Leiden University

Fully funded Ph.D. position – novel chemical modalities

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Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities.

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The Faculty of Science Leiden and the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) are looking for a 

Ph.D. candidate for a novel chemical modality drug discovery research program in the Pomplun Lab.

Vacancy number 21-538

The transcription of DNA to RNA and the translation of RNA to proteins is the central dogma of life science. Dysregulated gene expression can lead to severe diseases. In the Pomplun Lab we develop synthetic tools that can target specific genes and modulate their transcription.

You will develop synthetic transcription factors that target specific genes. You will investigate/optimize their bioactivity in cell based assays and ultimately develop variants that can interfere with oncogenic gene transcription. 

The technologies that you will use and learn include solid phase synthesis, miniprotein engineering, DNA directed binding assays, mammalian cell culture, activity assays in cancer cell models. 

Team work: for parts of the project you will work in close collaboration with the computational chemistry group and with biology focused labs at Leiden University 

You will supervise M.Sc. and B.Sc. students

You stay abreast of developments in the field, read the literature and participate in relevant conferences. 

You are expected to proactively communicate research result to your PI and peers and publish in internationally renowned journals.

A happy, social, welcoming and enthusiastic lab atmosphere is key for our wellbeing and the success of our scientific efforts and you have the opportunity to help shaping such working environment.  The research groups in our division are well connected and we enjoy many social hours, group parties and events together.

Fundamental for a successful completion of your Ph.D. will be your enthusiasm for science, your creative, problem solving oriented thinking and your diligent, result focused work. 

We are looking for an excellent, creative, and highly motivated colleague with: 

  • an M.Sc. degree in the broad field of, biochemistry, biopharmaceutical sciences, chemistry or equivalent; 
  • demonstrable research experience in biochemistry, chemical biology or related (e.g., mammalian cell culture, microscopy, flow cytometry, etc);
  • good organic synthesis skills are a plus;
  • excellent written and spoken English;
  • well-developed communication and collaboration skills. 

We offer a fully funded 4-year Ph.D. position in the vibrant and top edge environment of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research.

The position is available immediately and should start by 01-01-2022, or shortly thereafter.  We offer a fulltime position for initially one year.  After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. You will be appointed in accordance  with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 2434,- to € 3111,-  gross per month, depending on experience (pay scale P).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. LACDR is a highly diverse institute, in culture, background, and gender. We stand for excellence in a caring Institute. We wish to reflect society in all aspects, as we believe that this improves the dynamics in our organization. Therefore, we support and understand the need for a work/life/family balance and consequent varying working hours and places. We believe that doing good science is fun, and goes hand in hand with a friendly culture. In the Netherlands, a maternity allowance is standard for 16 weeks. Child care is available at and near the Bio Science Park.

You will be working in the modern laboratories of the division of Drug Discovery and Safety at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR). You will be part of a first-generation team in the Pomplun Lab  and participate in ramping up an innovative and groundbreaking research program.


The Faculty of Science at Leiden University is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelors’ and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. 


Leiden University is one of Europe’s leading international research universities.

Thanks to its committed and inspired employees, the university enjoys a leading role in academic research and education. Leiden also scores very well every year in prominent rankings. This means that, to maintain our position, the bar is set very high. Regardless of the work you do at our university, you are always encouraged to broaden your horizons, develop your talents and reach your full potential. Will you become our newest colleague?

Do you have questions about this position? Please contact Dr. Sebastian Pomplun, Tenure Track Assistant Professor, s.j.pomplun@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl.

You can find more information about the faculty of Science at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/about-faculty-of-science. For more information about working at Leiden university please visit https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at. 

Are you enthusiastic about this vacancy? 

We are looking forward to get to know you. Please send an e-mail to s.j.pomplun@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl. The closing date is 01-12-2021. Please  ensure that you include the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • Motivation letter;
  • Full curriculum vitae, including a list of publications;
  • Brief past research statement (max 2 Pages);
  • Future research interest (specifically relate to this vacancy description and research topics described on https://pomplunlab.com/;
  • Two letters of recommendation;
  • Copies of diplomas and a list of your courses taken and grades obtained.

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Fully funded Ph.D. position – novel chemical modalities
Rapenburg 70, Niederlande
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Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities.

Besuchen Sie die Arbeitgeberseite.

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