Are you an aspiring scientist with a biology- or neuroscience-related Master's degree? And would you like to delve into how synapses are formed, function and can be maintained? Help us understand the molecular events that underlie these processes as a PhD candidate. In our lively and internationally friendly environment, you can learn new skills and broaden your expertise.
At the Kuijpers lab, we are fascinated by how synapses are formed, function and can be maintained. Our main interest is to understand the molecular events that underlie these processes, particularly the contribution of synaptic organelles. Using rodent and human neuron cultures as primary model systems, we combine optical imaging techniques and biochemistry to approach cell biological questions from multiple angles.
As a PhD candidate you will be working in the areas of molecular and cellular neuroscience. The current projects, which are supported by several recently acquired third-party grants, focus on the following: 1) KEEPING THE SYNAPSE IN SHAPE: LOCAL PROTEIN REMOVAL - Synapses maintain their molecular composition and function through the concerted action of protein synthesis and degradation. Our research group aims to understand how old, dysfunctional synaptic components are removed to keep synapses functional over long periods of time. 2) THE ORGANISATION AND FUNCTION OF THE NEURONAL ER - The neuronal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) extends for hundreds of microns as a huge network throughout highly branched neurites and even into synapses. ER tubules serve important functions in regulating membrane proteins, lipids and Ca2+ levels. Despite the importance of this huge organelle and its involvement in a range of neurodegenerative diseases, we know little about how the tubular ER contributes to neuron development and neurotransmission.
In these projects we combine genetic manipulations, proteomics and optical imaging in primary rodent neurons and human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Fundamental information on mechanisms of intracellular degradation and organelle organisation will not only help us to understand how individual synapses work, but may also lead to insights into the role of these particular processes in neurodegenerative diseases that involve ER or proteostasis dysfunction. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your appointment.
You hold or are about to complete a Master's degree in biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, biomedical sciences or a related discipline, and are interested in a scientific career.
You are highly motivated and interested in the above-mentioned research fields.
You have a plus when you have previous experience with neuron cell culture, virus preparations and/or fluorescent microscopy.
You have a good command of English because we are a dynamic international lab.
You are a team player (team work is essential to our collective success!).
Within the Department of Molecular Neurobiology, the Kuijpers laboratory aims to understand how intracellular organelles affect neuron and synapse development and function. Marijn Kuijpers is a junior group leader known for her work on neuronal membrane trafficking and autophagy (recent publications: Kuijpers et al (2021) Neuron 109,299-313; doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2020.10.005, Kuijpers (2022) Neuronal Signal 6; doi.org/10.1042/NS20210063). We recently acquired substantial third-party funding from the European Research Council (ERC) and the German National Funding Agency (DFG). The research group is part of the Donders Institute, a world-class neuroscience institute with a lively and interactive culture.
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!
It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.
Would you like more information?
For questions about the position, please contact Marijn Kuijpers, Assistant Professor at email@example.com.
Practical information and applying
You can apply until 1 September 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Marijn Kuijpers. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
A letter of motivation.
Your CV, including courses taken and grades obtained, and the contact details of at least two references.
The first round of interviews will take place on Friday 9 September. You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible.
We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.