PhD student on project: Genetic susceptibility to brain disorders

36 hours a week
€ 2.495 - € 3.196

Closing date: August 30

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We are looking for an ambitious PhD candidate in Neurogenomics at the lab of Dr. Inge R. Holtman, at the section of Molecular Neurobiology.

Working environment

The mission of the section Molecular Neurobiology of the department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems (BSCS) is to study the central nervous system (CNS) during healthy ageing and neurodegenerative diseases using state-of-the-art techniques. The University Medical Center Groningen is located in an exciting student city in the northern Netherlands. The PhD student will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of the University of Groningen and affiliated with DASH (Data Science Centre in Health) the Artificial Intelligence community of the UMCG.

Background and job description

The brain is a highly complex organ that susceptible to a wide range of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. In collaboration with the Netherlands Brain Bank, we recently initiated the Netherlands Neurogenetics Database, which aims to integrate genetics (common genetic variants & polygenic risk scores), with extensive clinical and neuropathological data, and (single cell) multi-omics data types in order to study the effects of genetic variation on brain disease. Using Machine learning text mining approaches (Google Bert), we aim to convert clinical neuropathological summary files into standardized clinical and neuropathological trait assessments. The clinical data will be converted into disease trajectories using graph-based approaches, while machine learning models will be used study the relationship between clinical disease trajectories, neuropathology and genetic susceptibility to CNS disorders. The proposed 4-year PhD project is a bioinformatics/computational research project that aims to analyze and integrate datasets and computational approaches and coordinate processing tissues and generating new datasets and data types. Machine learning, and genomics computational tools are at the heart of this project. We’re looking for an ambitious candidate with computational/bioinformatics expertise in Python, R, Linux-shell scripting, GitHub, analysis of genomics data types, cloud-based computing and affiliation with graph-based and machine learning approaches, and a broad interest in neurogenomics and transcriptional regulation.

What do we need

  • The applicants can be of any nationality.
  • The candidate should have an MSc in Bioinformatics, Data Science or Biomedical Sciences (or equivalent).
  • The candidate has experience with Python, R, SQL, machine learning and graph-based approaches, genomics data types.
  • Applicants should be team-oriented, highly motivated, self-driven, and proficient in written and spoken English.

What do we offer

  • An exciting computational research project.
  • Mentoring, supervision, and training in a wide range of genomics approaches.
  • Access to a state-of-the art computational infrastructure.
  • A stimulating international research environment.
  • A competitive salary.

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:

It concerns a fulltime appointment (36 h/week) for a period of four years to be concluded with a PhD examination. 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 within the coming three years.

More information
The Holtman group:
Section of Molecular Neurobiology:
Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems:
Netherlands Neurogenetics Database from the Netherlands Brain Bank:

For additional information, you can contact: Assistant Prof. Dr. Holtman, e-mail address:

How to apply
Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 30 August 2021. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Full applications including a motivation letter, your CV and at least two contacts for reference letters will receive full consideration if received.

For questions about the position

Any questions? Do contact us.

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Check if an open application is possible for you.

Do you have any questions?

We would like it if you would contact us if you have any questions about working at UMCG.

Nina van Venrooij
Nina van Venrooij Team Recruitment