Postdoc Bioinformatics

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Postdoc Bioinformatics
  • Doctorate
Do you like to work with complex data? Do you like to code and develop software to improve research? Do you like working with big data on the intersection of genetics and neuroscience? Do you want to work in an ambitious team at the Department of Complex Trait Genetics of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR)? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The Complex Trait Genetics lab ( at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam (see is seeking applicants for a Postdoc Position in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology. The successful candidate will be part of the EU funded ERC Advanced Grant ‘From GWAS to Function (GWAS2FUNC)’, and will focus on maintaining and extending an existing web-based tool (FUMA) and developing novel statistical genetic tools. Maintaining the FUMA tool includes server management, code troubleshooting as well as some user support. Extending the tool will focus on integrating novel bioinformatic resources (e.g. expected scRNAseq data from the Allen Brain Institute, or BRAINSCAPES) with results from genetic discoveries. This integration can be part of the existing tool FUMA ( developed by our lab, but can also comprise developing novel tools. The candidate will work in an enthusiastic team of PhD students and postdocs, with diverse backgrounds, including statistics, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, psychology and stem cell biology.

The successful candidate needs to be proficient in scientific programming, with practical experience in the analysis of large bioinformatics and/or genetics datasets experience in website maintenance or willingness to learn is also preferred. Specifically we are seeking a talented individual with advanced knowledge of python, bash, R, and preferably PHP, SQL, Laravel or Apache. Being familiar with genome-wide association studies, and/or experience with handling scRNAseq data is a pré.  

Your duties
  • maintain and extend the FUMA tool
  • develop novel bioinformatic tools for integrating results from genome-wide association studies with biological information at single cell resolution
  • application of tools to data on brain-related traits
  • co-supervision of MSc and PhD students
  • authoring and co-authoring manuscripts submitted to high quality journals
  • some support (10% of time) with teaching is expected
  • frequently present work at international community (at conference calls, or conferences)


  • PhD in any of the of the following fields: bioinformatics, computational biology or related computational field
  • demonstrable experience in bioinformatic data analysis, and in working with large datasets
  • preferable also demonstrable experience in genetic data analysis (GWAS, WES, WGS)
  • a good ability to write and read English
  •  strong computer programming skills, experience with Python, the R statistical language and working in a UNIX environment
  • support ‘open science’: share tools and data with the wider scientific community

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: Onderzoeker 4 is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department Complex Trait Genetics
Research at the department of Complex Trait Genetics focuses on identifying the genetic mechanisms of brain-related traits. We develop novel statistical and bioinformatics tools to optimally analyze large genome-wide data sets for complex traits, combine them with biological data and generate hypotheses that can be tested in functional studies to obtain mechanistic insight.


You are requested to write a letter in which you describe your abilities and motivation, accompanied by your curriculum vitae, a list of grades of your MSc and the names and contact details of two scientific referees. Please compile all this together in one document and convert it to pdf.

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your documents as mentioned aboven until January 31, 2022

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: prof. dr. Danielle Posthuma
Position: Professor / head section
Telephone: + 31 20 598 28 23

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