Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programs grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.

The research team of Prof. Koen Raemdonck (Full Professor) is embedded in the Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines at the laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghent University. The group is a world-leading research lab on macromolecular drug delivery by nanomedicines. The lab hosts 5 professors and their multidisciplinary research teams, with on average 40 researchers with diverging scientific background, who collaborate closely on a daily basis. You will be part of a dynamic, pluralistic and multidisciplinary team that is highly motivated to perform high-level research on drug delivery. The credo of Ghent University is ‘Dare To Think’, a philosophy that is infiltrated into its daily activities of science and education and which we adopt in our own lab vision statement as well.

Project description

Currently, the exceptional therapeutic potential of RNA is not yet available for treatment of (chronic) respiratory pathologies due to a lack of enabling technologies. The team of Prof. Raemdonck is seeking a highly motivated and independent PhD student to work on ground-breaking RNA delivery technologies for inhalation therapy and beyond. The PhD student will work on the development, optimization and (in vitro/ex vivo/in vivo) application of bio-inspired nanocarriers with RNA therapeutics for application in lung-related pathologies, including infectious diseases. The project is of translational nature, aiming to merge fundamental insights with rational formulation design, and is expected to lead to high impact publications.

Job profile

Your tasks

Your key tasks as a PhD student at the Raemdonck group (Ghent University) are to:

  • execute an independent research project, under the direct supervision of Prof. Raemdonck and a postdoctoral researcher;
  • participate in additional courses via the Doctoral School of Life Sciences and Medicine of Ghent University;
  • contribute to the supervision and teaching of master students, academic writing and support of general (scientific) lab activities;
  • present and disseminate your scientific results via (poster or oral) presentations at (inter)national scientific conferences and publications in academic journals;
  • build and maintain an active (inter)national scientific network (e.g. with short dedicated research stays in other research teams);
  • write and successfully defend a PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project

What we are looking for

The position is open to motivated candidates with a strong interest in advanced drug delivery, nucleic acid therapeutics, cell biology, biomaterials/nanomedicines and/or inhalation therapy. Eligible candidates must hold a (recently obtained) Master degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Biochemistry/Biotechnology or equivalent. Candidates should be able to communicate fluently in English and demonstrate excellent academic writing and presentation skills. Other important criteria are an analytical/critical/curious mind-set, enthusiastic personality, the ability to work both independent as in team, good communicator skills, and a mature scientific attitude.

What we can offer you

  • This doctoral research project is fully funded by a European Union H2020 ERC Consolidator Grant (RESPIRNA), awarded to Prof. Raemdonck.
  • We offer you a full-time PhD Fellowship of definite duration, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which – upon positive evaluation – will be extended to a maximum of 48 months.
  • Your contract will start on 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible afterwards.
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale WM1 to WM4. Several elements, including prior experience and family situation, will be factored into the calculation of the salary offered.
  • As a reference, the net amount of the scholarship will be approx. € 2,250.00 per month, supplemented with a holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to advance your academic career in various ways (e.g. participation in Doctoral School courses, development of research skills, academic writing skills, managerial skills, contribute to scientific and societal valorization of research,…).
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers.
  • It is possible to make arrangements for remote work and flexible office hours.
  • We strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance and nurture a healthy and rewarding work environment in which individual differences are welcomed and valued.

How to apply

Apply by sending an e-mail to before the application deadline (Friday August 19th). We do not accept late applications or applications that are complete.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • Your CV
  • An overview of your study results and ranking
  • Your application/motivation letter
  • A transcript of the required Master degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • If you have relevant working experience, please include the names and contact details of at least one reference.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

More information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Koen Raemdonck ( Selected candidates will be invited for an interview and further discussion. For more information about the lab, please check our website:

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