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PhD student position in cancer biology

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DepartmentUniversity Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Work locationGroningen
Apply no later than08 August 2021

Working environment

We have an exciting opportunity for a motivated and ambitious PhD student, funded by the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF). Our lab participates in the Cancer Research Center Groningen (CRCG), which is part of the Graduate School for Medical Sciences. Within the graduate school, you have the opportunity to follow high-quality courses throughout your PhD training.
Our research is focused on cell cycle regulation and DNA damage responses in the context of cancer. The research group is embedded in the Department of Medical Oncology of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands, where oncological patient care is coordinated with preclinical and fundamental research on the biology and treatment of cancer. The lab is surrounded by other labs that study chromatin biology and genome instability, and is part of the Cancer Research Center Groningen, in which basic and translational research groups participate, and which provides an excellent training environment for PhD students.

Job description

The cellular response to DNA damage factors is highly dependent on the cell cycle. We have previously discovered that during mitosis -the final step of the cell cycle – the response to DNA damage is rigorously re-wired. The current project aims to elucidate how the cellular response to DNA damage is organized throughout the cell cycle. In particular, we aim to uncover the mechanisms that determine the mitotic DNA damage response, and how these factors determine the response to chemotherapeutics and radiotherapy.

Job description
The PhD student will investigate the response to DNA damage using a combination of proteomic screens, genome engineering, (live cell) microscopy, cell biology and whole genome analysis. Initial proteomics screens will be performed with synthetic DNA constructs that resemble specific types of DNA damage with cellular extracts. Newly identified factors, along with recently discovered factors will be validated in human cell line models, equipped with CRISPR-based inducible DNA lesions. Underlying mechanisms of cell cycle-dependent DNA repair will be addressed using cell biological techniques, including live cell imaging. The PhD position will be for 4 years, and should result in a PhD thesis at the University of Groningen. The PhD student will work on this project in collaboration with a post-doc, who will also be appointed on this project.

What do we need

We offer a PhD studentship to an ambitious candidate with a passion for DNA damage signaling, molecular cell biology, proteomics, and overall cancer biology. The PhD candidate should have the following requirements:

  • MSc. degree or equivalent in (Molecular/Medical) Biology.
  • An enthusiastic and ambitious team player.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good spoken and written English language skills.
  • A background in molecular cell biology.

The following skills and knowledge as an asset:

  • Experience with proteomics.
  • Experience in cell cycle or DNA damage signaling, microscopy or genetics.

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.

What do we offer

  • A stimulating and creative learning environment.
  • A full-time (1.0 FTE) PhD position for up to 4 years. The successful candidate will initially be offered a position for one year; with an extension of 3 more years conditional on a positive evaluation after 9 months.
  • The successful candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student in the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of the University of Groningen.
  • Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.495,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.196,- (scale PhD) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC). English: http://www.nfu.nl/english/about-the-nfu/
  • Employees relocating from abroad may be eligible for the Dutch ‘30% ruling’, a tax advantage which results in a significantly higher net salary.

For questions about the position you may contact:

  • prof. dr. Marcel van Vugt, e-mail: Contact

Applying for a job
Please use the digital application form at the bottom of this page, only these will be processed. The application form requires:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV (including educational and employment history, academic transcript of the MSc studies, publication list etc.)

You can apply until 8 August 2021.
Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.