The prospective postdoc will operate as member of a NWO-XL consortium. The postdoc position is available immediately. In this project, we investigate and improve the chondrogenic differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells within engineered 3D microenvironments at single cell resolution. This project is a collaborative efforts which is a supported by various other groups including a mathematician and systems biologist at University of Twente as well as a geneticist and cell biologist from Leiden University Medical Centre.

The aim of the presently available PhD-position is use state-of-the-art in-house developed microfluidic devices to produce micrometer-sized hydrogels containing a single induced pluripotent stem cells. Specific attention will be given to the material engineering of desirable properties that guide the survival and function of the microencapsulated cells. The resulting micromaterials will be analyzed in depth based on rheology and cellular performance. After lead candidate selection, you will collaborate with a cell biologist from Leiden University Medical Centre to differentiate the induced pluripotent stem cells into the chondrogenic lineage. You will therefore work on the multidisciplinary interface of materials science, tissue engineering, polymer chemistry, and stem cell biology. This will develop a wide skill set which will include synthesis of modified polymers, hydrogel development, biomaterials characterization, microfluidic devices, rheological expertise, and cell culture and differentiation as well as writing of high impact scientific publications.


  • You hold a master’s degree in material science, micromaterials, or applied organic chemistry, or an equivalent master’s education;
  • You have excellent analytical skills and an innate ability for solution-oriented problem solving;
  • You have strong interests in advanced material science, polymer chemistry, material characterization, cell-biomaterial interaction, and cartilaginous applications;
  • You have experience in material characterization, polymer synthesis, rheology, and/or material visualization techniques. Experience in hydrogels, stress-relaxation of materials, culture of induced pluripotent stem cells, and microfluidic devices will be considered as a benefit;
  • You possess excellent social and communication skills, in academic as well as non-academic contexts.
  • You love working in a team in which fundamental and applied research cross-fertilize.
  • You have a creative and critical attitude, combined with perseverance and being flexible and stress-resistant.
  • You are fluent in English language skills, both in speaking and writing.


  • Fully paid fulltime position for four years
  • The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment.
  • The postdoc salary ranges between € 3.877,- and € 5.090,- depending on experience (standardized scaling).
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • A professional and personal development program and a personal development program.
  • The number of holiday hours for full-time employment is 232 hours per calendar year.
  • A dedicated budget for the attendance of conferences to stimulate networking opportunities


Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, and an academic transcript of M.Sc. education and PhD-degree. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure. Please apply via the provided button below. 

For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Prof. Dr. Jeroen Leijten (

Please apply via the button below.


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