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Statistical physics of chromosomes

Posted 8 Feb 2024
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Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Full-time
Job function
Salary
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required language
English (Fluent)

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Our theory group is a worldwide leader in studying the statistical physics of living systems, ranging from chromosomes to migrating cells and multicellular tissues. We aim to understand the emergent functional dynamics and organization of living systems in close collaboration with various experimental labs. We currently have an opening for an ERC funded 4-year PhD position.

We are looking for highly motivated applicants for a PhD student to strengthen our research team in an interactive and
collaborative environment.

ERC funded Project: Learn4DChromosome

The physical organization of bacterial chromosomes is inherently variable, with large conformational fluctuations both from cell to cell and over time. Yet, chromosomes must also be structured to facilitate processes such as transcription, replication, and segregation. In this project, you will combine data-driven theoretical methods with mechanistic models to unravel the statistical folding of chromosomes. You will use approaches grounded in equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical physics, information theory, and soft condensed matter physics. Your work will be performed in close collaboration with several experimental groups. Finally, you will also play a role in supervising students and the tutorial classes in our teaching program.

Your profile

  • MSc Degree in Physics
  • Preferably with a background in theoretical physics, statistical, soft or biological physics
  • Experience with using inference/machine learning tools and basic programming is a plus

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

What do we offer?

We offer guidance and help so you can develop the skills and experience to become an independent scientist. In addition, we offer an intellectually challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month in the fourth year, for a full-time employment
  • The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and arrangements. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • discount on (and occasionally exclusive access to) theater performances and courses at the Griffioen Cultural Center
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

About us

About the department, institute, project
The Broedersz group is part if the Section for Physics of Living Systems within the Physics department at the VU Amsterdam, one of the best universities in the Netherlands, and a leading scientific institution in biophysics located in the vibrant and international city of Amsterdam. Our team is an inclusive and diverse environment, welcoming excellent students from all backgrounds. We offer a stimulating and collaborative environment in the physics of life. Phd students in our group have the opportunity to learn from the best scientists in the field, publish in high-impact journals, and present their work at international conferences.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity
Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

Interested

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application.

Please send a cover letter (one page maximum), a curriculum vitae, a list of grades from your last higher education diploma, a publication list (if relevant) and the contact details of 3 references. All the documents must be written in English. The positions will remain open until filled.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we attach great importance to the societal impact of our education and research. Personal development and social involvement are key parts of our vision on education, in which individual differences are seen as a strength. This allows us to develop innovations and insights that contribute to a better world.

Education
Amsterdam
7,000 employees