Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Research & Science
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      January 05,2022
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    PhD PSIDER Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    This project is part of the PSIDER Pluripotent Stem cells for Inherited Diseases and Embryonic

    Research (PSIDER) project funded by ZonMw. Our Department participates in three PSIDER projects. You will intensively collaborate with the other ethicists in our Department involved in the PSIDER-projects as well as within the researchers in the PSIDER “Human iPSC neuronal platform for neurodevelopmental disorder therapeutic discovery” consortium.

    Approximately 1% of children are born with severe neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) for which there is currently no disease-modifying therapy. However, because NDDs are frequently caused by identifiable pathogenic mutations, a unique therapeutic opportunity has emerged from recent developments in molecular biology, with the potential to revolutionize the treatment of this group of disorders.

    The aim of this PSIDER consortium is the development of anti-sense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapy for neurodevelopmental disorders. Patient-derived hiPSCs will be used to design customized ASOs specific for defined NDD pathogenic mutations to guide selection of lead candidates for advanced secondary (3D brainorganoid) and tertiary (in vivo transplantation) screening as disease modifying treatments in humans.

    Embedded in this project is a workpackage responsible for addressing ethical, legal, and societal implications regarding iPSC technology, brain organoids, informed consent (on behalf) of patients with severe NDDs, and first-in-human trials for personalized treatment. You will be tasked to perform the research for this, through both theoretical and empirical research.

    You will publish your results in the form of articles and a PhD-thesis. Apart from research tasks, you will be asked to participate in teaching activities and potentially also in ethical advisory boards or committees.


    You will be appointed at the Department of Medical Humanities, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care of the UMC Utrecht. Our Department consists of the disciplines medical ethics, medical history, health law, and narrative medicine. We are a team of one full professor, two associate and six assistant professors, and more than 15 PhD students. We participate in various research projects, in teaching and (international) advisory boards and committees. Your supervisors will be dr. Ghislaine van Thiel and prof.dr. Hans van Delden.


    You have obtained a Master’s thesis in Philosophy, Ethics, Humanities, Medicine or Life Sciences. In particular you have demonstrated interest in research ethics and/or biomedical innovation. You are able to perform academic ethical research. Experience with qualitative research is an advantage. You are able to collaborate with people from different disciplines. You have good organizational skills. You have excellent didactic, written and verbal English skills. You are willing to obtain these skills in Dutch within two years after the start of the project.

    This position will be a temporary appointment for 4 years, starting with a trial period of 1 year. Starting date is 15 March 2022.

    We believe in the power of a diverse team in which there is room for different skills, expertise, and social and cultural backgrounds. We invite you to respond to this vacancy.

    The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.271,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

    In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

    More information

    If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Drs. Ghislaine van Thiel, Associate Professor Medical Humanities, phone number: +31 (0)631118026, e‑mail adress: [email protected].

    Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.

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