PostDoc positions

Postdoc Researcher Virology and Immunology: Netherlands

Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), are considered an endangered species due to continuous reduction by poaching and habitat destruction. Moreover they are susceptible to the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus, that can cause acute, haemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD), which is mostly fatal in young Asian elephants between 1 and 8 years of age. It has been the largest cause of deaths in Asian elephants in the last decades. African elephants may also be affected by the virus, but generally to a lesser extent. A vaccine or effective antiviral treatment is currently not available.

An urgent need to develop an effective preventive as well as therapeutic treatment of EEHV-HD clearly exists. Whereas development of an EEHV vaccine remains the ultimate goal, immune(suppressive) and/or anti-viral therapies to treat or prevent any acute cases of EEHV are also essential. To meet these long-term as well as short-term goals, we need to increase our understanding of the virus and the disease. To do so, we aim to develop novel research methodologies, starting with relevant diagnostic tools to study pathogenesis and epidemiology of EEHV. The research will be conducted at the Virology and Immunology Divisions of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. The project is supported by “Friends of Vet Med”, the charity fund of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic Postdoc researcher with a broad interest in all aspects of infection biology, and with hands-on experience in molecular biology and immunology laboratory techniques. The candidate should have good communication skills, a flexible attitude, and enjoy working in a multidisciplinary team. The candidate is expected to also assist in fundraising endeavours as conducted by “Friends of Vet Med”. Preferentially the applicant holds a PhD degree in Infection and Immunity, Veterinary Medicine, Animal Sciences or Biology.

Appointment is for a period of one year (full-time). Contract extension for an additional two years may be an option, provided additional funding can be secured. The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges between €2,709 and €4,274 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end allowance of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Here you’ll find more information about working at Utrecht University.

About the organization
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has a unique position in the Netherlands. Not only is this the only institution where veterinarians are trained, researchers are also working together on innovative scientific research. In addition, the Faculty provides specialist clinical care in the largest academic veterinary hospital in Europe. Thanks to this position, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a point of contact for all veterinary matters, both nationally and increasingly internationally. The Faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists and support staff and counts 1,500 students.

The Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology is renowned for its expertise in the field of clinical veterinary infectiology, immunology, bacteriology and virology. The Immunology Division focuses on all aspects of veterinary immunology. The Virology Division studies the interaction between viruses and their hosts at the molecular/cell biological level as well as at the level of the organism. The ultimate goal is to translate the knowledge that we obtain into the development of novel vaccines, antiviral therapies, and diagnostic tools.

Additional information
For more information about this position, please contact Dr Xander de Haan and Prof dr Victor Rutten (Projectleaders), via or

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below. Job interviews will be held starting the first week of June 2019. Start of the appointment is flexible, but preferably no later than September 2019.

First interviews are anticipated on July 17-19, 2019.
Second interviews (optional) Aug 19-23, 2019.

Further details
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