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    • Date Posted
      September 04,2021
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    PhD Candidate for Unravelling Cellular Glycosylation Mechanisms (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

    PhD Candidate for Unravelling Cellular Glycosylation Mechanisms

    • Employment: 0.8 - 1.0 FTE
    • Gross monthly salary: € 2,434 - € 3,111
    • Faculty of Science
    • Required background: Research University Degree
    • Application deadline: 30 September 2021

    The process of protein glycosylation regulates many biochemical properties and molecular functions, but these versatile biomolecules are currently not well understood. As a PhD Candidate, you will unravel the mechanisms behind protein glycosylation in the cell. You will ultimately contribute to understanding the role of glycosylation in serious diseases like cancer, inflammation or autoimmunity disorders.

    Sugar molecules such as glucose not only provide the energy that virtually drives all biological processes, they are also essential molecular building blocks used by all living cells for the glycosylation of proteins and lipids. During glycosylation, about 200 glycosyltransferase enzymes assemble different sugar building blocks into structures called glycans that display a staggering structural diversity. Glycans are attached to glycoproteins and glycolipids and regulate many of their biochemical properties and molecular functions, thereby contributing to proper functioning of the cell. On the other hand, deregulation of glycosylation is associated with every major disease. Despite the importance of these versatile biomolecules, many aspects of how protein glycosylation is orchestrated inside the cell are not well understood.

    The Biomolecular Chemistry Department is looking for a PhD candidate to unravel mechanisms of protein glycosylation in the cell. As a PhD candidate, you will work on new approaches to probe glycosylation in human cells at the Golgi system and protein level. This includes the development of tools that enable visualization of specific glycosylation steps and analysis of distinct glycoprotein products using molecular biology and biochemistry techniques. These tools will be validated and applied in human cells, including 2D cell cultures and adult stem cell-derived organoids, with genetically engineered glycosylation machineries. Ultimately, these tools will be used to investigate how pathological processes in cancer, inflammation or autoimmunity deregulate protein glycosylation and vice versa how dysregulated protein glycosylation contributes to pathological processes. This research will advance our understanding of the role of glycosylation in these serious diseases and could open up novel therapeutic avenues.

    Your education task may be up to 10% of your appointment.


    • Master's degree in molecular life sciences, chemical biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related field.
    • An interest in the field of glycobiology and/or genetic and chemical engineering in living cells.
    • A team player who enjoys working in a multidisciplinary team.
    • Curiosity and a strong motivation to work at an interdisciplinary research institute.
    • Good oral and written English communication skills.

    We are

    The position is available at the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry of the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) located at the Faculty of Science (FNWI). Our research aligns with the Chemistry of Complex Systems research theme of IMM. You will join the new research group of Dr. Christian Büll investigating protein glycosylation inside the living cell to unravel the principles underlying this diverse post-translational modification and to understand its role in pathology at the cellular, organellar, and molecular level.

    IMM is a research institute in chemistry and physics that promotes interdisciplinary research. Its mission is to design and create functional molecules and materials to fundamentally understand their behaviour. IMM consists of 24 research groups active in fields ranging from condensed matter physics to organic chemistry and biochemistry. It focuses on fundamental research with an open eye to societal applications and trains the next generation of leaders in science and innovation. You will have the opportunity to interact with researchers at IMM and participate in institute-wide activities.

    The Faculty of Science is a complete, student-oriented science faculty where research and teaching are closely intertwined. The faculty aims to be an academic community with an international character where employees from different backgrounds combine their talents with the goal of being a leading science faculty in Europe.

    Radboud University
    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!

    We offer

    • Employment: 0.8 (5 year contract) -1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
    • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,434 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,111 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
    • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
    • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed 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) or 3.5 years (5 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 Ger Pruijn, Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry at Alternatively, you can contact Christian Büll, Assistant Professor at

    Practical information and applications

    Please address your application to Ger Pruijn and submit it, no later than 30 September 2021, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.

    Your application should include the following attachments:
    • Letter of motivation.
    • CV.
    You would preferably begin employment on 1 January 2022.

    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.

    We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.

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