Job description

The van den Heuvel lab currently offers a post-doctoral research position in Developmental Biology. The focus of the project will be to reveal the regulatory logic of cellular decision making in the context of animal development. Specifically, we seek to better understand how precursor cells commit to a differentiated state, and how this is coordinated with a permanent arrest of cell division. To address these questions, we will perform detailed quantitative analyses of native cells during their differentiation trajectory in the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), in combination with sophisticated genetic manipulation. This project is part of a consortium effort and incorporates the latest technologies in transcriptome, epigenome, and proteome analysis, in close collaboration with specialists in single-cell analysis (Korswagen and van Oudenaarden labs, Hubrecht Institute), proteomics techniques (Vermeulen lab, Radboud University Nijmegen) and computational modeling (ten Tusscher lab, Utrecht University).

You, as post-doctoral researcher, will become part of the highly interactive Developmental Biology 

external link

 community at Utrecht University. This will include daily interactions with fellow researchers in the van den Heuvel, Boxem and Ruijtenberg labs, with graduate students and post-docs who work on related topics with one of the consortium partners, and with other researchers within the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity 

external link (e.g.: Akhmanova, Kapitein, Baubec, ten Tusscher labs) or broader Utrecht University campus.


We are looking for a curious and dedicated scientist. We would also like you to bring the following qualifications

  • a PhD degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or a related field;
  • a strong interest in molecular biology;
  • previous experience with independent research, and preferably with genetic model organisms, advanced microscopy, and/or bioinformatic data analysis;
  • training in scientific writing, communication and presentation in English;
  • motivation to work on a challenging project in a multidisciplinary and international research team.


  • a full time position for a year, which can be prolonged after a positive evaluation;
  • embedding in a great team of top Life Sciences researchers;
  • a full-time gross salary, depending on previous qualifications and experience, that ranges between €2,960 and €5,439 per month (scale 10 /11) Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities;
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions external link (based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities).

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science 

external link


About the organisation

Research in the Developmental Biology division makes use of a multidisciplinary strategy in genetic animal model systems (C. elegans, zebrafish, organoids) to acquire a deeper fundamental understanding of the processes that determine development and health. Three teams that use the C. elegans model work closely together and share experience in C. elegans genetics and biology, as well as technologies (latest CRISPR knock-in/knockout strategies, live imaging, advanced microscopy) on a daily basis. In addition, there are frequent interactions and joint lab meetings with neighbouring labs (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Biophysics), and other groups (Genome Biology and Epigenetics, Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics) in the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity 

external link


Research within the department of Biology is organized in two institutes: the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity 

external link

(IBB) and the Institute of Environmental Biology 

external link (IEB). The department of Biology coordinates the teaching of the Bachelor’s programme in Biology, as well as Master’s programmes and PhD courses that are offered through the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

At the Faculty of Science 

external link

 there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of them is made up of distinct institutes which work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University 

external link

 is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Additional information

If you have any questions about this position, please contact Sander van den Heuvel 

external link

, via 

external link.

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to 

external link



Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and experience to excel in this role, please respond via the “Apply” button!

Please enclose:

  • a one-page cover letter describing the reasons behind your interest in the position;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • name, telephone number, and email address of three references.

Promising candidates will be invited to an interview. As part of the selection procedure, you will be invited to give a short presentation about your previous research.

The position will be immediately available after acceptance.

If this specific opportunity is not for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward the link to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 31 July 2022.



Leave a Reply