Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Biotechnician
  • Higher Professional Education +
Do you have a BASc (HLO) degree with a specialization in experimental animal work? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 1

Job description

At the department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (MCN) of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR), we are seeking a highly motivated biotechnician who shares our ambition to unravel the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie learning and memory, as well as neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease and drug addiction). You will work with the research teams of Michel van den Oever, Ronald van Kesteren, Mark Verheijen and Sabine Spijker at the MCN lab. In particular, we are looking for a technician to setup the exciting new technique of calcium imaging in freely moving animals using miniature microscopes. This method will enable you to visualize neuronal activity in the brain while mice perform a behavioural task (real-time). You will be working in a group of enthusiastic PhD candidates, postdocs, students and senior scientists.

Your duties
  • training and testing mice in behavioural paradigms that measure aspects of learning and memory (e.g. operant alcohol self-administration, fear conditioning, Morris water maze task)
  • performing stereotactic intracranial surgeries (viral vector injections, cannula and cranial window placements)
  • setting up In vivo calcium imaging using miniature microscopes
  • general laboratory and organization duties


  • BASc (HLO) or PhD degree with specialization in zoology/animal science and affinity with neuroscience research
  • article 12, 9 or 13f
  • experience with rodent behavior paradigms and stereotactic surgeries
  • candidates with experience in vivo calcium imaging are especially encouraged to apply, but this is not a requirement
  • good communication skills in English/Dutch
  • strong organizational and social skills

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 € 2579 and a maximum of
€ 3445 in accordance with salary scale 8, depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1.0 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of at least 1 year.

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
  • considerable employer’s contribution to the ABP pension scheme
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

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. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

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.

The Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (MCN) lab at the CNCR
At the CNCR, 150 people work closely together in defining how in essence simple molecular and cellular processes shape the emergent complexity of the brain. We have the specific ambition to unravel the mechanisms by which brain cells and circuitry act both in health and disease and aim to translate mechanistic knowledge into understanding of (dys)function of the human brain. Our neuroscience research area covers analysis over many spatial levels, from genes to the intact organism, and over a large temporal scale, from microsecond molecular events to the years of functioning of the human brain. MCN is one out of four labs at the CNCR, currently has 30 members and is headed by Prof. Guus Smit.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae, a cover letter (max. 2 pages, include motivation and summary of previous experience) and at least 2 letters of reference before 7 March 2020. You may apply in Dutch or English.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Rolinka van der Loo
Position: Research Technician

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