ESR 15 position

MSCA ITN funded project “DohART-NET” focusing on effect of altered conditions during the periconceptional (PC) period of development in humans, including babies born from assisted reproduction (ART, “test-tube”) interventions, and from diabetic, obese mothers. The DohART-NET project integrates pre-clinical (animal and stem cell-models) and clinical studies and apply data linkage, bioinformatics and network science for the identification and validation of mechanisms of diseases common in early development. The project will promote efficient disease prevention and potential personalised therapeutic interventions in both the general and ART populations to overcome adverse disease pathways. DohART-NET will train 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) students on this important topic much needed to improve public health over several generations, and it will integrate pre-clinical, translational clinical and in silico modeling approaches. The ESRs will strongly benefit from a network of internationally recognized scientists and the participation of companies with relevant interests and expertise in the field.

DohART-NET Network: BioTalentum Ltd. (Hungary), University of Cambridge (UK), University of Manchester (UK), University of Southampton (UK), Erasmus University Medical Center (Netherlands), CeMM (Austria), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany), MWM GmbH (Germany), Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (Belgium), IVI Valencia (Spain)

Job Title: PhD Position (ESR15)

Application Deadline: 19th August 2022

Recruiting Institution: Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel – Brussels, BE


The applicant will participate in a multidisciplinary project focused on epigenetic safety after Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

Brief description of the project:

The general aim of our research is to gain more insight into the influence of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) on the human epigenome. Families with ART and non-ART siblings have been recruited from the extensive children follow-up database at our centre. The comparison of DNA methylation patterns in the ART and non-ART sibling pairs will allow to separate inherited genetic factors from ART-related factors and to reveal if and to which extend ART factors contribute to epigenetic changes in ART children.

The ideal candidate should have solid knowledge in programming and bioinformatics. We are looking for a motivated person interested in mastering the bioinformatics part with the ability to work independently. Insight in standard molecular biology processes of DNA methylation and gene expression is an asset.

Marie-Curie EU projects are training networks: the position offered is a great opportunity to gain experience in the exciting field of reproduction and is very well suited for either a master with a passion for research but no interest in a PhD (yet), or for PhD students that want to extend their research topic and gain experience in a related field before finishing their PhD.

For students eager to obtain a PhD, there is an opportunity to continue working after the deadline of the EU project (total of 48 months) in the field of medical genetics and ART in order to finish the PhD and prepare a thesis.

The project implies a series of secondments at partner labs for additional training. The successful candidate will participate in the network’s training activities and work placements at the laboratories of the participating academic and industrial teams.


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 12-14 months in the Marie-Curie EU project (Regular employment contract). The EU project is well-paid: the candidate will receive a Monthly Living Allowance plus a Mobility Allowance compliant with the applicable EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-ITN general conditions. As mentioned, the appointment can be extended through local funding for candidates with an interest in a PhD (48 months in total.


Applicants should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • have a background in bioinformatics
  • have not been awarded a PhD already
  • have less than 4 years of full time – including any period of research experience at the signature of the contract
    (This is measured from the date when the degree was obtained, which formally entitles the candidate to embark a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained, or in the country in which the research training is provided. Degree: MSc, MD, DVM and BSC in some countries.)
  • at the time of selection, the candidate must have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organization/recruiting institution for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to selection. Short stays such as holidays are not considered.
  • excellent knowledge of the spoken and written English language
  • excellent communication and team working skills

How to Apply and further details:

Follow the below steps to submit your application. Please note all the uploaded documents should be written in English and should be in PDF format.

1. Please answer the questions below
2. Fill in the required fields
3. Upload your CV
4. Upload your motivation letter describing research career goals, skills and experience
5. Upload 2 letters of recommendation

Are you interested?

Please answer our questions:

    Do you have worked for more than 12 months in the last 3 years inside the country of the recruiting institution?

    Are you in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of your research careers, starting at the date of obtaining your masters degree (or similar)?