Job opportunity

Current Vacancies

  • Assistant Professor Analytical and Biological Mass Spectrometry (tenure track 1.0 fte)
  • Two Post-doctoral and two PhD Vacancies in Heck-lab

Publication date:

Jan 28th 2020

Assistant Professor Analytical and Biological Mass Spectrometry (Tenure Track) (1.0 FTE)


Are you interested in developing a cutting-edge research program focused on developing and applying bioanalytical and biochemical approaches to investigate biological and disease processes?


Job description

The Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics of Utrecht University is seeking outstanding applicants for a tenure-track faculty position to broaden its research focus. We invite applications from researchers who will build an independent research line combining technology and/or methodology development with a clear defined biological focus. We expect this focus to fit with the research lines in the research group, e.g. examining the importance of post-translational modifications such as lipidation, phosphorylation or glycosylation, and its regulating role in immunology, neurobiology, and tumor biology. The methodological developments from the applicant should be complementary to current efforts in the group, and in particular candidates seeking to develop novel methods for sample preparation and analysis, e.g. nanopore based protein sequencing or single cell proteomics are encouraged to apply.
You will be expected to actively seek funding for new research projects through personal, national, European and other international grant opportunities and supervise research projects of post-doctoral researchers, PhD candidates and MSc students. In addition, you have the ambition to actively participate in teaching activities at both the BSc and MSc level.



Candidates should have a PhD degree, at least two years of postdoctoral research experience and a strong track record in research accomplishments. You have the vision and ambition to build an independent research line, and the ability to obtain research funding. You have affinity and enthusiasm for academic teaching, and the potential to coach and to guide PhD candidates and students. You have obtained or are willing to obtain a Basic Teaching Qualification. You are able to demonstrate excellent English language proficiency. We require a qualification English at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the lecturer Assessment Grid) or you are prepared to obtain this level by training. Our department is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce, and we strongly welcome women to apply.


Conditions of employment

We offer a position (1.0 FTE) for the duration of five years in an international working environment. In case of a good performance, an indefinite employment is one of the possibilities. The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience  – ranges between €3,637 and €5,656 (scale 11/12 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment.

The candidate is offered a tenure track position of 5 years, which will be subject to a mid-term evaluation after approximately 2,5 years and an end-term evaluation. When evaluations are positive the position becomes permanent after 5 years. The appointment is at the level of assistant professor (“universitair docent”).

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 (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Enjoy a great work-life balance in a wonderful city. Utrecht is an attractive city located in the heart of the Netherlands, one of the world’s most open and connected countries. Utrecht University reflects this philosophy by offering a flexible work-life balance that prioritizes your well-being in an understanding and supportive, international environment.



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 Science consists of six departments: Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Information and Computing Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Mathematics. The Faculty is home to 6,000 students and nearly 1,500 staff and is internationally renowned for the quality of its research. The Faculty’s academic programmes reflect developments in today’s society.


Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth & Identity, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.


The Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics group develops and implements innovative mass spectrometric methods for the more efficient and detailed characterization of peptides, proteins and metabolites in relation to their biological function. A large emphasis is on the structural characterization of proteins and their post-translational modifications as well as the investigation of protein complexes and protein interactions. In short, the group applies biomolecular mass spectrometry to problems in proteomics, metabolomics, cell biology and in structural biology. This means research covers many facets from cellular biology. We are interested in answering questions related to understanding as well as influencing proteins and their interactions, and how they function in regulating development, infection, but also immunological- and neurological disorders and cancer. Our research program is part of the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS) and the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research.



Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact:

Prof A.J.R. Heck (Chair of division Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics), via a.j.r.heck@nulluu.nlor (030) 253 67 97.




