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Candidate in Antibacterial Drug Discovery

Posted 16 Jun 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
Degree level
Required language
English (Fluent)
23 Jun 2024 22:00

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Antibiotic resistance is a major threat in human societies and will occur as long as we use antibiotics. It is therefore imperative to keep on developing novel antibiotics. This requires an intricate knowledge of bacterial pathogens, as this will reveal novel targets, and enables us to fully understand the workings of antimicrobial compounds. In this PhD project, you will investigate the basic mechanisms of cell division in relation to cell wall synthesis, with the aim to discover protein targets that can be used to develop novel antibiotic lead compounds.

The position is supported by a recently awarded Marie Curie ITN grant “Clear”, and the research will be performed within the Clear consortium encompassing 10 European partners. Our lab is part of the Microbiology theme at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam. Our state-of-the-art facilities and supportive research community provide an ideal environment for ambitious researchers eager to make an impact.

What are you going to do?

As a PhD candidate you will:

  • Develop and Apply Novel Techniques: Employ and develop advanced fluorescent labelling and crosslinking techniques, in combination with NGS based transposon sequencing techniques, to elucidate the link between cell division and cell wall synthesis.
  • Collaborate and Innovate: Work alongside a divers and international team of experts.
  • Professional Development: Complete a PhD thesis within four years. You will take on shared responsibilities, maintain an organized work environment, and keep records of your experiments and data.
  • Community and Communication: Present your findings at international scientific meetings and take a leading role in manuscript writing and publication.
  • Teaching and Supervision: Contribute to the educational by assisting in teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Expand Your Skills: Participate in a variety of courses and placements for professional development offered by the Clear consortium.
  • Contribute to a Vibrant Community: Our lab values an open, positive, and stimulating work environment. You will engage in meetings, social activities, and collaborative projects to enrich your PhD experience.

What do you have to offer?

You have/are

  • a MSc degree in Molecular biology or Biochemistry;
  • experience with a wide array of molecular techniques like cloning, Northern/Western blot, qRT-PCR and NGS library preparation;
  • a basic ability to perform bioinformatic analyses;
  • not lived in the Netherlands more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to the recruitment date;
  • willing to travel abroad within the EU regularly;
  • a drive and passion for fundamental research;
  • fluent in English, both written and spoken.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week, preferably starting on 1 September 2024 or sooner, for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

Your salary will range between €2,770 in the first year to €3,539 gross per month in the last year of employment, on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. A favorable tax agreement, the 30% ruling, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Amsterdam Science Park, we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact: Dr. Leendert Hamoen,

About us

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is located at the vibrant Amsterdam Science Park. SILS is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Science (FNWI). With around 240 employees, SILS carries out internationally high-quality life science research and provides education within various university programs. Research is also carried out in close cooperation with the medical, biotech, chemical, flavor, food & agricultural, and high-tech industries, and revolves around 4 main themes, Cell & Systems biology, Neurosciences, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.


Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 23 June 2024. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications should include the following information (all files should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • the names and contact information of two references (no letters of recommendation are required at this stage)

We will invite potential candidates for interviews in the first half of July.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines)

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please.

The University of Amsterdam is one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe. With some 40,000 students, 6,000 staff, 3,000 PhD candidates, and an annual budget of more than 850 million euros, it is also one of Amsterdam’s biggest employers.
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6,000 employees