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PhD position Synthetic Pharmaceutical Biology University of Groningen

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Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 27,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Job description
The Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a vacancy for a PhD position in the division of Pharmaceutical Biology. The position involves the development of synthetic biology approaches for the design of novel biosynthetic pathways for the production of therapeutics.

The European Union has funded the project PROMYSE that aims to build novel genetic operons encoding metabolic and production pathways that are optimized to convert simple substrates such as methanol to high value products. The project focusses on creating novel pathways for therapeutic terpenoids, such as artemisinin and taxol, in bacteria. A modular approach will be used allowing the transfer of novel pathways in established industrial producers such as Bacillus subtilis.

The Division of Pharmaceutical Biology is part of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, located at Antonius Deusinglaan 1 and works closely together with research groups within the University Hospital (UMCG) and the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB).

The position is for four years and should result in the completion of a PhD thesis. The PhD student is enrolled in the Graduate School of the faculty (Groningen Graduate School of Sciences, GGSS) and will have to follow a selected number of master courses and trainings. Limited input in the BSc and/or MSc teaching programs Pharmacy and Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences can be part of the activities of the PhD student.


  • MSc degree in biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy or molecular biology
  • excellent research skills
  • experience with bacterial genetics and protein chemistry
  • knowledge about bioinformatics and enzyme analysis
  • excellent level of writing, reading and speaking English.

In addition the candidate is expected to interact in a multidisciplinary team and to be open to collaboration with external partners.

Conditions of employment
The University of Groningen offers a salary of minimal € 2,083 gross a month in the first year to maximal € 2,664 a month in the final year based on a full-time position. It is a temporary assignment for a period of 4 years. After the first year, there will be an evaluation as to the feasibility of successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years.

You may apply for this position before 22 August 2013 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the universities website).

Applications for the position should include:
curriculum vitae (name, address, degree(s), date, etc.)
motivation letter
name and (e-mail) address of two professional references.


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