PhD-student in vitro viral infection and immunity models


  • Stand­plaats Bilthoven
  • Contractduur 48 maanden
  • Uren per week 36
  • Niveau Master/doctoraal
  • Vakgebied Onderzoek / wetenschap
  • Reageren voor 6 augustus Nog 1 dag
  • Vacaturenummer I&V-IIV-087
  • Plaatsingsdatum 22 juli 2021
  • Dienst­verband Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd


Are you an enthusiastic PhD candidate interested in working at the interface between public health and fundamental research? Does the interaction between viruses and the immune response fascinate you?

We have a PhD position available that is part of an IMI2-funded European consortium that aims at accelerating and de-risking vaccine development. This PhD project is part of a subtopic that addresses the need for more advanced in vitro mucosal models that mimic the (protective) immunological response to vaccination and/or infection, to better predict the outcome of and reduce the need for animal and human studies in vaccine development. In close collaboration with several national and international partners we will develop next generation respiratory epithelial infection models including immunological components for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza virus.

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate with a strong interest in infectious diseases and background in (medical) biology. In your PhD track you will develop state-of-the-art primary differentiated respiratory epithelial infection models with immunological components (e.g. serum, neutrophils, monocytes, T-cells) for RSV and influenza virus (BSL-2 pathogens). Techniques will include a.o. virus and cell culturing, viral titrations, isolation of immune celis, RT-qPCR, multiplex immunoassays, and multi-color flowcytometry. You will present the results of your research at (inter)national conferences and (consortium) meetings. In parallel, you will follow a curriculum in a university PhD graduate school. Finally, you will write and
defend a dissertation comprising four to five scientific manuscripts to be published in
international peer-reviewed journals.


We are looking for a candidate with:

  • a (research) master in (bio-)medical sciences or life sciences
  • a strong and enthusiastic motivation for a PhD track in public health research
  • a strong interest in infectious diseases and vaccination
  • a background in (medical) biology, including (primary) cell culture experience
  • an analytical mind-set and independent work attitude
  • a profile of a teamplayer with excellent communication skills
  • proficiency in English (speech and writing)
  • a respectful attitude towards colleagues and collaborators


  • Salaris­omschrijving

    The salary (36 hour working week) increases in 4 steps from scale 8, salary number 0 (€ 2623,34 gross per month) to scale 8, salary number 8, (€ 3279,32 gross per month) in the fourth year.

  • Dienst­verband Arbeidsovereenkomst voor bepaalde tijd
  • Contract­duur 48 maanden
  • Maximaal aantal uren per week 36

Overige arbeids­voorwaarden

In addition to the salary you will receive an Individual Choice Budget (IKB). The IKB consists of money (16.37% of your gross annual salary) and time. You can use the IKB to make the choices that suit you and compile some of your terms and conditions of employment yourself. For example you can choose to have part of your monthly income paid out whenever you wish. You can also convert this budget into leave and vice versa, or spend it on tax-friendly purposes. The central government is keen to promote personal growth and career development and offers plenty of opportunities to do so. The fringe benefits include various study facilities, company fitness, full reimbursement of your public transport commuting expenses and partially paid parental leave.


You can adress your application to Dr. Jørgen de Jonge (interim head of Department Immune Mechanisms).

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Meer over jouw toekomstige afdeling

The Dutch Natfonal Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) protects and omschrijving promotes public health and consumer safety, and we help to protect the quality of the environment. We’ve done so for more than a hundred years and RIVM has become a knowledge institute that is at the heart of society. RIVM carries out independent research and provides the government with trusted policy advice regarding health and the environment. We deal with issues concerning infectious diseases, vaccinations, population studies, lifestyle, nutrition, drugs, the environment, sustainability and safety. We do this through research, advice, direction or implementation. RIVM annually produces and publishes numerous reports.
The center for Immunology of Infectious Diseases and Vaccines (IIV) at RIVM is the knowledge center of the government in the field of immunology of infectious diseases and vaccines. The core mission of this center is to provide information and advice about effectiveness of vaccines, vaccination strategies and immune responses against infectious diseases to parties within the government and to the general public. In support of this task, research performed at IIV is focused on optimization of the effectiveness and safety of current and future vaccination programs, immunosurveillance, age-related efficacy of the immune responses and
correlates of protection. In this work the center collaborates intensively with other RIVM knowledge centers and national and international collaborators specializing in microbiology, epidemiology and outbreak control of infectious diseases.


As the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), we are a professional, reliable and independent advisor to the government, professionals and private citizens. Our goal is a healthy population in a sustainable, safe and healthy living environment. We monitor health, diseases, the quality of nature and the living environment. To this end, we conduct research and gather knowledge for accessible information and usable advice. RIVM provides good birth screening, combats infectious diseases and plays a central role in the National Immunisation Programme and population screening. We investigate what is needed for good care, a healthy lifestyle, safe products and a safe and healthy living environment. We also contribute to preventing, combating and managing incidents and crises.

All our advice, reports, fact sheets and publications are produced by our 2100 or so staff from our head office in Bilthoven and - as from 2023 - from a beautiful new building at the Utrecht Science Park . Our work is guided by the issues of today and tomorrow – from our position at the heart of society. We are proud of our organisation, which offers a warm welcome to everyone. As a governmental knowledge institute we want to be a reflection of society. In addition to talent, experience and motivation, aspects of identity such as age, orientation, cultural background or disability also make our organisation richer, more innovative and more fun. With such diverse backgrounds, perspectives and insights, we are all working to achieve even better results!

Also curious about how others experience working at the RIVM? Watch it on RIVM-ers aan het woord | RIVM


Voor meer informatie over deze vacature:

Dr. Puck van Kasteren, scientist/projectlead

+31 (0)6-31142391

Voor meer informatie over de sollicitatieprocedure:

Frank Alders



Digitaal solliciteren

RIVM nodigt je uit op hun site te solliciteren. Via onderstaande knop verlaat je deze site ga je direct naar het sollicitatieformulier. Het Rijk hecht waarde aan een diverse en inclusieve organisatie. Werken in divers samengestelde teams maakt ons effectiever, innovatiever en het werk leuker. Eenieder wordt daarom uitgenodigd te solliciteren.

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