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PhD Scholarship in Biochemistry - Netherlands - Jan 2012

2 PhD Positions: (bio-)chemistry + physics/engineering:
Within the ERC Starting Grant “InstantCount”, we develop printed microfluidic chips for point-of-care blood tests for CD4 counting, malaria diagnostics and other applications. Our concept is based on the self-activated swelling of hydrogels and the subsequent release of reagents to realize on-chip sample preparation. As a proof-of-concept, we have demonstrated a simple and affordable CD4 count, a test required to monitor the disease progression of HIV, which is needed especially for many rural areas in Africa where the standard technique flow cytometry cannot be used. We will extend this concept in the following ways:
- Materials for the release of different reagents will be identified to realize new assays.
- Other mechanisms for on-chip sample preparation will be explored.
- The current fabrication procedure of the reagent layers will be replaced by printing.
- The new fabrication techniques will be used to realize new concepts. A number of concepts already exist, but there is plenty of room to explore and develop others.
- The diagnostic tests will be evaluated in the field.
- The instrumentation will be optimized and further developed.
The research project is led by Markus Beck, supervisor of the PhD projects will be Leon Terstappen.
Our offer
We offer a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. As a PhD candidate you will be offered a full-time (38 hours/week) position as a member of the MCBP group for a maximum of four years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis. In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2042 in the first year to €2612 in the final year plus a holiday allowance (8%), an end-year bonus (8.3% of the annual salary) and a number of additional benefits. The University of Twente provides excellent campus facilities, and actively supports professional and personal development.
The project is carried out within the Medical Cell BioPhysics group, part of the MIRA Institute and the Faculty of Science and Technology (TNW) at the University of Twente (The Netherlands). The group has pioneered the development of technology to detect Circulating Tumor Cells and has been developing simple and affordable point-of-care diagnostics tools for many years.
Your profile
The project team will consist of the PI, a postdoc (position filled), two PhD students, undergraduate students and support from technicians. The PhD positions, will be filled with candidates with complementary backgrounds covering as many of the following fields as possible:
- Biomedicine/Immunology
- Cell biology
- Cytometry
- Biochemistry
- Chemistry (esp. polymers)
- Microfluidics
- Microfabrication
- Printing (esp. inkjet)
- Optics, spectroscopy
- Microscopy (optical, SEM, AFM)
We expect that one master of (bio-)chemistry and one master of (technical/applied) physics will be the best match, but candidates with a master’s degree in related areas and experience in at least four of above-mentioned fields are also strongly encouraged to apply. Experience in electronics, programming (C#, ImageJ macros, LabView, Matlab) or mechanical engineering are also advantageous. You should be fluent in English and you should enjoy working in a multinational and multidisciplinary group of scientists.
For further information, please contact Markus Beck, m.beck@utwente.nl.
Applications should be received before January 31st 2012.
Please use the application link to apply.
Your application should consist of:
- a cover letter (explain your motivation for a PhD in general, for this position in particular and your qualifications),
- your CV/resume (include a list of all courses + marks, publications if applicable and a brief summary of your MSc thesis),
- at least two relevant and qualified references (contact information).
The organisation
The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over six faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.
Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and more than 1100 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes IMPACT, MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.