Vacancies

We will soon start recruiting PhD students and postdocs to fill the positions in the BioClock consortium. On this page you can read about the positions that will be advertised.

When a position becomes available, a link to the official vacancy will be posted on this page.

[page last updated on November 22nd, 2021 ]


Positions
Biological Clock
& Society

WP1.1 DAY- & NIGHTTIME LIGHTING

PHD POSITION #1

The PhD student will study the effects of light in humans, specifically on the circadian system, melatonin suppression, mental performance and thermoregulation. The aim is to design a novel light source, in which spectral tuning allows for optimal selection of light effects, using varying contributions of the photoreceptors involved in the different physiological, and mental responses. The light source prototypes will be tested in a real life shiftwork situation.  

Supervisor Roelof Hut, University of Groningen

Closed.

PHD POSITION #2

The PhD student will study the neurobiology underlying non-image forming responses to light. Various light protocols and spectral tuning will be used to isolate photoreceptor contributions to light induced melatonin suppression, thermoregulation, neuronal plasticity and EEG based cognitive function in a diurnal animal (Tupaia) in comparison to nocturnal mice (including different knock-out models).

Supervisor: Peter Meerlo, University of Groningen

Closed.

WP1.2 CLOCKS & BEHAVIOUR

PHD POSITION #1

The PhD student will study the effects of exercise- and meal-timing on metabolic health, with a focus on glucose and energy metabolism. The study will help to understand the neurobiological and molecular mechanisms that underlie the adverse effects of shift work on metabolic health and investigate how to minimize these adverse effects.

Supervisor: Andries Kalsbeek, NIN-KNAW

Position has been filled.

PHD POSITION #2

The PhD student will study the effects of timed exposure to exercise, light, and food on health and well-being in older humans. The project will make use of an array of wearable sensors, recording activity, ECG, glucose, sleep and body temperature. In addition, a series of samples will be taken to measure biomarkers for physiological and metabolic and molecular impact. This project will be conducted in collaboration with the Leyden Academy on Vitality and Aging and the Centre for Human Drug Research.

Supervisor: Diana van Heemst

Position has been filled.

WP1.3 PERSONALIZED PREVENTION

PHD POSITION #1

PHD POSITION #1
The PhD student will compare shift workers with day-time workers using an array of wearables (actigraphy, heart rate, sleep), glucose sensors, questionnaires, and cognitive test. In addition, blood and stool samples will be used to measure biomarkers for health status and the implications of shift work at the level of metabolomics, RNA sequencing, hormonal profiles and determination of validated risk markers. This project will be conducted in collaboration with RIVM.

Status: opening during second half of 2021

POSTDOC POSITION #1

The postdoc will evaluate the impact of nutritional advice, timed eating, and light intervention on metabolic and immunological health parameters in shift workers. When successful, we expect the participants that received personalized intervention strategies to have improved performance, cognition, and sleep, and to shift biomarkers to levels as identified in non-shift workers. This project will be conducted in collaboration with RIVM.

Supervisors: Bert van der Horst, Erasmus Medical Center & Suzan Wopereis, TNO

Position has been filled.

WP1.4 BIOCLOCK EDUCATION

TEACHER RESEARCHER PHD POSITION #1

The PhD student (teacher-researcher) will develop and evaluate an educational programme focused on the biological clock for use in secondary education in order to deepen the understanding of adolescents on this topic and the relationship to their health and wellbeing. The project will entail both practical educational activities (in collaboration with Technolab and other partners) as well as computer-based activities.

Supervisors: Bert Bredeweg & Marco Kragten, Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Click to view vacancy. Apply by December 5th, 2021

PHD POSITION #2

The PhD student will develop, implement an e-health intervention program focused on the biological clock and sleep across Dutch Universities using the Caring Universities platform. In a randomized-controlled trial the effectiveness of this intervention will be evaluated. The ultimate goal of this intervention is to improve students’ sleep quality, mental health, and quality of life.

Supervisor: dr. Niki Antypa, Leiden University

Position has been filled.

Positions
Biological Clock
& Healthcare

WP2.1 Circadian rhythms in Early Life

Postdoc position #1

Postdoc position on the effect of circadian rhythm enhancement on health and development. The project focuses on the characterization of 24-h rhythms in physiology and behavior, and investigating the long-term effectiveness of enhanced rhythmic conditions in neonatal intensive care units. The general aim is to acquire knowledge on optimal conditions to enhance circadian rhythms, development, health and cognitive function of preterm babies.

Supervisor: Ines Chaves & Marijn Vermeulen, Erasmus Medical Center

Position has been filled.

PhD position #1

The PhD student will examine the effect of enhancement of circadian rhythms on health and development.  The project focuses on the characterization of 24-h rhythms in physiology and behavior, investigating the long-term effectiveness of enhanced rhythmic conditions in neonatal intensive care units, and identifying new (epigenetic) biomarkers and cellular assays that report on circadian clock function and health outcomes. The aim is to acquire knowledge on optimal conditions to enhance circadian rhythms, development, health and cognitive function of preterm babies.

Supervisor: Ines Chaves & Marijn Vermeulen, Erasmus Medical Center

Position has been filled.

WP2.2 Light in Depression

Postdoc position#1

The postdoc will focus on the biological clock of patients with depression. The project aims to understand the brain mechanisms that make light therapy a successful antidepressant treatment through neuroimaging techniques. Further, in a randomized clinical trial, optimal chronotherapeutic treatment approaches (combining light therapy and lifestyle interventions) will be tested in order to improve well-being and facilitate recovery in depressed patients.

Supervisor: Niki Antypa, Leiden University

Position has been filled.

