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Research Zernike (ZIAM) Molecular Biophysics Vlijm group

Available positions/projects

PhD-position in STED microscopy

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate, with experience in programming (Python, LabVIEW...), and preferably also in optics, for our research on protein dynamics. If you are interested in joining, or have any questions, please contact r.vlijm .

Job description

In this project, you will develop hardware and software solutions to study protein structures during cell division. Cell division is an extremely dynamic process, and errors in this phase of the cell cycle have far-reaching consequences. Studying the protein dynamics at relevant scale is not trivial, as the dynamical interplay is at scales much smaller than the diffraction limit of light, and thus beyond the reach of traditional microscopes. Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy on the other hand does allow imaging with a resolution of 30-40 nanometres even in living cells. To be able to study this dynamic process at the necessary resolution you will develop both hardware and software for measurement and data-analysis routines for STED nanoscopy. A strong background in optics and programming is therefore highly appreciated. The work will be diverse, as it will besides the optics and software developments, also include among others (life cell) sample preparation and data analysis.

You will work in an international and interdisciplinary research environment closely together both with colleagues of the Molecular Biophysics group at the Zernike Institute, as well as with several labs in the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB) and several international collaborators.


  • a European master’s degree (or equivalent) in (bio)physics, nanoscience or (bio)informatics
  • an excellent track record
  • highly motivated and able to work in a multidisciplinary and international work environment
  • excellent communication skills in both oral and written English
  • experience in programming (e.g. python, LabVIEW…)

Experience in optics is desirable but not mandatory.

MSc and BSc projects

We are always looking for talented Master and Bachelor students to work on the truly interdisciplinary research in our lab. Are you interested and do you have a background in (bio)physics, nanoscience, (bio)informatics, life sciences or a related area’s? Contact Rifka Vlijm ( to discuss possible projects and the involved methods and skills you can learn, while working on them.

Last modified:11 March 2020 5.18 p.m.