Early Stage Researcher (potential PhD) Position in the H2020 ‘TransPot’ Project on the Systems Biology of Therapy-resistant Prostate Cancer at GenomeScan

ESR (potential PhD) Position in the H2020 ‘TransPot’ Project on the Systems Biology of Therapy-resistant Prostate Cancer

Location (Leiden – The Netherlands)

GenomeScan is seeking an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) to join a Marie Skłodowska-Curie project within the Innovative Training Network call ‘TransPot’ of the European Union-funded Horizon 2020 Programme. This is a position for nine months. The planned starting month for the position is July 2019. A potential transfer to another H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie project is foreseen to enable the ESR to complete a full PhD project with another three years (36 months).

GenomeScan (www.genomescan.nl) is a young enterprise that originated from the long and intensive collaboration between the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and ServiceXS B.V. ServiceXS was founded in 2002 by five young pioneers in Genetics. Today, GenomeScan has extensive technical expertise and access to the latest technologies available for Next Generation Sequencing analysis. Our in-house sequencing technologies include multiple Illumina platforms (NovaSeq6000, HiSeq4000, NextSeq500) and Droplet Digital PCR from Bio-Rad, and access to the sequencing platforms from PacBio (RSII and Sequel) and the newest technologies from 10XGenomics (Chromium). This infrastructure is coupled with established protocols for DNA sequencing (SNP/variants calling, haplotyping, methylation and hydroxy-methylation, WES, WGS) and RNA sequencing (mRNA, smallRNA, long non-coding RNA, miRNA discovery).

The Translational Research Network for Prostate Cancer (TransPot; ID721746) is a pan-European research training networks where Academia, Clinic and Industry collaborate closely together, with a focus on translational cancer research, cancer cell biology and applied systems biology/systems medicine, specifically in the area of prostate cancer (PC). This involves generation and thorough characterisation of highly innovative and cutting-edge in-vitro and in-vivo model systems to improve the understanding of therapy resistance and aggressive PC. The TransPot project is coordinated by the University of Glasgow (UK), and includes 7 academic centers and 3 commercial entities from 5 European countries.

The consortium offers an innovative research training program to its ESRs to ensure that they can effectively operate in today’s multi-disciplinary scientific world. This includes both research (e.g. target validation and drug discovery; biomarker discovery and validation) and transferable skill sets (e.g. cross species onco-omics analysis; novel preclinical in-vitro/in-vivo models). Because of these unique training programs, the ESRs will develop into the next generation of multi-disciplinary scientists with skills that are in great demand for both today’s academic and non-academic sectors.

Job Description

The ESR at GenomeScan will focus on the Bio-IT of next-generation sequencing data and systems biology (systems medicine) of castration-resistant prostate cancer by performing validation of multi-omics analyses and biomarker validation. The major goal will be to generate a systems biology understanding based on a multi-omics approach for human clinical materials. Tasks include:

  • Literature search for relevant tools and methods to develop a robust analysis of strengths and weaknesses on current approaches to multi-omics analysis.
  • Validation of a multi-omics approach (cross-species onco-omics, informatics, and mathematical modelling of multiple datasets in parallel);
  • Test and/or validate newly developed tools on samples within the network;
  • Reporting on overlap between various omics data and conclusions on the mechanism(s) underlying treatment resistance in PC;
  • Publication of findings in high-ranking peer-reviewed journals.

The ESR will be based at GenomeScan in Leiden and work in a multidisciplinary team of molecular biologists and bio-informaticians under supervision of Dr. Inès Beumer.

The potential transfer to another H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie project is foreseen and involves enrollment into a Dutch PhD program at a prominent Academic University.

Coherently with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Training Program, the ESR will be involved in many different aspects of research and will work closely together with some of the other ESR’s within the networks.

Furthermore, the ESR will take part in training programs and workshops, as well as secondments at several of the other institutions that form the networks.


To be eligible, the candidate must fulfill each of the following criteria at the time of recruitment (July 2019) and at the time of potential transfer to the second project (March 2020):

  • The candidate must have a master’s degree in Life Sciences with interest to gain a PhD in the field of cancer genetics and systems biology;
  • He/she is enthusiastic about pursuing a research project within a commercial organization;
  • The candidate should have an excellent (verbal and written) command of English;
  • Applicants should not have resided or performed their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3-year period immediately prior to the start date of the research;
  • Applicants for the ESR position should be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctorate. This 4-year period is measured from the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate;
  • The candidate is willing to relocate to the Netherlands (area Leiden/The Hague).


The ESR will be contractually employed on a temporary basis by GenomeScan and covered under the social security scheme.

He or she will receive a Monthly Living Allowance plus a Mobility Allowance compliant with the applicable EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-Innovative Training Network general conditions (http://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/msca/documents/documentation/publications/msca-fellows-information-package_en.pdf).

Application procedure

Candidates are invited to submit all application documents in English to Mrs Vivienne Heemskerk (hr@genomescan.nl).

Please, add the following attachments to your application:

  • Letter stating your motivation to apply for this position
  • CV
  • List of publications
  • Transcript of grades
  • Contact information for at least two references

Please ensure that you qualify before applying, as ineligible candidates cannot be considered.

For further info on the position, please contact Dr. Inès Beumer (i.beumer@genomescan.nl).

Whom to contact at Leiden Bio Science Park?