HOURS PER WEEK: 38 to 40FACULTY: Faculty of ScienceDEPARTMENT: Department of BiologyAPPLICATION DEADLINE: 17 October 2023



Job description

The Department of Biology 

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 at Utrecht University intends to establish a Chair in the field of “Cell Engineering”. We are looking for an inspirational and collaborative Full Professor to lead this new chair group. The Chair will incorporate Cell Engineering approaches for biomedical applications into research and teaching of the Department of Biology, thereby making an important contribution to the University’s strategic theme Life Sciences.

Cell Engineering is a new, emerging field in Life Sciences. It builds on the profound current understanding of the basic principles of gene regulation, cellular signalling and cell-cell communication to modify and manipulate cells in order to better understand their internal processes and collective behaviour, improve their properties, or create entirely new functionalities. Cell Engineering generates cells for various applications, from personalised cancer treatments to regenerative medicine. These developments bring biological research to the next level – from mere observations and genetic or pharmacological perturbations to rational manipulation. As Full Professor in the new chair group you will incorporate this engineering approach into the research and teaching of the Department of Biology.

Together with the staff members of your group, you will develop an innovative line of research. The potential research areas of the new group include fundamental and applied approaches aiming to create alternatives to drug or gene-based therapeutics, for example, by reprogramming immune cells to eliminate cancer; designing strategies for human tissue regeneration and repair; and exploring human development and enhancing our understanding of how complex biological systems are controlled. Your research starts from a living system and will preferably employ mammalian cells or zebrafish. Your research is expected to have a strong focus on molecular and genetic cell manipulations and employ imaging and/or omics approaches, as these fit well with the strengths and infrastructure of the institute.

You and your future team will strengthen the expertise in intercellular communication, cell signalling cascades, and their rational manipulation in animal cells. You will have the freedom to build a research team of international standing, while also fostering collaboration with other teams, departments and institutions. Your team will be part of the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity 

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 of the Department of Biology – an inspiring and highly interactive scientific environment. You will work with strongly committed colleagues with a deep knowledge of Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Biophysics, Developmental Biology, Genome Biology and Epigenetics, Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics. Apart from the Department of Biology, you will have excellent opportunities to interact and collaborate with the experts in the larger Utrecht Life Sciences community. You will benefit from the facilities, expertise and collaboration opportunities at the Biology Imaging Centre, the Utrecht Sequencing Centre, the Netherlands Proteomics Centre, Utrecht University Medical Center, the Hubrecht Institute and the Princess Maxima Center. 

As a passionate educator, you will use your expertise to teach courses at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and graduate level, and to train and coach early-career scientists. As a team leader, you will form a fundamental connection between the institute’s research groups, the department and the faculty. Your energy and passion for the rapidly evolving, high-profile research field of Cell Engineering will strengthen the institute’s impact and reputation – both within the Netherlands and internationally.


You have a strong track record in a research area related to Cell Engineering for biomedical applications, which is evident from your publications and your reputation with the research community. You are also experienced in and dedicated to academic teaching and have the ability to inspire and lead a scientific group. In addition, you have: 

  • a PhD in the Life Sciences area and a strong expertise in molecular cell research;
  • motivation to generate fundamental knowledge and translate it to biomedical applications;
  • a clear vision on future research directions in your own area of expertise;
  • experience with acquiring external research funds;
  • experience with leading a research group and supervising PhD students and postdocs;
  • experience with and enthusiasm for teaching in Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes;
  • the ability to speak and write in English external link.


We offer:

  • a unique opportunity to set up a new chair group aiming to introduce engineering approaches and thinking into Biology research and education;
  • an opportunity to recruit two assistant professors and a research assistant (technician) for your chair group, supported by Utrecht University;
  • an appointment as Full Professor, which will be subject to evaluation after five years;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €6,648 to €9,680 in scale H2 at Full Professor level;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a 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 from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development 

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, leave arrangements and sports 

external link. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

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

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Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk 

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 can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff 

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About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University 

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, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes 

external link. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow external link.

At the Faculty of Science  

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there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us in this video.

You and your team will be embedded in the Department of Biology 

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. The Department of Biology coordinates the teaching of the Bachelor’s programme in Biology, as well as several Master’s programmes that are offered by the Graduate Schools of Life Sciences 

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The Department also houses a large number of research chairs. Research in the Department falls under the aegis of the Institute of Environmental Biology 

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 (IEB) and the Institute for Biodynamics and Biocomplexity 

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Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact Prof. Anna Akhmanova 

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 (Chair of Cell Biology) at a.akhmanova@uu.nl 

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Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl 

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Everyone deserves to feel at home 

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 at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the “Apply” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae including your full list of publications;
  • your research statement (at most 5 pages);
  • your teaching statement (at most 2 pages);
  • a list of three references.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

The selection procedure follows the university’s TRIPLE criteria of recognition and rewards. 

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After the first round of interviews, the selected candidate(s) will be invited to submit a portfolio as described in the document “Recruitment, Selection, Promotion and Appointment full Professor 

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”. This portfolio consists of the application material and a self-reflection elaborating further on some parts of the application material.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them 

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The application deadline is 17 October 2023.


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