PhD Student

Last application date
Aug 15, 2024 00:00
LA26 - Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling
Limited duration
MSc degree in (Applied) Mathematics, Mathematical Biology or Mathematical Sciences, (Bioscience) Engineering, Physics, or equivalent
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Engineered and controlled in-vitro cell cultures will become key in future production of biologics, drug tests, tissue engineering, and even food production (e.g. artificial meat). The behaviour of those cells not only depends on their genetics; they also respond to changes of chemical signals, to their organization and embedding, and to bio-physical cues such as forces. Computational models to predict experimental outcomes have the potential to speed up our knowledge and reduce the costs of development. For example, Individual-Based Models (IBMs) can reproduce complex emergent behaviours of many species systems as a consequence of the interactions between the individual species (agents). Currently, these methods are more and more combined with machine learning techniques.

BIONAMIX is a team embedded in the department of data analysis and mathematical modelling in the Faculty of Bioscience engineering. We develop new methods for better (fundamental) understanding of biosystems as well as for applied research projects. Within the BionamiX team we provide a stimulating environment:

  • Collaborate with a diverse team of researchers and scholars.
  • Gain invaluable experience with mathematical modelling and programming to enhance your (academic) career.
  • Possible collaboration with industrial partners

Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 15.000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities.
With its 11 faculties and more than 85 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.

Job profile

The candidate will develop state-of-the-art computational models and new methods for (engineered) biological systems that aim to capture bio- physical characteristics of cells, their internal machinery, environment effects such as gradients of chemical species and hydrodynamic stresses from fluids. In addition, hybrid strategies whereby these mechanistic modelling approaches and machine learning methods are combined will be investigated.
We give some freedom to the precise research area but should be related to the following areas: Cell culturing, Tumors, Bioreactors, Bacteria (biofilms), Micro- ecological systems, ..

Candidate requirements:

  • You have a MSc degree in a quantitative field such as (Applied) Mathematics, Mathematical Biology or Mathematical Sciences, (Bioscience) Engineering, Physics, or equivalent.
  • You have a strong interest and genuine passion for (computational) modelling of biological systems. You are motivated to collaborate with people with a different background or with a different occupation (such as biologists or research managers in companies)
  • Your goal is to obtain a PhD.
  • You have experience in at least one modern programming language (Python, Julia, R, C++, etc.)
  • Being fluent in English (both written and spoken)
  • Having prior knowledge of spatio-temporal modelling paradigms, agent-based models, particle-based methods, or CFD are considered as strong quantitative assets


  • We offer a full-time position as a doctoral fellow, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which - after a positive evaluation, will be extended to a total maximum of 48 months.
  • Your contract will start on September 1, 2024 at the earliest.
  • The fellowship amount is 100% of the net salary of an AAP member in equal family circumstances. The individual fellowship amount is determined by the Department of Personnel and Organization based on family status and seniority. A grant that meets the conditions and criteria of the regulations for doctoral fellowships is considered free of personal income tax. Click here for more information about our salary scales
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

How to apply

The PhD position will begin at the earliest beginning of September 2024. Interested candidates should apply by sending their motivation letter, at least one reference letter, and their CV to before August 15, 2024. The selection procedure consists of two steps. Firstly, a shortlist of the candidates will be made based on their motivation letter and CV. Secondly, the shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview during which they’ll have the opportunity present their master thesis research.