Postdoctoral Researcher in Evolutionary Neurogenomics

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Science
Educational level:  PhD
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  04.12.2022
Vacancy number:  10802

Are you an ambitious postdoctoral researcher who is interested in unraveling mechanisms of human neurological diseases? Then we are looking for you to strengthen our team!


You will be joining the research group Evolutionary Neurogenomics dedicated to elucidate the impact of human genome evolution on human brain development and neurodevelopmental / neurodegenerative disorders. The Evolutionary Neurogenomics group is led by Frank Jacobs and is one of the research groups of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS), an interdisciplinary institute of the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. 


What are you going to do?

The project you will be working on is funded by the MGH Collaborative Center for X-Linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (CCXDP) and is aimed at elucidating the disease-mechanism of a progressive neurodegenerative disorder called X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism (XDP). The disease leads to severe movement disorders exclusively affecting people with Filipino descent, particularly from the island of Panay where the mutation originally emerged.


Recently, the cause of the disease was identified by the CCXDP, providing evidence that the insertion of a retrotransposon called SVA into an intron of the essential gene TAF1 leads to misregulation of TAF1 gene expression. The mechanism remains unclear. 


In this project, you will use the expertise of the Evolutionary Neurogenomics lab led by Frank Jacobs, to unravel the mechanism of SVA-mediated misregulation of TAF1. You will use XDP patient-derived organoids to systematically investigate the mechanism through which the XDP-SVA affects the TAF1 locus. This knowledge will lead to a better understanding on XDP disease progression and may ultimately provide the first crucial steps that will guide the XDP community to develop potential therapeutic strategies in the future.


What do you have to offer?

You are passionate about science and interested in working in a supportive role in an international setting. You like a challenge and are a creative problem-solver with perseverance. You can adapt quickly, are enjoyable company and have the drive to get things done. Finally, if you are self-motivated and willing to learn new skills and have very good time management skills, then this position could be for you.


Your experience
•    a PhD in biomedical sciences / (functional) genomics;
•    experience on mammalian (human) genomes;
•    experience with all aspects of high throughput sequencing (such as RNA-seq/ ChIP-seq and post-sequencing biocomputational analysis); 
•    strong academic ambitions and wish to get experience in co-supervising other lab-members;
•    excellent communication skills including a good command of the English language. 


Our offer

We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 24 months, with a probationary period of 2 months. The preferred starting date is 1 January 2023. 


The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant work experience, ranges between € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher 4 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.


Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits, such as:
•    232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
•    multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
•    multiple courses on different topics and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
•    the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
•    help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad. 


Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.


The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. 


The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centred on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Green Life Sciences and Microbiology. 


Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 04 December 2022. 

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

•    a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
•    a letter of motivation;
•    a list of publications;
•    the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the course of December 2022. 



The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application. 


No agencies please.