  • Position: Assistant Professor
  • Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Duration: Tenure Track
  • Startdate: After consultation
  • Background: Experience with Proteomics Workflows, systems biology, high end proteomics  is appreciated
  • Apply with motivation letter, cv and 2 references
  • Deadline for application: 
  • For information or application:


Publication date:

Oct 21st 2019

Two Post-doctoral and two PhD Vacancies in Heck-lab


 In the Heck-lab at Utrecht University ( a variety of exciting research projects seek motivated researchers to tackle them. The research emphasis is on the development of advanced mass spectrometry-based methods to address questions in proteomics and structural biology. The Heck-lab houses and excellent infrastructure, including a dozen state-of-the-art mass spectrometers, advanced separation technologies, bioinformatics and laboratories for cell culture, biochemistry and molecular biology. The research group is quite vibrant with over 15 nationalities being present. Utrecht is a great place to be.

PhD Positions (4 year program)


1. Personalized profiling of patient serum autoantibodies by de novo sequencing

Characterization and de novo sequencing of endogenous antibodies, with the aim to pick up antibodies raised by our immune system against rheumatoid arthritis. In this project you will develop and apply methods for the profiling and in-depth characterization of the variable domain of (auto)antibodies using native, top-down and middle-down mass spectrometry approaches, leading to the personalized profiling of patient serum autoantibodies linked to rheumatoid arthritis. You have ideally a background in pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences and/or analytical chemistry.


2. Mass Spectrometry and Chemical Proteomics

Detailed characterization and of protein-drug interactions to identify targets and undesired off-targets of drugs. Novel chemical biology approaches will be combined with affinity enrichment and mass spectrometry. Several drug molecules will be targeted, among them anti-cancer drugs. You have ideally a background in pharmaceutical sciences and/or analytical biochemistry.

Postdoc positions (minimum of 2 years)


1. Viruses and other macromolecular assemblies studied by Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry

You will focus on the further optimization of native mass spectrometry and top-down proteomics for the analysis of macromolecular complexes, notably viruses, with the aim to generate even higher sensitivity and resolving power, contributing to the further development of single particle charge detection mass spectrometry. As some viruses are used for gene-delivery this project will partly be in collaboration with industry. You have ideally a background in biophysical and/or analytical chemistry.


2. Monitoring and Visualizing Protein Societal Behavior in the Cell; an Integrative Approach

The main goal is to develop an integrated approach to characterize proteins and their assemblies in the thermophiles Pyrococcus furiosusand Thermus thermophilus. Both these organisms are evolutionary fascinating and perfectly amendable as model systems in integrated structural biology. You will be part of a consortium that will use a combination of analytical and biophysical techniques with integrative structural modelling strategies. You will focus on native MS, top-down proteomics and crosslinking mass spectrometry (XL-MS) to uncover protein complexes in an unbiased fashion, ideally in their native state and ultimately in situ. You have ideally a background in biophysical and/or analytical chemistry.


  • Position: PhD and PostDoc
  • Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Duration: 4 years (PhD) and 2 years (PostDoc)
  • Startdate: After consultation
  • Background: Experience with Proteomics Workflows, systems biology, high end proteomics  is appreciated
  • Apply with motivation letter, cv and 2 references
  • Deadline for application: 30 Nov 2019
  • For information or application:


Recent illustrative work of Heck-lab

  • Potel CM, Lin MH, Heck AJR & Lemeer S (2018) Widespread bacterial protein histidine phosphorylation revealed by mass spectrometry-based proteomics Nature Methods. 15:187-190.
  • van de Waterbeemd M, et al. (2018) Dissecting ribosomal particles throughout the kingdoms of life using advanced hybrid mass spectrometry methods Nature Communications 9:2493.
  • Snijder J, et al. (2017) Structures of the cyanobacterial circadian oscillator frozen in a fully assembled state. Science. 355:1181-1184.
  • Liepe J, et al. (2016) A large fraction of HLA class I ligands are proteasome-generated spliced peptides. Science. 354:354-358.
  • Liu F, Rijkers DT, Post H, Heck AJ. (2015) Proteome-wide profiling of protein assemblies by cross-linking mass spectrometry. Nature Methods. 12:1179-84.