Vacancies 92041-PhD-candidate-Quantifying-the-spread-of-P-falciparum-malaria
  • 36 hours a week
  • Stand: Nijmegen
  • Temporary
  • 4 years
  • Date of publication: 7 January 2021
  • Deadline: 15 February 2021
  • Scale 10A: min € 2495 - max € 3196 gross per month at full employment (excl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)
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Job description

We are looking for an outstanding and motivated researcher to join our team on understanding malaria transmission.

Malaria is an infectious disease that spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes in turn become infected with malaria parasites after biting infected humans. Recently, we examined the human infectious reservoir for malaria by assessing who in the human population is capable of infecting mosquitoes in mosquito feeding assays. We found that children with asymptomatic infections are frequently infectious. We further uncovered that a small minority of malaria-infected children is highly infectious to mosquitoes and responsible for the bulk of mosquito infection events.

Several important knowledge gaps remain, including how likely it is that an infected mosquito achieves a new infection upon biting, how this likelihood relates to infection burden in human blood donors and whether there are ‘super spreaders’ for malaria. As part of a prestigious ERC-Consolidator Grant, we will build upon our recent insights and directly quantify the contribution of human populations to secondary malaria infections. 

This project has two aims:
  • We will quantify the number of parasites expelled by mosquitoes that  became infected after feeding on the blood of naturally infected humans.
  • We will perform the most comprehensive molecular evaluation of malaria transmission in a malaria-endemic community to date. This will be achieved by combining novel genotyping approaches, longitudinal sampling of infections at high resolution and state-of-the art analytical approaches.
The proposed work will include extensive fieldwork, laboratory assays (e.g. mosquito feeding assays, molecular parasite quantification and characterization, immunological assays) and epidemiological analysis. The project has a strong international character and will be performed in close collaboration with our partners at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in London and in The Gambia, the Infectious Disease Research Collaboration in Uganda and the University of California-San Francisco in the United States.


We are looking for a talented, enthusiastic and dedicated researcher holding a master degree in a relevant academic area such as Medicine, Biomedical Sciences or Medical Biology with affinity with (genetic) epidemiology and fieldwork in malaria-endemic settings.

Furthermore, we are looking for a candidate with:
  • A scientific interest in infectious diseases.
  • An independent and well-structured working style.
  • Well-developed social skills directed to work in an international team.
  • A strong motivation and ambition to succeed in scientific research.
  • Eagerness to learn new skills.


The malaria research group in Nijmegen is part of the Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases and hosts several independent research groups involved in world-leading malaria research in the fields of molecular biology, immunology, vaccine development and epidemiology.

The recruited PhD candidate will be enrolled in the graduate school of the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (RIHS). RIHS offers several courses and training opportunities to PhD candidates. Additional tailored training may be provided where needed, involving our international partners.

Research Institutes
At the moment there are more than 1,300 PhD candidates at our medical hospital. This number includes PhD candidates on our pay roll as well as external candidates (those employed somewhere else but researching on our premises).
  • Radboud Institute for Health Sciences: ± 700
  • Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences: ± 400
  • Donders Center for Medical Neurosciences: ± 200
Read what it is like to do a PhD at the Radboud University Medical Center.

Radboudumc in Nijmegen strives to be a leading developer of sustainable, innovative and affordable healthcare to improve the health and wellbeing of people and society in the Netherlands and beyond. This is the core of our mission: To have a significant impact on healthcare. To get a better picture of what this entails, check out our strategy.

Read more about what it means to work at Radboudumc and what our people have to say about it.

Employment conditions

Upon commencement of employment we require a certificate of conduct (Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag, VOG) and there will be, depending on the type of job, a screening based on the provided cv. Radboud university medical center’s HR Department will apply for this certificate on your behalf.

Read more about the Radboudumc employment conditions and what our International Office can do for you when moving to the Netherlands.

Comments and contact information

We believe in team science and candidates with different backgrounds and academic interests are invited to apply. Candidates should send their applications including a motivation letter (max. 1 page), a CV (including academic transcript), and the names and contact details of two persons who can provide references to Prof. Bousema.

All additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Teun Bousema, full professor.  Use the Apply button to submit your application.

Please apply before 15 February 2021.
Recruitment agencies are asked not to respond to this job posting.

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