15 PhD positions in an ITN

We are looking for excellent, highly motivated students with a background in (bio)chemistry, molecular biology, systems biology, synthetic biology, biotechnology. Apply for one of the 15 PhD positions in our network until February 7th and start your PhD at one of the network partners across Europe in summer 2015

Two recruitment days in Amsterdam in March 2015

  • From the applications, 25 candidates will be selected for an interview and will be invited to our recruitments days in Amsterdam (11./12.3.2015). During these two days, we will identify 15 students, which we will offer a position as a PhD student in the network. During these days, which we will spend in a unique venue (Het West-Indisch Huis), both candidates and the group leaders from the network have the opportunity to show what they have to offer.
  • On the first day, all candidates will give a short presentation on their Master Thesis work, followed by a discussion. In the evening, we will enjoy together a dinner in the heart of Amsterdam, during which candidates and group leaders  can get to know each other in a more informal setting. The second day will be spend with 1on1 interviews where the group leaders can have extensive conversations with the candidate of choice and, of course, to further discuss the details of future participation to our project.
  • Your hotel and travel expenses will be paid by us.

400th anniversary of the University of Groningen

PhD Projects

Within this network, the following PhD projects are available:

  • Projects with a focus on RNA, aptamers, riboswitches Using latest insights and technology from the RNA field, we will develop molecular RNA-based sensors for metabolite. We will exploit computational design, robotics-assisted SELEX, MS-based biophysical aptamer characterization.
  • Projects with a focus on metabolism We will exploit the developed molecular sensors to push metabolic research to the single cell level. Fundamental and cancer-relevant questions will be addressed also with approaches from systems biology.
  • Projects with a biotechnological focus We will harbor the potential of RNA-based sensor for biotechnological application. In collaboration with industry partners, we will open up new avenues for the development and improvement of cell factories.

How to apply

Next to it being an exciting opportunity to join this European Program, it can also be the first step for you to build a solid network. We will provide you with many training opportunities at your choice of University and financial aid will be provided by the project.


  • If you are as enthusiastic about the network and its offered research projects, please apply following the instructions provided below. For more questions about the project or your application please contact us.


Your application must be submitted by February 7th, 2015 to [email protected]
Please, submit the following documents in one PDF document:
  • A cover letter, stating your motivation to join the network, and mentioning the first two choices of projects you would prefer to apply for
  • Your CV
  • A one- to two page synopsis of yourself, your scientific interests, and of your current research work
  • Two letters of recommendation from former advisors/professors
  • After 16th February 2015 we will select 25 candidates who we will invite to attend the recruitment days in March 2015 in Amsterdam (see below).

Good to know before you apply

  • To qualify for a position as a PhD student in the ITN, you need to be within the first four years (full – time equivalent research experience) of your research career and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Further, at the time of recruitment, you must not have lived or worked for more than 12 months in the country of your future host organisation in the 3 years immediately prior to the start of the PhD project (short stays such as vacation are not taken into account).


As a PhD student in an ITN (innovative training network) network, you will have – as any other “normal” PhD student – a host lab, where you will be doing your research. ITNs are financially supported by the European Commission because they provide excellent research, training and career aspects (which is something that is sometimes not guaranteed when doing a “normal” PhD). Thus, there a number of benefits being a PhD student in an ITN.

Doing a PhD within an ITN project has numerous benefits:

  • You will get the chance to participate in specially developed courses (for instance; on specific techniques, on development of soft skills, etc.)
  • You can  already at a very early stage start building your personal professional network due to the embedding of our PhD projects in an academic/industrial network
  • You will be exposed to industry and the challenges in industry already during the PhD, because we also have partners from industry in our network (who also contribute to the training)
  • You will also get the opportunity to spend some time in the labs of other partners (thereby you will get familiar with other disciplines, techniques, cultures, etc.), as the research projects are designed such that they will mostly have interdisciplinary components
  • You will be advised by excellent group leaders – they are all excellent in their research and trainings
  • You will get a competitive salary; additionally you will get per months an additional mobility allowance of 600€ (and an additional family allowance of 500€ when you are married)


Network coordinator:
University of Groningen
Molecular Systems Biology
Nijenborgh 4
9747 AG Groningen
The Netherlands
For applications and inquires about the application  procedures: [email protected]
Renate van der Tuuk, (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)

For general inquires about the project:
Prof. Matthias Heinemann, University of Groningen, The Netherlands,

Read More

We are looking for excellent, highly motivated students with a background in (bio)chemistry, molecular biology, systems biology, synthetic biology, biotechnology. Apply for one of the 15 PhD positions in our network until February 7th and start your PhD at one of the network partners across Europe in summer 2015