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PhD position Advanced optical imaging for 3D tissue analysis (1.0 FTE) (221571)

Job description

We are looking for a PhD candidate for our research on 3D tissue analysis using advanced optical imaging methods. The aim of the PhD project is to build and develop 3D imaging and super resolution microscopy for tissue and biological sample analysis. Experience in optics is desirable. If you are interested in joining, or have any questions, please contact dr. P.J. van der Zaag (for contact details see below).

You will have the following main responsibilities and tasks:

• develop optical methods for 3D tissue analysis
• apply these techniques to the study of biological samples to study the distribution of cancer cells and their interaction with medication

Together with the University Medical Center - Groningen (UMCG), we are exploring novel optical methods to study the distribution of cancer cells in tissue as well as the 3D-distribution of advanced cancer medication. This is important to determine how to do surgery and to understand how cancer drugs work in patients at cellular level. The final aim of the project is to understand the drug-cancer cell interaction at cellular level using advanced optical techniques such as confocal and light-sheet microscopy and super resolution techniques (e.g. STED which provides 30-40 nm resolution) available in the molecular biophysics group. Apart from developing optics imaging methods and applying them, the work aims implement these methods in the new operation rooms at the UMCG to help improve cancer surgery.
You will work in an interdisciplinary and international research environment with local colleagues both at the Zernike institute and the UMCG as well as with international collaborators from physics and medical and biomolecular sciences.


You have/are:

• a European Master’s degree (or equivalent) in physics, biophysics, nanoscience
• motivated and able to work in a multidisciplinary and international work environment
• good communication skills in both oral and written English.

Experience in optics is highly appreciated but not required.


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. With its 36,000 students and Nobel prize winning researchers, University of Groningen ranks among the top universities globally. It is situated in the vibrant capital of the northern Netherlands, Groningen.

We offer this position in the stimulating, diverse, international research environment of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. A world-class academic institute with a multi-disciplinary research programme that encourages close collaborations between theoretical and experimental groups with different expertise.

Conditions of employment

We offer you, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,434 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,111 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.
• the successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

The preferred starting date is as soon as possible


Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents:

• CV
• Motivation letter

You can submit your application until 14 November 11:59pm / before 15 November 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 15 November 2021 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Dr P.J. van der Zaag, p.j.van.der.zaag

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.