Careers at UMC Utrecht
Vacancy number: 2019/0115
Apply to: February 28 2019
(modified date)
Education: University
Employment: Temporary position
Full-time/Part-time percentage: 100%

You will work as PhD student Medical Ethics “Responsibilization of stem-cell researchers”. You will write a PhD thesis (based on scientific publications) and follow courses of the Graduate School of Life Sciences and/or Ethics, and also teach courses on Medical Ethics.


You will work at the Department of Medical Humanities of the Julius Center of the University Medical Center Utrecht and collaborate closely with the iPSpine consortium. Supervisors of this project will be Prof Dr A.L. Bredenoord and Dr K.R. Jongsma. Stem cell research is a dynamic research field with many uncertainties which cannot solely be governed by strict rules or policies. Stem cell research demands a more ‘built-in’ mechanism for conducting responsible research and innovation. In order to conduct ethically acceptable and desirable regenerative medicine and stem cell research, researchers need to be able to recognize ethical issues and problems in their work. This means that already during the development of new therapies and innovations, researchers should reflect upon their practices and the possible impacts of their research beyond the traditional regulatory aspects concerning safety, risks and harms. In this research you will scrutinize how such ‘responzibilization’ can be incorporated into the practice of stem cell researchers. Responsibilization refers to governance methods that equip and stimulate researchers to act responsibly during the research process, by facilitating, equipping and rewarding actors to act responsibly. You will be part of a larger European H2020 project called iPSpine, in which you will closely collaborate with our project partners, including stem-cell researchers and physicians. In the project you will analyze existing ethical, policy and governance challenges for the iPSpine Consortium and conduct empirical research to explore what stem cell researchers as well as patients perceive as the ethical dimensions of stem-cell research.


You have a Master degree in (Bio)ethics, (Political) Philosophy, or in Life Sciences, Biology, and/or Medicine with considerable experience in Ethics or Philosophy. You are interested in the governance and ethics of new biomedical technologies and passionate about working at the crossroads of ethics and medicine: you are both able to conduct academic ethics research, and to grasp the background of stem-cell technology and its impact on medical research and care. Experience with qualitative research methods is an advantage. You are highly motivated, skilled in interdisciplinary team work, but also able to work independently. You have fluent oral and writing skills in English and Dutch.

The maximum salary for this position (100%) is € 3.020,00 gross per month based on full-time employment (work week 36 hours). This job is based on a temporary position for 42 months starting with 12 months.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).


More information on this project can be obtained by contacting Prof Dr AL Bredenoord, Please include in your application: a motivation letter in which you explain your interest in the position, Curriculum Vitae and an overview of past and current research activities. Interviews will take place on March 4th. Starting date: April 1 or May 1, 2019. The appointment will be for a total of 42 months. The initial appointment will be for a period of 12 months, which will be extended upon a positive evaluation. The maximum monthly salary for this 100% position ranges from € 2.357,00 in the first year to € 3.020,00 gross in the last year on the basis of full-time employment (working week of 36 hours). This project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 scheme — IPSpine —H2020-SC1-BHC-09- “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Spinal Regeneration”.

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Mrs.Prof. Dr. A.L. Bredenoord via phone +31 (0)88 75 593 05 or email

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.

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