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PhD position 'Cellular biophysics of tinnitus'

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DepartmentDepartment of Otorhinolaryngology
Work locationGroningen
Apply no later than25 March 2018

Working environment

This is a PhD position at the Otorhinolaryngology Department of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). The UMCG is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. More than 12.500 employees provide patient care, are involved in medical education and perform cutting-edge scientific research focused around the theme of ‘Healthy and Active Ageing’. Research at the UMCG is characterized by close interactions between fundamental and patient oriented clinical research.

The Otorhinolaryngology Department and the research program 'Healthy Ageing and Communication' aim at a better understanding of hearing disorders with the goal to contribute to their relief. This research program combines fundamental research on hearing with cross-disciplinary approaches to explore interactions between hearing and other factors, such as cognitive processing, ageing, and signal processing in hearing aids and cochlear implants.

As a PhD student you will collaborate with group members from diverse backgrounds, such as engineering, medical sciences, audiology, biology and medical physics. You will work toward a dissertation, and present your research in at least three contributions to high-impact international journals. Your research will be embedded in the EU-funded Innovative Training Network ‘TIN-ACT: Tinnitus Assessment, Causes and Treatments'.


Job description

Tinnitus involves changes (increases and decreases) in spontaneous neuronal activity in various regions of the auditory pathway. The molecular mechanisms causing these changes are unknown. We will use mouse models and a variety of molecular, physiological and behavioral assessments to test the hypothesis that changes in neuronal chloride homeostasis switch excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity and, thereby, alter spontaneous neuronal activity. The project will be supervised by Dr. Sonja Pyott and Prof. Pim van Dijk.

What do we need

Required qualifications:

  • Master degree in (molecular) biology, neuroscience, medical sciences or a related field. In line with EU requirments, this qualifying degree must have been acquired within the 4 years preceeding the start of your appointment.
  • Programming experience, especially with Matlab, or other related programming tools
  • Inquisitive, critical, and independent research attitude
  • Excellent communication skills and a team player mentality
  • Excellent written and spoken English language skills.
  • Interest in working in an international environment and in interacting with patients
  • Active participation in training and dissemination activities of the European Training Network TIN-ACT.
  • In line with the requirements of EU ETN projects, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 year period immediately prior to the start date. See tinact.eu for a full description of this mobility requirement.

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

What do we offer

The duration of the contract is three years to be concluded with a PhD examination. It concerns a full time appointment (36 h/week). After one year, the performance of the candidate will be evaluated to decide whether there is sufficient progress to expect a successful completion of the PhD thesis. You will be registered with the Graduate School for Medical Sciences (GSMS) at the Univeristy of Groningen.

Your salary is € 2.279,- gross per month in the first year, and up to a maximum of € 2.786,- gross per month in the last (third) year (scale PhD). In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and a development budget. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement of Medical Centers (CAO-UMC).

The UMCG is committed to offer equal opportunities. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered in case of equal qualifications.

More information
For more information about this vacancy you may contact Dr. S. Pyott (Contact) or Prof. dr. P. van Dijk (Contact), phone +31-50-3612550.
(please do not use e-mail adresses for applications)

The application package will have:

  • A copy of your CV
  • The names and contact information of two references (one of them preferably your advisor from Master’s or another research project)
  • A short motivation letter
  • An example of a previously written report or journal article

Applying for a job

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed.
You can apply until 25 March 2018.
Immediately after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.