PhD Position in Neurobiology
University of Antwerp

PhD Position in Neurobiology

Department: Center for Molecular Neurology
Regime Full-time

Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape. 

The Computational Neurobiology Lab at the VIB Center for Molecular Neurology of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the fields of molecular and computational neurobiology.


  • You will join our young vibrant team to work on a challenging and exciting project at the intersection genomics, molecular biology, systems biology and computational neurobiology. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) plays an essential role in normal cognitive function including in memory formation, learning, pattern separation and mood regulation. Adult neurogenesis is vital for brain repair following traumatic brain injury and is disrupted in neurodegenerative disorders. In the DG, neural stem cells (NSCs) transition from a quiescent to an active state, giving rise to neural intermediate progenitor cells which then go on to produce neuroblasts and ultimately new neurons. The molecular mechanisms underlying such state transition remain poorly understood. We hypothesise that quiescent NSCs exist in distinct states, distinguishable at the level of chromatin states and 3D chromatin organisation, and that changes in chromatin organisation coordinate the transition from quiescence to self-renewal. In this project, the successful candidate will investigate this hypothesis using a combination of state-of-the-art experimental omics technologies and integrative computational approaches.
  • You will write several scientific articles on this research project and present your work at the national and international conferences.
  • You will contribute to other research directions in the lab.
  • You will carry out a number of teaching and research support tasks at the University of Antwerp.


Required qualifications and must-have skills:

  • You hold (or will have obtained by the start date) a master’s degree in genetics, neurobiology, systems biology, molecular biology or related disciplines.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results
  • You have excellent understanding of gene regulatory mechanisms and solid knowledge of (theory behind) multimodal data integration
  • You are confident in basic molecular biology techniques
  • You are very motivated to learn and expand both computational and experimental skill set
  • You have analytical mindset
  • You have excellent communication and writing skills in English
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.

Desired skills:

  • basic genomics data generation
  • basic/intermediate programming skills in R and/or python
  • statistical analysis
  • single-cell data processing

What we offer

  • A doctoral scholarship for a period of 2 years (2024-2026). Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for another 2 years (2026-2028).
  • The planned start date 1st of October 2024 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will become part of our vibrant enthusiastic international lab and supportive community at the VIB CMNUniversity of Antwerp, as well as VIB Center for AI and Computational Biology, with which our lab is affiliated.
  • You will get access to numerous training courses at the UA and VIB.
  • You will receive eco-cheques, Internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will do most of your work at the Campus Drie Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including August 8th 2024 (by midnight Brussels time, i.e. 10pm GMT). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments:The selection committee will review all applications as soon as possible after the application deadline and will notify the shortlisted candidates by mid-August.
    • a motivation letter (1-2 page maximum), clearly explaining why you are interested in this particular project and how your education and experience make you the best candidate for this position.
    • your academic CV (1-2 pages maximum), clearly specifying:
      • the grades for the most relevant subjects during your Master’s degree
      • mastered experimental and computational skills
      • publications (if any)
    • contact information of two referees.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the position itself, please contact Prof. Valeriya Malysheva:

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Academicoxy


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