Postdoctoral Researcher in Microfluidics for Organ-on-chip

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
December 18, 2022
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Postdoctoral Researcher in Microfluidics for Organ-on-chip

Category: Academic Staff & Researchers

1 - Working at the VUB

For already 50 years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has stood for freedom, equality and connectedness. These values are strongly present on our campuses, in our students as well as our staff. At the VUB, you'll find a diverse collection of personalities: pure innovators and especially people who are 100% their authentic selves. With about 3.500 employees , we are the largest Dutch-speaking employer in Brussels , an international city with which we are all too happy to be connected, and around which our four campuses are located.

Our education and research are grounded in the principles of free research with an eye on human progress. We disapprove of every purely authoritative argument and guarantee the free formation of judgement that is necessary for this basic principle to be incorporated in the community.

The VUB is autonomous and managed democratically. As such, we guarantee fundamental freedoms within our university, as well as the right of the university community to be involved in making and checking university policy.

The mission of the university includes:

  • the development, the transfer and the application of high-standing academic education and scientific research, free from any prejudice;
  • community integration of this in a spirit of social compassion;
  • critical development of everyone in light of the responsibilities borne in the community.
  • 2 - Position description

    The Faculty of Engineering , Department Chemische ingenieurstechnieken en industriële scheikunde , is looking for a postdoctoral researcher with a grant.

    More concretely your work package, for the validation of your doctoral research , contains:

    The Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, µFlow Cell , is looking for a postdoctoral researcher.

    µFlow Cell is a multidisciplinary research group of the VUB that works on the upscaling of microfluidics for pharmaceutical, biotechnological or medical applications. µFlow Cell is recognized and supported by VUB as a Group of Excellence in Advanced Research (GEAR). The group has a number of research lines that are further developed with the financial support of the Brussels Government via Innoviris, the Flemish Government via FWO and VLAIO, the European Union via Horizon Europe, or through direct collaborations with interested companies. To support the activities of µFlow Cell, VUB is also building a new cleanroom (MICROLAB) for microfabrication in silicon and glass for microfluidics. The cleanroom is under construction and will be operational in the first half of 2023. MICROLAB will have a floorspace of 550 m², of which 300 m² will be equipped with the most advanced machines for every essential production step in microfabrication.

    µFlow Cell is now looking for a postdoctoral researcher who will participate in an ambitious research and development project in which the bioprinting and culture of organoids will be studied in space. More specifically the team will work on the design and fabrication of microwell plates in which the organoids will be cultured and exposed to different stress factors. The project will start 01/01/23. The project will be carried out in close cooperation with several companies specialized in space applications.

    The postdoctoral researcher will at least be responsible for following tasks. • Design and fabrication of microwell plates, including microfluidics to culture and store organoids, including systems to apply mechanical load, shear stress and/or electrostimulation to the organoids. • Construction of new experimental setups in which the microwells can be tested. • Design, conduct, analyse and report experiments. • Interaction with other academic researchers and industrial research groups. • Prepare and attend technical meetings with internal or external customers. • Contribute to writing scientific publications with the team • Co-supervise master and interact with PhD students working on related topics • Maintain order, safety and quality in his/her workspace.

    For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base.

    3 - Profile

    What do we expect from you?

    You have a PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Bioengineering, Electronics, Electromechanics, Electricity, Materials Science, Microfabrication, Masters in Engineering or Industrial Engineering, or equivalent.

    You can present good study results.

  • The following additional technical/functional knowledge is appreciated. • Knowledge and hands-on experience of microfluidics is a must. • Expertise and hands-on experience in organ-on-chip is required. • Familiarity with lab and/or cleanroom environment is a plus. • Candidate must be adept at researching professional literature and patents. • Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English is essential, knowledge of Dutch and/or other languages is a plus. • ICT: excellent knowledge of basic software packages Excel, Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, use of machine software are essential. Knowledge of Solidworks or similar CAD program, Matlab, Labview, PLC is a plus.
  • For this position we expect the following personality. • Hands-on mentality. • Sense of initiative and flexibility. • Strong in scientific analysis and reporting. • Working with high self-imposed standards for quality and accuracy. • Able to work both autonomously and in a team. • Strong in multi-tasking. • Willing to occasionally work overtime to meet specific deadline.

    Reporting The candidate will be supervised by Prof. Wim De Malsche. For the space project candidate will work in team of 4-5 colleagues. This team is embedded in a larger group of 15-20 researchers working on microfluidics.

  • You have not had a residence or employment in Belgium for a period exceeding 12 months in the 36-month period preceding the start date of the postdoctoral scholarship.
  • 4 - Offer

    Are you going to be our new colleague?

    You'll be offered a full-time postdoctoral scholarship , for 24 months months (extendable up to max. 36 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the research activities), with planned starting date 01/01/2023.

    You'll receive a grant linked to one of the scales set by the government.

    At the VUB, you're guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build on your career.

    As well as this, you'll enjoy various benefits:

  • Full reimbursement for your home-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, or compensation if you come by bike;
  • Cost-free hospitalisation insurance ;
  • The space to form your job content and continuously learn via VUB LRN;
  • Excellent facilities for sport and exercise ;
  • Ecocheques ;
  • Delicious meals at attractive prices in our campus restaurants ;
  • An open, family-friendly work environment where attention is paid to work- life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a fulltime contract).
  • 5 - Interested?

    Is this the job you've been dreaming of?

    Send us ONLINE and at the latest on 09/12/2022 your CV, letter of motivation and the highest degree you've attained (not applicable for VUB alumni).

    Do you have questions about the job content? Contact Prof. Dr. ir. Wim De Malsche at Wim.De.Malsche@vub.be or on +32 (0)2 629 3781.

    Would you like to know what it's like to work at the VUB? Go to www. vub.ac.be/vacatures and find all there is to know about our campuses, benefits, strategic goals and your future colleagues.

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