PhD Position on Digital Innovations for Animal-free Safety Testing in The Netherlands 2021

Utrecht University in the Netherlands invites applications for a PhD position on digital innovations for animal-free safety testing in the 2021/22 academic session.

Project details:

The Innovation Studies section of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development is offering a 4-year PhD position on digital innovations for animal-free safety testing of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. The vacancy is part of the recently awarded Virtual Human Platform (VHP4Safety) project: an interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaboration that aims to spearhead the transition from animal-based testing to innovative animal-free safety assessment.

VHP4Safety aims to drive the transition to animal-free safety assessment by integrating innovations in data science, human tissue culture models and innovation and transition management. The VHP4Safety consortium consists of leading scientific groups from Dutch universities, university medical centres, public health institutes and applied research organisations, with expertise spanning the technological, biological, chemical, medical and social sciences. The co-funders and cooperation partners ensure active involvement of diverse academic, regulatory, industrial and societal partners to the project throughout the entire safety assessment knowledge chain.

The research project is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and ‘Dutch Research Agenda: Research on Routes by Consortia’ (NWA-ORC 1292.19.272). With a budget of over 10 million euros, the project will last for 5 years.

Worth of Award

  • You will be offered a temporary position, initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period.
  • The gross salary ranges between €2,395 in the first year and €3,061 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) 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. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions external link (multiple choice model).
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  • As a PhD Researcher you will study the development of the VHP4Safety platform as part of a broader transition towards animal-free safety testing.
  • You will closely follow the platform’s innovation processes from a technology assessment, open science and innovation management perspective.
  • You will also be involved in broader questions on the innovation ecosystem for digital safety testing and the acceptance of digital innovations by companies, regulators, researchers and citizens.
  • They are searching for a candidate with a MSc degree in innovation studies, science and technology studies, innovation management, or a related programme.
  • Candidates with a health or life sciences background and training in technology and society or policy and management are also encouraged to apply.
  • The candidate is expected to produce high-quality academic research in an interdisciplinary research environment, have an interest in digital life sciences innovation and safety assessment, be familiar with theories from science, technology and innovation studies and be open to interdisciplinary research work using mixed methods.
  • In-depth qualitative research can be combined with quantitative methods.
  • Strong communication skills are required to connect with other researchers and stakeholders in the project.
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How to Apply

  • To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below.

Deadline: The application deadline is July 7, 2021. The project is expected to start sometime between 1 September 2021 and 1 November 2021.


Click here for more details and to apply