Are you looking for a PhD position in cellular metabolomics? Do you want to be closely involved in studying metabolism using LC-MS and NMR?

Then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get to know you. Apply for the position of:

PhD student in cellular metabolomics



Metabolism is pervasive in every aspect of biology. Metabolic regulation is behind understanding fundamental molecular aspects that govern health and disease. Our laboratory aims to study the fundamentals of cellular metabolism and its drug-induced perturbations using state-of-the-art analytical technologies.
This PhD position is centred on developing metabolomics workflows to be applied in studying the dynamics of cellular metabolism using isotope tracers. We are therefore looking for a motivated PhD student to conduct research on cellular metabolism by developing and implementing LC-MS and NMR-based metabolomics.

Your duties
  • Develop metabolomics workflows (based on liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, LC-MS, and nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR) from sample production to metabolic networks and interpretation;
  • Cultivation of human cell models to study drug-induced metabolism;
  • Implement sample preparation strategies to monitor intracellular and extracellular metabolome in cell models;
  • Develop metabolomics methods that cover central metabolic pathways: glycolysis, TCA cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, and redox systems, including NAD(P)(H);
  • Develop stable isotope resolved metabolomics (SIRM) to study metabolic pathway turnover;
  • Interpret and integrate metabolism readouts with functional assays (e.g. mitochondrial function and other omics);
  • Contribute and collaborate with others in data integration to study metabolic perturbations in cell systems;
  • Conduct research within the scope of the project leading to a dissertation;
  • Publish scientific articles and present research results at conferences;
  • Collaborate within the team and with other international researchers.


  • Master degree in Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Chemistry, or a related discipline;
  • Strong interest in metabolism, metabolomics, and pathway analysis;
  • Previous experience in handling HPLC, MS or NMR techniques will be considered as important asset(s);
  • Strong communication, organizational and social skills;
  • Fluent in speaking and writing English;
  • Team player with the ability to work independently;
  • Strong motivation for scientific research.


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. 

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment; 
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus; 
  • solid pension scheme (ABP); 
  • possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave; 
  • child daycare facilities available on campus.


The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

Division of Molecular and Computational Toxicology
Molecular and Computational Toxicology ( is part of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Faculty of Science, and is part of the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences (AIMMS). In the Molecular and Computational Toxicology section, research is carried out into the molecular mechanisms underlying the toxic effects of drugs and other chemicals. Using innovative cellular model systems, state-of-the-art metabolomics approaches and computational methods, the mechanism by which chemicals can cause adverse effects are investigated. The section is also involved in education within of Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medical Natural Sciences and Biomolecular Sciences at VU University Amsterdam.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae including the names and contact details of two references and a cover letter describing your abilities and motivation in a single file by 20 March 2023. Expected starting date of the position is May 2023.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. S. (Sofia) Moco

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