PhD in the field of Neuroimmunology; the complex interactions between the immune and nervous systems

Antwerp VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

14 Nov 2023


VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology

Emanuela Pasciuto Lab



The lab of Prof. Emanuela Pasciuto at the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology - Labs has a vacancy for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of Neuroimmunology

The research team of Prof. Emanuela Pasciuto studies the complex interactions between the immune and nervous systems. We have discovered a population of brain resident T-cells regulating microglia maturation,  challenging current dogmas in the field of neuroimmunology. Our main objective is to gain mechanistic insights into the contribution of T cells to brain plasticity and their impact in neurodegenerative, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

The VIB-UAntwerp Center is part of VIB, a Life Sciences institute with colleague-researchers in neuroscience, cancer, biotechnology, structural biology, and immunology amongst others and an extensive set of core facilities and opportunities for technology transfer. The VIB-UAntwerp Center is also embedded within the University of Antwerp. The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking university, offering an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students; conducting pioneering scientific research and playing an important service-providing role in society with more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of Neuroimmunology
  • You will publish scientific articles related to the research project
  • You will carry out a substantial number of research support tasks


You will study the role of brain resident immune cells in brain development. You will combine state-of-the-art technologies (scRNAseq, spectral flow cytometry, etc. ) with mouse behaviour and biochemistry, to explore the contribution of the immune system to the pathological mechanism of autism spectrum disorders.  


  • You hold a Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences, Biotechnologies, Bioinformatics (and related discipline) or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results (Distinction).
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English is required
  • Relevant experience (e.g., molecular biology, immunology, neuroscience, animal behavior, computational methods, etc.) is a plus.
  • You will proactively contribute with your own ideas and keep up to date with the literature, present the data at least once a year, keep clear record of the experiments etc.

During the doctoral scholarship, you will be asked to submit and defend an innovative project at the FWO ( to obtain a personal fellowship. Please check eligibility criteria prior to applying for this position. 

You are expected to help with the application.  The deadline for this is March 1st, 2024.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of 4 years. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed once for another two-year period.
  • A versatile and challenging job in a vibrant world-class research environment operating at an international level
  • State-of-the-art research facilities
  • A dedicated training program to broaden your expertise and enhance your skill set
  • Access to training for personal, technical and professional development
  • The planned start date is 1st of March 2024 or as soon as possible after that date
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques, an internet-connectivity allowance, and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.   
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Drie Eiken, at the VIB-CMN research center in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.

As part of the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology and VIB, the applicant will benefit from established collaborations and access to centralized facilities with expertise in genomics (short and long read sequencing), functional genomics and cell biology, proteomics, cutting-edge microscopy, structural biology, technology development, and bioinformatics.

VIB provides a highly interactive environment and ample training opportunities for its researchers. The VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology is located in the city of Antwerp, the capital of Flanders, offering a culturally and historically rich and ethnically diverse environment.

How to apply?

You can apply for this job through the online job application platform up to and including 10th January 2024 (by midnight Brussels time).

Please include the following document(s):

  • a motivation letter
  • your academic CV
  • At least one reference person

The selection committee reviews all applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision is made, we will notify you. If you are still eligible after the pre-selection, you will be informed about the possible next step(s) in the selection procedure. Please note the following dates in your calendar: 17 till 24/01/2024  (selection tests and selection interviews)

For more information contact [email protected] or [email protected]

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.