University of Antwerp

Doctoral scholarship holder functional and ecological morphology, behavior and genomics of cichlids

2024-09-05 (Europe/Brussels)
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Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp

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

doctoral scholarship holder in the field of functional and ecological morphology, behavior and genomics of cichlids


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis on functional trade-offs, behavior and genomics related to trophic flexibility in cichlids. You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis on functional trade-offs, behaviour and genomics related to trophic flexibility in cichlids. While most cichlid species have evolved behavioural and morphological adaptations to specific dietary niches, they also have retained the possibility to feed on other food types. Hence, the flexibility of the feeding apparatus to deal with different food types and the behavioural characteristics that promote opportunistic foraging are important factors in the feeding ecology of cichlids. 
  • You will study various cichlids with different feeding habits. You will combine behavioural observations and kinematical analyses of food capture with detailed morphometrics of preserved specimen, and analyses of genomic data. You will contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of feeding in this model system of fast, adaptive radiation.
  • You will work at the laboratories of Functional Morphology ( and Evolutionary Ecology (
  • You will write and submit scientific papers related to the research project.
  • You will carry out a limited number of teaching and research support tasks for the Department of Biology.


  • You hold a Master degree in Biology or equivalent, or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You have strong affinity for research on fish morphology, behavior, biomechanics, and genomics.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • Holding a certificate of laboratory animal scientist (FELASA category B or C equivalent) is a strong plus.
  • Having experience with morphological analysis using CT scans is a plus.
  • Your English is fluent, both speaking and writing.
  • 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.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed once for another two-year period. 
  • The planned start date is 1 December 2024 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • 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 Drie Eiken 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 5 September 2024 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button and complete the online application form. Be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter, your academic CV, contact details of two references.
  • The selection committee reviews all applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision is made, we will notify you. If you are still eligible after the pre-selection, you will be informed about the possible next step(s) in the selection procedure.
  • 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 the promotors professor Sam Van Wassenbergh (,  professor Raoul Van Damme ( and professor Hannes Svardal (

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

Doctoral scholarship holder functional and ecological morphology, behavior and genomics of cichlids
Prinsstraat 13 Antwerp, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-09-05 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-09-05 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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