Do you want to use your passion to advance the toxicological risk assessment of chemicals without the use of animal experiments as a PhD researcher? Are you motivated to work in a large national team of scientists in an ambitious Dutch research program: Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment of Chemicals (VHP4Safety)? Wageningen University & Research (WUR) has a vacancy for a PhD position on the integration of cell-based and computational approaches to improve the toxicological risk assessment of chemicals at Toxicology. Are you the PhD student we are looking for?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
The Toxicology group of WUR is looking for a PhD candidate. You will further develop computational toxicokinetic models like pharmacology based kinetic (PBK) models, and approaches for Quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (QIVIVE) using reversed dosimetry approaches. To analyze toxicokinetic (effect) data you will use Bench Mark Dose models. These new approach methodologies (NAM) will allow you to establish points-of-departure for defining health based guidance values for safe human exposure in risk assessment. For this you will:
- Perform dedicated in vitro experiments using human stem cell-based models and molecular assays to study cellular responses and use LC-MS-based detection methods to quantify chemicals and their metabolites as input parameters for the computational models;
- combine and further develop PBK models and QIVIVE approaches;
- benchmark your observations against human (clinically) relevant endpoints;
- work in a Dutch research program: Virtual human platform 4 safety assessment of chemicals with several other PhD candidates and Post Docs of different Dutch Universities in close collaboration with industrial partners;
- be involved in supervision of MSc thesis students who will join the project.
About the project:
Imagine a world in which we perform precision safety testing of chemicals and pharmaceuticals without using laboratory animals. Imagine that the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals can be assessed for vulnerable groups such as infants, the elderly or the diseased. Imagine that we know how these substances interact with human biology and physiology and how they can be used safely at home, school or at work during the course of our lives. This is our vision for the future, the vision that underlies the development of the Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment (VHP4Safety), the world’s first platform to determine the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals for human health based solely on human biology. By integrating innovations in data science, human tissue culture models and transition management, VHP4Safety will spearhead the transition to animal-free safety assessment. The VHP4Safety consortium consists of leading scientific groups from Dutch universities, university medical centres, public health institutes and applied research organisations, with expertise spanning the technological, biological, chemical, medical as well as the social sciences. This research project is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) ‘Dutch Research Agenda: Research on Routes by Consortia’ (NWA-ORC 1292.19.272).
The research is embedded within the chair Toxicology, which is led by Prof. Ivonne Rietjens. You will be co-supervised by Dr. ir. Hans Bouwmeester, associate professor.
- A successfully completed MSc degree (or equivalent) in toxicology, biology, molecular life sciences, or a relevant related field;
- excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.
- you are highly driven and curious. “Why?” is a question you often ask, both inside and outside of science;
- you have a strong background in computational toxicology and solid hands-on experience in the lab;
- you have the ability to perform independent lab work, and affinity for the collaborative nature of this project;
- experience in working with human (stem cell-based) cell cultures, molecular biology techniques (i.e. cytotoxicity assays, qPCR), and analytical techniques (HPLC, LCMS) will be considered as a pre.
Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
- Sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
- working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
- the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
- there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
- a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
- excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.
There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the Best University in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.
Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.
Do you want more information?
For more information about this function, please contact Prof.dr.ir. Ivonne Rietjens, full professor, email: Ivonne.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips, recruiter, email: email@example.com.
Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including Thursday June 24th 2021.
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.