Ghent University

Postdoctoral Researcher in Reproductive Medicine/Genetics - Structuur en Herstel van de Mens (26362)

2023-10-01 (Europe/Brussels)
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About the employer

Ghent University is one of the top 100 universities in the Dutch language area, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members.

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   →   Apply before 01/10/2023 (DD/MM/YYYY) 23:59 (Brussels Time)
   →   Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences  
   →  Department: GE38 - Structuur en Herstel van de Mens
   →  Occupancy rate:100%
   →  Number of positions: 1    
   →  Type of employment: Contract of unlimited duration with clause 
   →  Term of assignment:  
   →  Wage scale:  PD1 to PD4 (doctoral degree) 
   →  Required diploma: PhD 


Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.


The G-FaST, Department for Reproductive Medicine, engages in both fundamental stem cell research and clinical translational IVF research, focusing on infertile couples, who cannot be helped by the current available treatments of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). For infertile patients, we are exploring the generation of de novo patient-specific gametes from pluripotent stem cells or via haploidisation. The clinical translation research addresses several hot topics within the field of ART including: failed fertilization or embryonic developmental arrest after ICSI; and the Nuclear Transfer technology to overcome mitochondrial diseases or female-related infertility. Combining expertise in pluripotent stem cells and embryology, we also started the topic of CRISPR/Cas gene editing in mouse and human embryos, to assess the function of genes or correct mutations. While embryology, ART techniques and stem cell culture are frequently used, many molecular biology techniques are required in our research, in collaboration with the Center of Medical Genetics at our Faculty under Prof. Björn Menten and Prof. Paul Coucke.

Prof. Björn Heindryckx coordinates the G-FaST, consisting of a group of 8 PhD students, a post-doc and a research assistant, in close collaboration with the clinical Department for Reproductive Medicine/UZ Ghent headed by Prof. Dominic Stoop, and has a strong track-record in translating their basic research into clinical applications.


The candidate will be mostly involved in a recently obtained FWO/TBM research project entitled “Nuclear Transfer for female-related infertility and mitochondrial diseases”. This proposal aims at the (pre-)clinical validation of the novel Nuclear Transfer (NT) technology in ART for two specific indications, being (1) female-related infertility and (2) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases. The NT technology involves the transfer of the nuclear genome from a patient’s diseased or inferior quality oocyte or zygote to a healthy donor counterpart from which the nuclear genome was removed. The resulting NT embryos contain the nuclear DNA from both prospective parents and the cytoplasm, including the mtDNA, originating from the donor. More recently, the NT technology has also been proposed to overcome specific female-related infertility indications that could be attributed to inferior oocyte quality, for which generally oocyte donation is advised. Both experimental evidence on animal and human models, as well as recently published clinical data on a limited number of patients, support the feasibility of this approach. We first aim  to further validate the NT technology for specific infertility disorders in a pre-clinical context, by extensive -omics analyses (genomic, transcriptomics, epigenomics); and compare different NT strategies in patients with mtDNA diseases. Thereafter, NT will be clinically implemented, firstly for infertility, secondly for mitochondrial diseases.

Within G-FaST, you will be responsible for:

  • The academic research concerning this TBM, on which you will spend at least 70% of your assignment time.
  • Planning, coordination, and implementation of the project, with focus on the execution of the molecular analyses on single cells/embryos, including-omics technologies using NGS or dPCR, amongst others.
  • Supervision of involved PhD students.
  • Critical analysis and interpretation of results.
  • Involvement in other research activities at G-FaST concerning molecular biology analysis, and coordination with technical support staff of G-FaST and Center of Medical Genetics.
  • Interaction with the other project partners (Center of Medical Genetics).
  • Organization of meetings with the advisory board and project communication and reporting, including writing project reports, scientific articles, dissemination on ART congresses etc.


Background and experience

  • You hold a thesis-based doctorate in medicine and health sciences, bioscience engineering, veterinary sciences, or equivalent with excellent grades (obtained max. 6 years ago).
  • Experience in the field of reproductive medicine, genetics, bioscience engineering and bioinformatics will be greatly appreciated.

Scientific knowledge and skills

  • Hands on experience in genetics, standard molecular analysis tools, –omics technologies and data analysis.
  • Experience in ART is of added value but can be foreseen.
  • Ability to rigorously design experiments and to perform experiments under well-controlled conditions in a result-oriented and thorough manner.
  • Ability to perform in-depth and critical data analysis.
  • Ability to communicate through high-quality scientific channels, e.g. WoS publications (A1).

Personal knowledge and skills

  • A strong interest in inter/multi-disciplinary applied science.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with team members from different backgrounds and in different research areas.
  • Excellent skills for time management and the ability to meet objectives within strictly set deadlines.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English are strictly required (C1 level), Dutch as a native language is a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently.
  • Outcome focused, hands-on mentality.
  • Willingness to travel internationally for project meetings and conferences.
  • Willingness to apply for scholarships to obtain additional funding.


  • We offer you a contract of indefinite duration with a minimum of 3 years.
  • Your contract will start on 01/10/2023 at the earliest.
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1. Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers.. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).


Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see above). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘CV’: your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file) and ranking (if available).
  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format.
  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • In the field “other documents”: 1) A statement addressing how each of the selection criteria has been met is required to assist the Selection Committee to determine whether you have the relevant qualifications, knowledge/skills, experience and personal qualities. 2) A list with the names and contact details (address, telephone, e-mail) of three referees, including if possible a senior person (preferably your supervisor, manager or head of organisational unit) closely associated with your previous/current work. A referee must be able to comment on your work experience, skills and performance with respect to the selection criteria.

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.


For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Björn Heindryckx (+32(0)9 3324748;

Do you have a question regarding the online application process? Please read our FAQ or contact helpdesk ( - tel. 09/264 98 98)

Job details

Postdoctoral Researcher in Reproductive Medicine/Genetics - Structuur en Herstel van de Mens (26362)
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 33 Ghent, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-10-01 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2023-10-01 23:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

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About the employer

Ghent University is one of the top 100 universities in the Dutch language area, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members.

Visit the employer page

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