Radboud Universiteit

Radboud University

At Radboud University, we aim to make an impact through our work. We achieve this by conducting groundbreaking research, providing high-quality education, offering excellent support, and fostering collaborations within and outside the university. In doing so, we contribute indispensably to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. To accomplish this, we need even more colleagues who, based on their expertise, are willing to search for answers. We advocate for an inclusive community and welcome employees with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Will you also contribute to making the world a little better? You have a part to play.

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Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science (FNWI), part of Radboud University, engages in groundbreaking research and excellent education. In doing so, we push the boundaries of scientific knowledge and pass that knowledge on to the next generation.

We seek solutions to major societal challenges, such as cybercrime and climate change and work on major scientific challenges, such as those in the quantum world. At the same time, we prepare our students for careers both within and outside the scientific field.

Currently, more than 1,300 colleagues contribute to research and education, some as researchers and lecturers, others as technical and administrative support officers. The faculty has a strong international character with staff from more than 70 countries. Together, we work in an informal, accessible and welcoming environment, with attention and space for personal and professional development for all.

1. Introduction

The Physical-Organic Chemistry department at Radboud University is looking for a PhD candidate to work on the development of new chemical methods to study RNA targeting.

2. Job description

RNA is an essential biomolecular polymer that exhibits many cellular functions that are crucial for life, ranging from catalytic to informational. The recently discovered versatile cellular functions of RNA have rendered RNA an interesting target for therapy. In particular, the prospect of targeting RNA with small molecule modulators offers great promise for tackling currently challenging diseases. Traditional drug molecules have mainly been designed to target proteins. In the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Training network 'TargetRNA' we will develop selective drugs that target RNA instead. 

As a PhD candidate, you will work on the development of new methods to study RNA targeting. This PhD position will be part of a large European consortium focusing on developing drug molecules that target RNA. In this particular position, the focus will be on developing new methods that will enable quantifying interactions between small molecule drugs and RNA targets of interest.

This research combines biochemical techniques, including gel electrophoresis; PCR; cell culture; RNAseq and analytical methods such as fluorescence spectroscopy; MALDI-TOF; and HPLC. Interest in Organic Chemistry is preferred.

You will communicate your findings through publications in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences. You will also be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students.

3. Profile

  • You should hold a Master's degree in Chemical Biology, Life Sciences, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Chemistry or a related field.
  • You are motivated, open minded and have a strong interest in working in an interdisciplinary research centre and in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Experience with nucleic acid biochemistry and RNA sequencing would be a plus.
  • Good oral and written English communication skills are essential.
  • To promote mobility within this EU project, you may not have resided within the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the last three years. 

4. We are

As a PhD Candidate, you will be part of the research group of Dr Willem Velema (velemalab.com) and embedded in the Physical-Organic Chemistry department at Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands).  We are a chemical biology lab focusing on RNA targeting. This position is part of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Training network. We use a combination of organic chemistry, biotechnology and biochemistry to develop small molecule drugs that target RNA.

The Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) is a research institute in chemistry and physics promoting interdisciplinary research. Its mission is to design and create functional molecules and materials to fundamentally understand their behaviour. IMM consists of 24 research groups active in fields ranging from condensed matter physics to organic chemistry and biochemistry. It focuses on fundamental research with an open eye to societal applications and trains the next generation of leaders in science and innovation. At IMM, you will have the opportunity to interact with researchers and participate in institute-wide activities. 

5. We offer

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).     
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus. 
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20. 

6. Practical information and applying

You can apply only via the button below. Address your letter of application to Dr. Willem Velema In the application form, you will find which documents you need to include with your application.

The first interviews will take place in the second half of June and beginning of July. You will preferably start your employment in January 2025.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It describes what you can expect during the application procedure and how we handle your personal data and internal and external candidates. 

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full-time/Part-time
First day of employment 01-01-2025
Salary Promovendus
  • € 2770 - € 3539
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 1,0
City Nijmegen
County Gelderland
Country Netherlands
Reference number 62.117.24
Published 21.May.2024
Last application date 16.Jun.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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