PhD position#1

The PhD candidate will focus on the restoration of the biological clock of patients with depression. More specifically, this project aims to test and establish an optimal chronotherapeutic approach that combines light therapy and lifestyle interventions to improve well-being, support sleep and facilitate recovery in depressed patients in a clinical trial. Furthermore, the project goal is to identify psycho-physiological and behaviorial markers that predict response to antidepressant treatments, thereby enabling better selection of chronotherapeutic interventions and improved effect monitoring.

Supervisor: Luc Schlangen, TU Eindhoven

Position has been filled.

WP2.3 Circadian clocks and vaccination

PhD position#1

The PhD student will work on the optimal timing of vaccines in order to offer the best protection by the vaccine. Specifically the project’s objectives are to determine the effect of dosing time on the antibody and T cells response to vaccination using data from vaccination studies and analyses of antibody and cell dynamics in human and mouse studies.

Supervisor: Jacob Wallinga & Debbie van Baarle, RIVM

Status: opening soon

PhD position#2

The PhD student will work on the optimal timing of vaccines in order to offer the best protection by the vaccine. Specifically the project’s objectives are to determine the effect of dosing time on the antibody response and T cells to vaccination and model the resulting change in burden of disease.

Supervisor: Jacob Wallinga & Debbie van Baarle, RIVM

Status: opening soon

PhD position#3 / Postdoc position

Either a Postdoc or a PhD candidate will work on the effect of circadian rhythms on the response to cancer immunotherapy.  Experimental immunotherapies, including immune checkpoint blockade and therapeutic vaccination, will be investigated. The immune response will be analysed using high-dimensional single-cell technologies (multi-parametric cytometry and RNA sequencing). The project aims to improve cancer immunotherapy by elucidating the mechanisms underlying cancer immune regulation by the circadian clock.

Supervisor: Ramon Arens, Leiden University Medical Center

Click to view vacancy. Deadline: November 28th, 2021

WP2.4 – Clock medicines

Postdoc position #1

Postdoc position on the development of translational clock assays to study the effect of small molecules on clock function at the molecular, cellular, and network level. Firstly,  biochemical and cell-based high-throughput screening assays will be developed and applied to identify hit compounds that modulate  clock function. Secondly, in-depth characterization of compound action on circadian clock function in organotypic slice cultures of  central and peripheral clock tissue will be performed.

Opening Summer 2022

PHD position #1

PhD candidate on the development of new compounds designed to strengthen and restore circadian clock function. Specifically, the aim is first to generate a set of optimized candidate compounds to modulate clock function, which originated from library screening. Secondly, the optimized compounds will serve as starting points for chemical probes to identify novel clock targets.

Opening Summer 2022

Positions
Biological Clock 
& Environment

WP3.1 Clock disruption in diurnal versus nocturnal mammals and fish

Postdoc position #1

The Postdoc will work on the effect of light pollution on daily and seasonal patterns in small mammals. A key question is how the behavioural and physiological response varies between mammals with different temporal niches. Differences in the response of the circadian system will be assessed both in the field and in the lab, using the hamster and the Eel as animal models. 

Supervisors: Joke Meijer, Christian Tudorache

Status: opening soon

PhD position #1

The PhD candidate will focus on the effect of light pollution on daily and seasonal rhythms in fish. Using the three-spined stickleback, eel and zebra fish as model species, the impact of artificial light – and critical response threshold levels – on the temporal organization of physiology and behavioural traits will be studied.

Supervisors: Christian Tudorache, Joke Meijer

Position has been filled.

WP3.2 Mismatching clocks in ecological interactions

PhD position #1

The PhD candidate works on the impact of light at night on daily and seasonal activity of insects, specifically moths and butterflies, and subsequent food web effects. An important question is how light interacts with insect availability for large insectivores such as birds and bats, and how this varies between natural and urban environments.

Supervisors: Astrid Groot, Gerard Oostermeijer

Closed.

PhD position #2

The PhD candidate studies the effect of artificial light at night on daily and seasonal activity of insect species, specifically moths and butterflies, and specifically how these effects influence insect-plant relations. The work focusses on the influence of light on insect herbivory, seed predation and pollination.

Supervisors: Emily Strange, Astrid Groot

Closed.

WP3.3 Clocks in the City

PhD position #1

The PhD candidate focusses on how artificial light at night interacts with plant species/communities. Using experimental illumination in controlled field setups, the study focusses on the impact of light and the interaction with primary productivity in terrestrial and aquatic settings.

Supervisors: Emily Strange

Closed.

PhD position #2

The PhD candidate studies the influence of artificial light at night on bat foraging activity patterns throughout the night and the season. The modulating effect of light intensity and spectral composition across urban gradients on insect presence, but also direct deterrence by light will be central in this study.

Supervisors: Kamiel Spoelstra, Marcel Visser

Position has been filled.

WP3.4 Refining the spectrum to prevent light disturbance in nature

PhD position #1

The PhD candidate will work on the impact of the colour composition of artificial illumination at night on the attraction of insects. The study aims to identify the spectral absorption by insect eyes and the electro-physiological retinal responses, and link these to explain the attraction of insects to experimental light sources with different and or variable spectra in the field.

Supervisors: Kamiel Spoelstra, Roelof Hut

Status: opening soon

PhD position #2

The PhD candidate will work on the effect of artificial light at night on the spatial movement of birds during migration. The response of birds to concentrated and distributed light sources, and how this relates to light spectrum, is assessed with the use of extensive tracking data, as well as possible captivity and field experiments.

Supervisors: Barbara Helm, Kamiel Spoelstra

Status: opening soon

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The BioClock Consortium is funded by the NWA-ORC programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO; project number 1292.19.077).