PhD Candidates on The Mathematical Modeling of Blood Vessel Growth Near Tumors

Outstanding international students are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship in environmental sciences at Leiden University. This position is available for three years. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

The Faculty of Science and the Mathematical Institute is looking for two

PhD candidates on the Mathematical Modeling of Blood Vessel Growth near Tumors

Key responsibilities

The PhD projects will be part of an interdisciplinary, NWO-funded Vici-project that will unravel how modifications of the extracellular matrix, as they can occur for example near tumors, can modify the structure of new blood vessel networks. As a mathematical modeler, you will work closely together with experimental researchers who will test the predictions of your mathematical models in our wetlab through imaging of cell cultures and zebrafish. Based on cycles of iterative refinement of the mathematical model, followed by experimental validation, you will unravel aspects of blood vessel growth, and prepare your insights for publication in the biological, biophysical, and/or biomathematical literature. One project will focus primarily on the cellular scale and on the molecular mechanisms of mechanical cell-cell interactions. A second project will focus on collective cell behavior, initially simplifying the underlying molecular details.

The team carries out mathematical biology research in close interaction with our experimental lab. More information about the group can be found here. The work will be embedded in the Multiscale Mathematical Biology team at the Mathematical Institute and the Institute of Biology Leiden, both at the Faculty of Science at Leiden University.

Our organisation

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the faculty is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor's and twelve master's programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,200 staff and almost 4,200 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden's Bio Science Park, one of Europe's biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary rangefrom 2,325.- to 2,972.- gross per month (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. Additional budget allows for research visits abroad and attendance of international conferences.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.


LeidenUniversityis strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. Information

Enquiries about the position can be made to Roeland Merks, email Applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Roeland Merks, email Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number: Only applications received no later than 15 January 2020 can be considered.


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