynamics in mammalian cells. In the first few months you will familiarise yourself with the field and develop a more detailed project outline. Throughout the project, you will gain extensive proficiency in the most current cell-free biochemistry, single-molecule and live-cell microscopy, and mathematical modelling techniques. You will communicate your findings through research articles during the course of your PhD. In addition to your research activities, you will be part of the educational programme of the Institute of Molecules and Materials, where you will develop various critical soft skills such as ethics, planning, and teaching. You will also develop your own scientific voice, as well as broaden and deepen your knowledge of the field of research by participating in symposia and conferences.

We are
The research project will be carried out in the Biophysical Chemistry group of the Institute for Molecules and Materials and led by Dr Maike Hansen (see for more information). IMMs goal is to provide world-leading research and training in the area of functional molecules and materials. You will be working with other PhD candidates from the Biophysical Chemistry group of Dr Hans Heus and Prof. Tom de Greef and the Physical Organic Chemistry group of Prof. Wilhelm Huck. You will be working in a dynamic, highly interdisciplinary environment, with access to state-of-the-art microfluidics labs, confocal microscopy set-ups, and cell-culture facilities. The field of stochastic processes has long been investigated in mathematics and physics. The study of stochastic processes in biology, however, is relatively recent and has really taken off since the emergence of single-cell technologies. It is therefore an exciting time to be working in this innovative, interdisciplinary field that is constantly evolving.

We ask
You have an MSc degree in life sciences (molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, bioengineering or a related field).
You have strong communication skills and the willingness to operate in a dynamic, international research team.
You are proficient in written and spoken English. You are creative with an analytical mindset and want to work at the forefront of science.
You are a team player.
Computational (i.e. mathematical modelling, image analysis) and/or wet lab (i.e. mammalian cell culture, cloning) experience would be advantageous.

We offer
Employment: 32 - 40 hours per week.
A maximum gross monthly salary of € 2.972 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale P).
The exact salary depends on the candidate’s qualifications and amount of relevant professional experience.
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.
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?

Apply directly
Please address your application to Dr. Maike Hansen and submit it via the following link:


For recent work see: Cell, 2018, 173, 1609; Cell Syst., 2018, 7, 384; Nature Nanotech., 2016, 11, 191.

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