PhD-student: Coordinating cell division with DNA replication

Date posted February 10, 2020
Type PhD positions

One of the grand challenges of the 21st century is to understand how life arises from inanimate molecular matter. We take on this challenge with a large team consisting of biophysicists, biochemists and cell biologists within the NWO Gravitation Program BaSyC. We will combine molecular components to create a synthetic cell that can grow and divide autonomously, i.e. display one of the hallmarks of life, the ability to self-replicate. Your job is to design, through mathematical modelling, the biomolecular functional modules that coordinate chromosome segregation and cell division with DNA replication, and growth.

About the group

You will be based jointly in the Theory of Biomolecular Matter group of Bela Mulder and the Biochemical Networks group of Pieter Rein ten Wolde at AMOLF.


You have a strong background in statistical physics, an affinity with analytical theory as well as computer simulations (e.g. MD, MC, Green’s Function Reaction Dynamics (GFRD)). Prior experience with biophysics is appreciated, but not a requirement. The willingness to dive into biological systems and to interact with experimentalists, is a must. 
You will need to meet the requirements for an MSc-degree, to ensure eligibility for a Dutch PhD examination.

Terms of employment

The position is intended as full-time (40 hours / week, 12 months / year) appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of four years. In the event of an appointment as PhD, you will, on successful completion, be granted a PhD at Utrecht University, with prof. dr. Mulder as your primary promotor. Several courses are offered, specially developed for PhD-students. AMOLF assists any new foreign PhD-student with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs and furnishing expenses.

Contact info

Prof.dr. Bela M. Mulder
Group leader Theory of Biomolecular Matter


Prof. dr. Pieter Rein ten Wolde
Group leader Biochemical Networks

Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  Resume;
–  Motivation on why you want to join the group (max. 1 page).
It is important to us to know why you want to join our team. This means that we will only consider your application if it entails your motivation letter.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

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