PhD-candidate, FHML/NUTRIM - Department of Human Biology and Department of Microbiology, The Netherlands

The Departments of Human Biology and Medical Microbiology within the Research School NUTRIM of Maastricht University is looking for an enthusiastic PhD-student for a project on carbohydrates, antibiotics resistance and metabolic health.

Job description

Project description

Although antibiotics have drastically reduced infection-associated morbidity and mortality, their use is also associated with detrimental health effects amongst others through perturbations of our intestinal microbes (microbiota). This project will elucidate the subject-specific impact of antibiotics on the intestinal microbiota and to study whether administration of non-digestible carbohydrates can improve resilience and metabolic health in overweight individuals with slow microbiota recovery. To this end, the project involves the conduction of human dietary intervention studies and the application of state-of-the-art molecular and biochemical lab techniques.

Role Description

The PhD candidate will :
• Study relevant literature in the field of the impact of antibiotics on gut microbiota and gut physiology and host metabolism
• Work out the details of the project proposal and obtain medical ethical approval
• Perform molecular and biochemical lab analyses and accompanying data-analyses
• Plan, coordinate and perform the human intervention studies

Main Tasks and responsibilities

• contributing to the full project plan
• staying abreast of developments in his scientific discipline by keeping up with the scientific literature in his field and visiting scientific meetings
• generating ideas within the scope of the defined subject
• supervising of research assistants and students, where appropriate
• delivering results in line with the project plan milestones and deliverables
• keeping up with the latest scientific developments and integrating these in the project
• converting data and results of the sub-project into overview reports
• keeping traceable records of all results and analyses according to the lab journal procedure
• writing high-quality clearly written papers about the results obtained and getting these published in high–impact scientific journals.
• completing a thesis after 4 years.


  • MSc. in medicine, nutrition, biomedical sciences or health sciences, with proven interest in the biochemical and functional  aspect of gut microbiota and metabolism.
  • Good communication and organisational skills are a requirement, as well as the qualities to work within a team.

Further information on this vacancy can be obtained at the project leaders: Prof Dr Ellen E Blaak (  and Dr John Penders (

Further details
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