The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioinformatics/Toxicoinformatics, 1.0 fte (4yrs) - Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences/School NUTRIM/Department of Bioinformatics - BiGCaT, in collaboration with TNO-Utrecht

This job offer has expired

    Maastricht University (UM)
    Medical sciences
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    06/12/2021 23:59 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Maastricht


Imagine a world in which we perform precision safety testing of chemicals and pharmaceuticals without using laboratory animals. Imagine that the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals can be assessed for vulnerable groups such as infants, the elderly or the diseased. Imagine that we know how these substances interact with human biology and physiology and how they can be used safely at home, school or at work during the course of our lives. This is our vision for the future, the vision that underlies the development of the Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment (VHP4Safety), the world’s first platform to determine the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals for human health based solely on human biology. By integrating innovations in data science, human tissue culture models and transition management, VHP4Safety will spearhead the transition to animal-free safety assessment. The VHP4Safety consortium consists of leading scientific groups from Dutch universities, university medical centres, public health institutes and applied research organisations, with expertise spanning the technological, biological, chemical, medical as well as the social sciences. The co-funders and cooperation partners ensure the active involvement of diverse academic, regulatory, industrial and societal partners to the project throughout the entire safety assessment knowledge chain.

This research project is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) 'Dutch Research Agenda: Research on Routes by Consortia' (NWA-ORC 1292.19.272). With a budget of over 10 million Euros, the project starts on June 1, 2021 and will last for the duration of 5 years.

The VHP4Safety project is made up of three interacting research lines (RL), that involve building the platform (RL1), feeding the platform with newly generated data (RL2) and implementing the platform (RL3) to ensure stakeholder acceptance, governance and sustainability.

As part of the project, we have a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Fellow for 4 years that will be working mainly in RL1 but in close collaboration with RL2 and RL3.

The activities will be part of joint activities performed by the Department of Bioinformatics (BiGCaT) at Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/research/bioinformatics


Research Group Risk Analysis for Products in Development (RAPID), The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

https://www.tno.nl/en/focus-areas/healthy-living/expertise-groups/risk-analysis-for-products-in-development-rapid/ and https://www.dtls.nl/technology-hotels/list/department-risk-assessment-products-development-tno/

together with other partners in the VHP4Safety project

Short description of the specific position to be filled in by you:

One key activity in the project is the establishment of the VHP4Safety is the development of a data infrastructure in which computational quantitative adverse outcome pathways (qAOPs) can be ultimately used for quantitative chemical risk assessment with relevance for humans.

Your responsibility will be to help develop, in close collaboration with partners, in silico qAOPs informed by PBPK, metabolism, and toxicodynamic modelling, building on data and tools and models from both the in silico and the in vitro parts data of the project (building the models). We will start with  problems related to interorgan bioavailability, metabolism and endpoint effects in kidney, gastrointestine, liver, and interactions between these, this informed by in vitro data from RL2. Further, you will be responsible for integrating the developed AOP models by project partners, into a predictive VHP4Safety data platform in a dedicated team, to ensure FAIRification and sustainability of the models developed (FAIRification of the models). You will be responsible for testing the qAOP models within the VHP4Safety project towards ultimate applications in risk assessment. Specifically, you will derive exposure estimates from the models, to enable hazard characterization, which can be used for point of departure for risk assessment (application of the models).

To facilitate these activities, you will, at Maastricht University, directly collaborate with colleague postdoctoral fellows and experts in bioinformatics, working jointly on the VHP4Safety infrastructure (semantic web, API calls, workflows, data and knowledge based models) and molecular AOP development. Within TNO, you will collaborate with experts in PBPK, qAOP modelling and chemical risk assessment towards ultimate application. Within the consortium you will collaborate with partners responsible for the development of qAOP models.

Your formal appointment will be at Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. However, you will frequently visit (weekly/bi-weekly) or periodically work at TNO, Utrecht, The Netherlands and/or adapt to hybrid working. You will participate in joint interactions/meetings with the VHP4Safety project consortium, prepare scientific presentations, written documentation (e.g. project deliverables), and scientific publications and ensure the establishment of reusable computational models and infrastructure components applicable for chemical risk assessment.

More Information


Fixed-term contract: 48 months, with an evaluation after 1 year.

We offer a full-time, one-year term position, with the possibility of renewal for up to three more years depending on the performance. Yearly evaluations will take place. Salary range from € 2.836,- to € 4.474,- gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). 

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > About UM > Working at UM.

Selection process

You can respond to this vacancy by sending your motivation letter and CV to:

Mention also the vacancy number/job number (AT2021.402) and the project name in your application.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

Additional comments

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Maastricht University:

Chris Evelo

Egon Willighagen


Rob Stierum

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

  • PhD level (or similar based upon working experience) in computational toxicology, PBPK modelling, or computational (systems) toxicology/biology
  • Or, alternatively PhD level in mathematical, computational modelling, with proven demonstration of application of your expertise in life sciences preferably toxicology/pharmacology
  • Publication record, writing skills
  • You have excellent communication skills, in particular in explaining your computational expertise to biologists/toxicologists in a comprehensive manner, to foster collaboration.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Maastricht University
6229 ER
Universiteitssingel 50

EURAXESS offer ID: 711236
Posting organisation offer ID: 306583


The responsibility for the jobs published on this website, including the job description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.


Please contact support@euraxess.org if you wish to download all jobs in XML.