PhD Position in Health Sciences

University of Antwerp


Department: Translational Research in Immunology and Inflammation
Regime Full-time

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 Translational Research in Immunology and Inflammation in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of viral infections and the airway microbial communities in cystic fibrosis patients.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis about the interaction between viral infections and the airway microbial communities in young cystic fibrosis patients. Specifically, you will implement molecular, microbiological, and immunological methods to gain insights into the virus-microbiome-host interactions in cystic fibrosis. The experimental research will mostly be conducted at the Department of Bioscience Engineering in the Faculty of Science, and clinical samples will be collected at the Departement of Translational Research in Immunology and Inflammation in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. You will be supported by a multidisciplinary team consisting of members of both departments.
  • 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 Bioscience Engineering.


  • You hold a Master degree in bioscience engineering, medicine, biomedical sciences or biology, or you will have obtained it by the start of your scholarship.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study and/or academic results.
  • 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 are proactive and enthusiastic about research, have a critical research attitude and propose own research ideas.
  • Laboratory experience with microbiological and immunological techniques, human respiratory cell culturing, and microbiome sequencing data processing (for instance via R), especially in the context of cystic fibrosis research, is a plus.
  • You have strong interpersonal and communication skills, and function well in an international and diverse research team.
  • You can transfer your knowledge not only to the research community but also to patients and their parents.
  • Considering the international research context, mastering of the English language (both oral and written) is mandatory.

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, thus covering four years in total.
  • The planned start date is 1st of November 2023 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 Groenenborger and Campus Drie Eiken of the University of Antwerp and in the Antwerp University Hospital 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 August 7, 2023 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments:
    • a motivation letter,
    • your detailed academic CV (including honours, grades, skills, publications, …),
    • contact info of two references.
  • The selection committee will review all 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. Please make a note of the following date: interview is planned on August 22nd, 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. Kim Van Hoorenbeeck (, Prof. dr. ir. Irina Spacova ( and Dr. ir. Ilke De Boeck (

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.

In your application, please refer to


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