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  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Background
    Biotech and Agricultural
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    Medical and Healthcare
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  • Languages
  • Experience Required
    1 - 2 Years
  • Degree Required
    • Province
      7 reviews
    • Date Posted
      April 05,2021
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    PhD The Gut: a crucial regulator of brain health?

    Are you an enthusiastic PhD candidate with a passion for gut-brain research? In this project we will apply advanced in vitro (single cell, co-culture or organoid based) models simulating the gut, blood brain barrier and brain immune responses. Do you dare to take the challenge to join our team to try to unravel the cross-talk between the gut and the brain in health and disease?

    This position is funded by the NWO project MOCIA: Maintaining Optimal Cognitive function In Ageing. You will become a member of the Workpackage-3 (WP3) team consisting of dedicated scientist from Wageningen University, Wageningen Food-based Research, the Donders institute and Radboud University Nijmegen. Your job will be to investigate the underlying biological mechanisms by which the life style intervention (either direct or via the microbiota) might contribute to the prevention of cognitive decline. For this purpose the above mentioned models will be combined with a wide range of sophisticated molecular and biochemical techniques to study cellular responses.

    The project will be carried out at Wageningen University in the Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics group of the Division of Human Nutrition and Health. More information about our ongoing research can be found via the following link. Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
    • Sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
    • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work- life balance;
    • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
    • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
    • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
    • excellent pension scheme.

    In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
    The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

    Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
    You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

    Coming from abroad
    Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

    Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues. Division of Human Nutrition and Health
    The mission of the Division of Human Nutrition and Health is to generate and exchange knowledge in the area of nutrition and health—in interaction with peers and partners—by excellent education and research. The Division consists of five chair groups that form a single organizational unit with shared infrastructure and resources: Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour, Global Nutrition, Nutritional Biology, Nutrition and Disease, and Nutrition Metabolism and Genomics. The PhD position will be placed within the chair Nutrition Metabolism and Genomics.

    The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research, an organisation that brings together fundamental and applied scientific research. We work on creating ‘healthy food in a biobased society’ with private sector companies, research institutes and government agencies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our innovations play a crucial role in solving the major issues which affect society today. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are key in all that we do. In short, we are a major international employer offering considerable potential for your career.

    Wageningen University & Research
    The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

    With its roughly 30 branches, 6.500 employees and 12.500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

    These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

    We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.
    • A graduated MSc student in biomedical sciences, toxicology, nutritional science, molecular biology or similar;
    • strong internal drive to excel and succeed;
    • a positive and connecting team player with good English writing and oral communication skills;
    • experience with intestinal and/or neuronal cell culture models and with molecular and biochemical techniques and an interest in setting-up new methods;
    • fascination for the role of the intestine in the regulation of health and disease;
    • a critical scientific attitude with respect to developing study designs and interpreting collected data.
    Do you want more information?
    For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Wilma Steegenga, telephone number +31 317 485181 or by email:
    For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips (Recruiter), e-mail:

    Do you want to apply?
    You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

    This vacancy will be listed up to and including 30 April 2021. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on 25 May 2021

    Equal opportunities
    Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusive webpage. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.
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