Your challenge

The Complex Trait Genetics lab ( at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see is seeking applicants for a postdoctoral or PhD position in Statistics in Neuroscience. You will be part of the BRAINSCAPES project, which is a 10-year nationwide collaboration funded by the Dutch Government (Gravitation Program), and led from the department of Complex Trait Genetics. The main aim of BRAINSCAPES is to gain mechanistic insight into several brain disorders by leveraging results from recent genetic discoveries, utilizing large-scale bioinformatic resources, and testing genetically informed hypotheses in experimental studies.

The work of the postdoctoral or PhD candidate will focus on finding optimal ways to analyze complex data sets, both large and (very) small, obtained in diverse neuroscientific experiments (e.g., iPSC, proteomics and transcriptomics, chemo- and optogenetics), and on designing statistically optimal neuroscientific experiments. Working closely with a multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists and geneticists, you will contribute to the analyses of real data, and will conduct extensive simulation studies to determine optimal statistical methods and designs that accommodate and improve current neurobiological experiments.

Your duties as postdoctoral or PhD student:

  • apply and critically evaluate existing statistical tools developed for diverse neuroscientific experiments;
  • develop novel methods and tools to facilitate and optimize future neuroscientific experiments;
  • actively take part in the BRAINSCAPES consortium including frequent contact with other, mostly neuroscience oriented, labs;
  • authoring and co-authoring manuscripts submitted to high quality journals;
  • some support (10% of time) with teaching is expected;
  • frequently present work at international community (at conference calls, or conferences).

Your profile

We are seeking a highly motivated, talented individual. You need to have affinity with working with both large and (very) small complex datasets. Knowledge of R is essential, some scientific programming experience (Python, UNIX) and affinity with neuroscience is preferred.

In addition you meet the following requirements:

  • PhD or MSc in any of the of the following fields: statistical and methodology, bioinformatics, computational biology or related computational field;
  • Experience and strong affinity with simulation studies as well as real data analysis;
  • Good collaboration skills;
  • a good ability to write and read English;
  • support ‘open science’: share tools and data with the wider scientific community.

Your work environment

Research at the department of Complex Trait Genetics at Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc focuses on identifying the genetic mechanisms of brain-related traits and to translate these findings to the field of neuroscience. We develop novel statistical and bioinformatics tools to optimally analyze genetic as well as neuroscientific data and generate hypotheses that can be tested in functional studies to obtain mechanistic insight (for more informatie visit

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students. You will work in an enthusiastic team of PhD students and postdocs at the Faculty of Science, with diverse backgrounds, including statistics, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, psychology and stem cell biology.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

We offer

Salary Scale PHD: 2495 tot 3196 euro gross when employed full-time (depending on qualifications and experience).

We do encourage Postdoctoral researchers to also apply. Postdocs are classified in salary scale 10 (2911 till 4615 euro based on a 36 hour week), depending on qualifications and experience.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 3 years. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance.
  • Free and unlimited access to the training offer of our online learning environment GoodHabitz.
  • Your pension is accrued at The Dutch Pension Fund for government and education employees (ABP). Amsterdam UMC contributes 70% of this scheme.
  • We reimburse 75% of your public transport travel costs and also offer a bicycle arrangement.

For more information about our employment conditions, please visit our website.

For Dutch citizens it is mandatory to provide a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag; VOG).

Additional information

You are requested to write a letter in which you describe your abilities and motivation, accompanied by your curriculum vitae, a list of grades of your MSc and the names and contact details of two scientific referees. Please compile all this together in one document and convert it to pdf.

Information and application

Don’t hesitate to call us!
If you’re interested about this position, you can contact Sophie van der Sluis, Associate professor – department Complex Trait Genetics, via telephone number 020 444 8704.
If you need more information about the application procedure, contact Brend de Jong, corporate recruiter at 0612405372.

You can apply till 16 May 2021 by using the apply button.

Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.