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PhD Candidate - Tumor Immunology

Your function within the department

The PhD student will join the research group of John Haanen, which is part of the division of Molecular Oncology & Immunology. Our research is focused on T cell immunology in cancer, and the development and clinical testing of novel T cell therapies.

Your role
In our group, we are interested in understanding the immune response against cancer, whether mounted spontaneously or augmented by (immuno)therapy. A special focus lies on the way in which T cells are capable of recognizing tumor cells, and the biology that is associated with their capacity to do so. We have recently developed a platform that uses synthetic T cell receptor (TCR) libraries to assess the tumor-specificity of tumor-resident T cells (Scheper et al. 2019 Nat Med), and would like to deploy this technology to study the biology of tumor-specific and bystander T cells in more detail. We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate to participate in this effort, which will strongly lean on next-generation techniques such as single-cell RNA sequencing. An affinity towards such techniques, and acquiring the skillset to work with these data, is therefore considered crucial.  

Your profile

We seek to recruit a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate with an interest in combining novel technologies with translational research. If you meet the following requirements and are interested in this position we would like to invite you to apply.

  • You have a master degree in biology, biomedical sciences, biochemistry or related fields (University level).
  • You are a precise worker with a good sense of responsibility.
  • Excellent (English) communication skills and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team (consisting of scientists, pharmacists, technicians and clinicians) are essential.
  • You have a flexible and proactive working attitude.
  • Experience with cell culture, flow cytometry, retroviral transductions, molecular biology, and NGS data analysis is advantageous. 

Your career opportunities and terms of employment

You will join a dynamic international research division and collaborate with scientists and clinicians within and outside the NKI-AVL with expertise in different disciplines. The NKI offers an inspiring and interactive research environment, state-of-the-art facilities, and ample training opportunities. If you are currently living abroad and plan to move to the Netherlands we have apartments for rent in the vicinity of our institute. (At the moment we do have a waiting list)

The appointment will be for 4 years. The gross salary per month will range from € 2.665,- to € 3.282, according to our standard PhD scales. The terms of employment will be in accordance with the CAO Ziekenhuizen (Collective Labour Agreement for Hospitals) and can be consulted at:


For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Wouter Scheper or Prof. Dr. John Haanen (Division of Molecular Oncology & Immunology; or

Your application letter and resume can be attached before November 20th 2019 to the application form on our website Click on the vacancy you wish to apply for: you will find the application button that will lead you to the application form.  After dispatch of the form you will receive a reaction as soon as possible.