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PhD-candidate Chiral Metabolomics

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is looking for a PhD-candidate Chiral Metabolomics (1.0 FTE).

9 maanden geleden


J.H. Oortweg, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


In present-day metabolomics, advanced analytical separation techniques are used for the global profiling of (endogenous) metabolites in biological samples. A major challenge, in this context, remains the highly sensitive and reliable analysis of metabolites in especially size-limited samples. Moreover, there is a strong need for analytical tools allowing chiral metabolomics studies, as chiral endogenous metabolites, such as for example D-amino acids and some D-organic acids, are more and more recognized as potential new biomarkers for the prediction and/or diagnosis of diseases. Therefore, the aim of this PhD project is to develop microscale analytical technologies for chiral metabolic profiling of especially small-volume biological samples. In this project, which is part of the Vidi-research program entitled “Enabling volume-restricted metabolomics using next-generation microscale analytical tools” from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) will be considered as the main analytical platform for volume-restricted metabolomics. CE-MS method development for chiral metabolic profiling including utility assessment for relevant biomedical/clinical applications will be performed in close collaboration with Dr. Julie Schappler and Dr. Serge Rudaz from the Biomedical and Metabolomics Analysis group of the University of Geneva (UNIGE).

The PhD student is responsible for:

  • carrying out the main experiments and data analysis designed within the above-described project;
  • development of new concepts/tools within the scope of the defined project;
  • analyzing the generated data and preparing manuscripts based on the most important findings;
  • carrying out the chiral metabolomics project in close collaboration with UNIGE and willing to perform on a regular basis for a three-month period research at UNIGE;
  • staying up-to-date on developments in her/his research field by visiting (international) scientific meetings on a regular basis and by writing review papers.


  • We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent background in analytical chemistry, separation sciences, mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, or closely related areas;
  • You enjoy communicating your work verbally and in writing;
  • You like working in a team, your curiosity inspires progress and you have clear scientific communication skills including a pro-active scientific approach;
  • We prefer applicants with strong English language proficiency, and given the collaboration with UNIGE, a basic level understanding of the French language would be considered an advantage;
  • The applicant is willing to perform on a regular basis part of the research abroad (UNIGE);
  • A scientific presentation can be part of the interview process. Candidates with peer-reviewed scientific publications as an (co-)author may have an advantage in the selection procedure.


We offer a position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary ranges from €2,222 to €2,840 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

The appointment should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). A training & supervision plan will be drafted, including attendance of courses and (international) meetings. The PhD-student is also expected to assist in teaching undergraduates.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our Graduate School offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

If you are interested in this position, you can contact Dr. Rawi Ramautar, group leader Biomedical Microscale Analytics, Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology of the LACDR, email r.ramautar@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl.

Your application should be addressed to Dr. Rawi Ramautar, r.ramautar@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl and must include:

  • A two-page personal motivation letter;
  • A digital copy of your MSc diploma/qualification;
  • A CV including the names and contact details of two recent references.

Only applications received no later than 15 April 2018 can be considered. Only complete applications will be considered.


Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science.

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development. LACDR comprises a diverse and international team of approximately 150 researchers and is ideally located at the Leiden Bio Science Park, the largest life science cluster in The Netherlands. This vacancy is in the Biomedical Microscale Analytics group of Dr. Rawi Ramautar (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/drug-research/systems-pharmacology/research), Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology.