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Phd Student telomere damage response

Your function within the department

PhD student Telomere & DNA damage response – Netherlands Cancer Institute

within the “aDDRess” Innovative Training Network on “Chromatin Dynamics & the DNA damage response”

15 PhD positions are available for highly motivated Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions as part of the new H2020, EU-funded, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Joint Training and Research Program on Chromatin Dynamics & the DNA Damage Response “aDDRess”.
The aDDRess consortium is a joint European Program of excellence in training and research with a core intellectual focus on chromatin dynamics, DNA damage signaling and repair mechanisms, and their impact on development and disease. The aDDRess-ITN ( brings together leading academic and industry research groups to train a new generation of researchers. We are now looking for 15 highly motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to work towards their PhD on Chromatin Dynamics and the DNA damage Response.

The PhD position advertised specifically here concerns the ESR5 position within the group of Jacqueline Jacobs at the Oncogenomics Division of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, on the subject “Mechanisms underlying ubiquitin-mediated DNA damage responses (DDR) to telomere deprotection”:
Maintenance of genome integrity requires appropriate detection, timely and error-free repair of DNA lesions, as well as inhibition of DDR and DNA repair at natural chromosome ends. The latter is governed by telomeres, specialized nucleoprotein structures at chromosome ends that help distinguish these from broken DNA to allow proliferation and prevent repair activities from causing genome instability, which would otherwise contribute to premature aging and cancer. Ubiquitylation has been recognized as playing important regulatory roles in the DDR, also at telomeres, but much of the underlying mechanisms and proteins involved remains unknown. To better understand the mechanisms underlying DNA repair control at telomeres we previously performed genetic screens to identify factors with critical roles in telomere-driven genomic instability. We identified multiple new factors controlling NHEJ at telomeres, including proteins involved in ubiquitylation. Our follow-up work identified important contributions by ubiquitin E2 and E3 enzymes previously linked to the protein quality control pathway or H2B-ubiquitination, but how these processes are important to NHEJ at telomeres is unclear. Here, we aim to obtain further insights in how these factors contribute to DNA repair control.


Your profile

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • The applicants can be of any nationality.
  • They should not hold a doctoral degree yet.
  • They should be within four years of a degree granting them access to doctorate studies in the host countries at the time of recruitment.
  • The applicant must not have resided in the country of the host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to the recruitment.
  • Applicants should be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Applicants should have a strong background in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medicine or related fields according to the individual research projects.

Your career opportunities and terms of employment

  • a network-wide comprehensive, interactive and international training program, schools and conferences covering innovative and state-of-the-art approaches to the field of DNA damage and chromatin dynamics.
  • a series of research-specific, complementary and soft skills, that involve both the academic and industry sectors and are tailor-made to prepare young researchers for their future careers.
  •  a competitive salary
  •  a mobility allowance and a family allowance (where applicable) as part of the employment package.
  • 3-year full-time employment contract in accordance with the Marie Skłdowska-Curie Action regulations for Early Stage Researchers.
  • Enrollment in a PhD program at the local institute.
  • As the duration of a PhD study at the Netherlands Cancer Institute is beyond the 3-year- MSCA contract, additional funding for the additional year(s) will be provided by the host group.
  • Secondments periods at other network partners’ labs.


For further information on the network please visit:
For more information on the Jacobs group please see:
The ESR5 vacancy within the Jacobs group and all other vacancies are advertised at
Applications should be uploaded through the Program’s website link:
Applications should include:
1. an up-to-date CV (max. 4 pages),
2. a cover letter that describes the applicants’ motivation to apply (max. 1 page) and,
3. the contact details of at least two referees.