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ESR9: UMC Utrecht, Netherlands (Fulfilled)

Delivery and chondrogenic/anti-inflammatory effects of nucleic acids in human tissue culture


The UMCU part of Carthago focuses on delivery of chondrogenic and anti-inflammatory nucleic acids to human tissue culture. You will set up and monitor diverse human cartilaginous and intervertebral disc cell and tissue cultures, including bioreactor-culture of explanted tissues. The selected nucleic acid/nanoparticle delivery vehicle combinations will be infused and monitored for effectivity to inhibit cartilage degeneration or stimulate regeneration. You will be involved in every aspect of design, fabrication and testing of potentially new treatments for patients suffering from osteoarthritis or low back pain. In addition, together with other ESRs in vivo studies showing proof of principle will be initiated.


We are looking for a candidate with a background in biomedical sciences and interest in gene therapy, who is able to collaborate in a diverse team, consisting of fundamental and clinical scientists from many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, molecular biology and medicine. A license for in vivo experiments is highly appreciated.

The UMCU ESR will join the Regenerative Medicine PhD Programme  within Utrecht’s Graduate School of Life Sciences. This interdisciplinary and cross-faculty RM programme is organized by Utrecht University, together with the University Medical Center Utrecht and Hubrecht Institute. Regenerative Medicine is a dynamic field that brings together fundamental and clinical scientists from many disciplines with the aim of developing novel therapeutic strategies for a wide variety of diseases. The Graduate School of Life Sciences offers access to a variety of post-graduate courses from introductory levels to academic writing.

Within the UMCU, the ESR will be hosted within the Regenerative Medicine Center located in the Hubrecht building, with excellent facilities and training programme for PhD students in three main research pillars: I. Stem Cell & Organoid Biology, II. Cardiovascular Regeneration, III. Musculoskeletal Regeneration, with an overarching pillar on Ethics.

Terms of employment

The selected candidates will be offered a full-time PhD position at the UMCU, initially for one year. Upon successful evaluation of the first year, the contract will be extended for three more years (total: 4 years). Your gross salary will be in line with the collective labour agreement of your employer.

The exact net salary will depend on your eligibility to receiving the 30% tax benefit. The 30% tax benefit cannot be guaranteed. The HR department will request for this benefit for you, after which the tax office will make a decision. Without the 30% tax benefit, the minimum net salary is approximately € 1,850 per month.

The gross salary is supplemented by a guaranteed end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and a holiday allowance of 8% of your yearly salary. We offer a pension scheme (partly paid by employer), collective insurance schemes, parental leave, travel allowance (home to work and for work purposes), and a flexible system of benefits (a la carte model at UMCU). Facilities for sports and childcare are available. Check the UMCU website for more information about working at the UMCU.
At the UMC Utrecht the mobility allowance is already included in the ESRs living allowance (salary). There is an internal individual training budget to attend external courses, conferences or workshops. Travel to the Partners and visa costs are financed by the project.

The presented PhD employment contract is in line with the MSCA guidelines. In the Collective Labour Agreements of Dutch University Medical Centres ( CAO-UMC), rules and regulations on e.g. parental leave are stated. Successful applicants will be assisted by the HR departments and if necessary the International Service Desk (ISD) relating to studying and working at the UMCU.

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