The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD position for ONTOX WP9.3/9.4 neural tube closure ontology project (0.9 - 1.0 FTE)

This job offer has expired

    Utrecht University
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    16/05/2021 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Utrecht


We are looking for a PhD candidate in computational biology/computational toxicology/developmental biology.
The European research project ONTOX aims at developing innovative methodologies for animal-free chemical hazard and risk assessment using computational approaches. Ontologies, representing the network of quantitative molecular and cellular interactions governing the biology of organ function, are at the basis of the approach. When integrated in silico, these models can be challenged based on results obtained in dedicated in vitro assays representing key events in the ontologies. Thus, the in silico model will integrate data from a host of complementary assays into a prediction of toxicity at organism level representing adversity at organ level. This project specifically aims at producing a biology-driven in silico three dimensional model for mammalian embryonic neural tube closure and evaluating its performance with model compounds based on existing data and novel data to be generated within the project.

More Information


We offer a temporary position (0.9 - 1.0 FTE) for a period of four years. The gross salary starts with €2,395 per month in the first year and increases to €3,061 per month in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Selection process

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the button below.

Due to the coronavirus, interviews will be conducted by video calling.

Additional comments

Additional information regarding the position can be obtained from Prof. Aldert Piersma (Professor of Reproductive Toxicology), via aldert.piersma@rivm.nl.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

The PhD candidate we are looking for will be working at the crossroads of developmental biology, bioinformatics and computational toxicology. Our ideal candidate is proficient in computer coding (Python-based), has a background in biology or biomedical sciences, and has an aptitude for the concept of in silico 3D imaging (e.g. CompuCell3D, game development software). The candidate will carry out his/her research mainly at the RIVM premises, and may spend part of the research at external laboratories.
Given the innovative and interdisciplinary nature of the project and its extensive international interlaboratory collaboration, we welcome enthusiastic and flexible candidates with broad expertise and interest in this area and excellent communication skills, including fluency in English (written and spoken) and preferably experience with scientific writing.

This PhD project falls under a strategic professorship for animal-free innovations in prenatal chemical safety testing supported by the Dutch Society for the Replacement of Animal Testing (Stichting Proefdiervrij, SP). The PhD candidate will communicate research both in the scientific arena and in the lay community through SP.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Utrecht University
3512 JE
Domplein 29

EURAXESS offer ID: 630455
Posting organisation offer ID: 299777


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