PhD position in Leiden, Semrau/Hille group: fellowship in biophysics/ systems biology of stem cells

The groups of Dr. S. Semrau (physics department, cell observatory, ) and Dr. S.C. Hille (department of mathematics, are looking for a recent graduate who is interested in applying for a 2017 Leiden/Huygens PhD Fellowship with a co-supervised project at the interface of biophysics, mathematics and systems biology.

About the fellowship

The Leiden/Huygens Fellowships are awarded to worldwide graduates with a demonstrated talent for fundamental research, who seek to pursue an ambitious PhD project of up to 4 years. In addition to a competitive monthly salary (increasing progressively from € 2000-2600/month), the Fellowship comes with a € 4000/year annual budget for project related expenses. Related information can be found at

About the project

The envisioned PhD project aims to unravel the fundamental molecular mechanisms underlying the differentiation of embryonic stem cells.  We want to understand how defined and stable cell types are generated by complex gene regulatory networks. The fellow will tackle this question by precise quantification of single-cell states in combination with mathematical modeling and model-based analysis of the experimental data.  Based on this quantitative understanding the fellow will develop new ways to engineer precisely defined cell types. The project is highly interdisciplinary and requires the fellow to work both experimentally and theoretically.

Selection criteria

  • You have a master’s degree in one of these disciplines: physics, biophysics, bioinformatics, computational biology, health science & technology or related
  • You show a strong interest in experimental quantitative biology as well as mathematical modeling and analysis
  • You have experience with programming (e.g. Matlab, Python, C/C++, R) and modeling
  • You are interested in learning (or have experience with) tissue culture and basic molecular biology techniques (cloning, transfection etc.)
  • You are proficient in spoken and written English, and have good communication and writing skills
  • You are independent, creative and have team spirit

Application / Deadline

If you are interested, please send a letter of motivation, your transcripts and a CV including your research experience to Dr. S. Semrau ( or Dr. S.C. Hille ( no later than Saturday, December 31, 2016.

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