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PhD Position on Biomedical Optics

Do you have a MSc or equivalent in (applied) physics or related, with a strong interest in biomedical optics? Do you want to work on a new retinal oximetry tool? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

4 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 32 uur
€ 2434 - € 3111 per maand


Vision threatening diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are often related to ageing. The impact of these diseases on the health care system will only increase.

Within a joint TNO/VU TKI project we will develop techniques to assess the oxygen saturation status of the retinal microvasculature. Reduced blood oxygen levels may lead to hypoxia, one of the key drivers of the formation of new blood vessels. These new blood vessels are often leaky, which leads to complications such as vision loss and blindness. New techniques can help detect the onset of retinal hypoxia sooner. This will allow early therapeutic interventions to prevent vision loss.

In this project, we will develop a multi-color scanning laser ophthalmoscope (mcSLO)-based oximeter. The mcSLO will be a versatile research tool that provides different imaging wavelengths, and different implementations of light delivery and collection to and from the retina. For the image analysis, we will develop novel oximetry algorithms. We will test the system and algorithms on model eyes, where we control the controlled flow velocity and oxygen saturation of the blood. We will perform clinical pilot studies of patients and healthy volunteers, to show variations in retinal oxygenation.

For this project, we are looking for a PhD candidate. You work on the optical instrumentation, the model eye development, the oximetry algorithm development and on the technical and clinical validation. The research takes place at 2 locations, TNO in Delft and VU in Amsterdam. You are a part of the PhD program of the Biomedical Physics Group of the VU, under joint supervision of Prof. dr. A. Amelink and Prof. dr. J.F. de Boer. Together with the team, you present the results on national and international medical and technical conferences, and in relevant journals.

Your duties

  • you build the mcSLO system and integrate it with a custom-built high-speed tracking system that allows to compensate for eye motion
  • you model light-tissue interactions to optimize the oximetry algorithms, and build model eyes that are required for the validation of the system
  • you assist in the clinical pilot studies by operating the hardware and performing the image analysis, under supervision of ophthalmologists
  • you write a dissertation leading to a PhD degree towards the end of the 4-year project


  • you have a MSc or equivalent degree in (applied) physics or a related field, with a strong interest in biomedical optics
  • you have good experimental skills
  • you can communicate in English, both verbally and in writing


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,434 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,111 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • child daycare facilities available on campus
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Applicants are requested to respond before February 18, 2022. via the application button and by uploading the following documents:
  • a letter in which they describe their abilities and motivation
  • a detailed curriculum vitae with two or three references
  • a list of grades, TOEFL and/or IETLS scores (if available)
  • a sample of a written report in English
Please mention the vacancy number in the header of all your documents.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. Dr. Arjen Amelink
Position: Endowed Professor, Biophotonics and Medical Imaging
E-mail: a.amelink@vu.nl or arjen.amelink@tno.nl

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