Genes, Development And Behavior
Department of Translational Neuroscience
Utrecht, The Netherlands



We offer a PhD student position in neuroscience for a period of 4 years in a dynamic environment. Monthly gross salary will be according to UMCU salary scales. Employment terms are in accordance with the CAO hospitals. We offer a package of fringe benefits.

The project focuses on the unravelling of the neural circuits that encode (food) reward, and aims at determining how these circuits are functionally altered by adverse events like stress. This research may ultimately benefit the understanding of prevalent brain-related pathologies, such as eating disorders, obesity and drug addiction, in which adverse events often play a crucial role in the aetiology. The main technical approaches utilized in the laboratory include patch clamp electrophysiology, optogenetic probing of neural connections, viral tracing, photometric measurements, and behavioral assays in animal models.   

We seek a highly motivated and conscientious candidate with a background in neuroscience or a related field (recently acquired MSc or equivalent). It is important that the candidate can demonstrate an interest in the study of synaptic transmission and/or of neural circuits. The candidate needs to be interested in working with rodents, and in an ideal scenario would already have a license to work with animals (or should otherwise be motivated to obtain it). An interest to work on the function of the reward system and on the mechanisms behind synaptic plasticity are required. Pre-existing experience with optogenetics, neurophysiology, viral tracing, stereotactic surgery, behavioral assays, and/or programming skills are non-essential, but are considered to be strengths. The candidate should be willing to acquire these skills in so far as they are lacking.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Frank Meye at




We offer a temporary position for a period of 3 years starting in the 4th quarter of 2017. The monthly gross salary of the selected candidate will be according to the UMCU salary scales and the terms of employment will be in accordance with the CAO hospitals. We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits.

We seek outstanding candidates (m/f) who recently obtained a BSc degree (HBO) or MSc degree in the area of molecular and cell biology and are strongly motivated to address relevant questions at the interface between stem cell biology and brain disease. In addition, it is essential that the applicant is interested in working in a unique multidisciplinary team, has managerial skills and has proven expertise in tissue culture. Expertise with molecular and cellular (functional) studies in neurons is required, as is experience with electrophysiology, CAS/CRISPR technology, and 3D microscopy.

The candidate will coordinate the BCRM IPSC facility (including training of (junior) scientists, managing research budgets, operational tasks) and in addition participate in research projects focusing on the generation and analysis of human stem cell-based culture models (iPSC, organoids) for brain disease. Using a combination of neuronal differentiation protocols, genome editing (CRISPR/CAS), (3D light sheet) microscopy and molecular cell biological approaches pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g. ALS, SMA, epilepsy, psychosis) will be identified.

Information and application: Prof. Jeroen Pasterkamp (+31-88-7568831, e-mail Application letters, including curriculum vitae and two letters of recommendation can be sent to Jeroen Pasterkamp at his e-mail address.