University of Antwerp

PhD Ecotoxicology Investigation of the bioavailability and effects of legacy and emerging PFAS on terrestrial organisms under laboratory and field conditions

2023-07-31 (Europe/Brussels)
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The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research, and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international, and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape. 

The Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of ecotoxicology.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defense of a PhD thesis in the field of bioaccumulation and effects of PFAS on terrestrial invertebrates and birds under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Lieven Bervoets, Prof. Dr. Marcel Eens and Dr. Thimo Groffen.
  • Although PFAS are known to be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, many critical gaps in our understanding remain. You will build on recent findings about the bioavailability, bioaccumulation and effects of PFAS (both legacy and emerging) to terrestrial invertebrates and songbirds under both laboratory and field conditions.
  • You will study, among others, the mechanisms of bioaccumulation, including soil characteristics and temperature and the relationship between accumulated PFAS and effects at different levels of biological organization.
  • You will be part of both the ECOSPHERE and Behavioural Ecology (BECO) groups who have an extended experience on the bioaccumulation and effects of micropollutants in terrestrial organisms under both controlled laboratory and field conditions
  • You will publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You will carry out a limited number of teaching and research support tasks for the department of Biology, such as assisting practical teaching sessions and supervising Bachelor, Master and Erasmus-exchange students.
  • You will work closely with two other PhD students to be recruited on the same project, one mainly focusing on the chemistry of PFAS and the other on their effects on plants.


  • You hold a Master degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or related fields, or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • Foreign candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity, and cooperation.
  • You have excellent oral and written communication skills, have an inquisitive mindset, and have strong interpersonal skills. You are fully fluent in English.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for another two years.
  • The planned start date is 1 October 2023.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques, Internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Groenenborger in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including July 31 2023 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a strong motivation letter, a detailed academic CV, and two recommendation letters or contact information of two scientific references.
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure. Interviews of the candidates, after a preselection by the selection committee, will take place in September 2023.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. Dr. Lieven Bervoets ( and Prof. Dr. Marcel Eens ( with as email subject “DOCPRO PFAS and wildlife”

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

Job details

PhD Ecotoxicology Investigation of the bioavailability and effects of legacy and emerging PFAS on terrestrial organisms under laboratory and field conditions
Prinsstraat 13 Antwerp, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-07-31 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2023-07-31 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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