Postdoctoral Researcher in Cardiovascular Effects of Physical Exercise

University of Antwerp Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Department: Genetics, Pharmacology and Physiopathology of Heart, Blood Vessels and Skeleton
Regime Full-time

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The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Antwerp is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the GENCOR Research Unit for a postdoctoral researcher (with a subsidy) in the area of “Cardiovascular Effects of Physical Exercise”.


  • Hosting Research Group(s): You will be working in the Research Groups of Cardiovascular Diseases (CARDIOVASC, prof. E. Van Craenenbroeck and prof. H. Heidbuchel (chair)) and Physiopharmacology (PHYSPHAR, prof. PJ. Guns). Both Research Groups closely collaborate, and more information can be found here: CARDIOVASC: PHYSPHAR:
  • Research topic: The beneficial effects of physical exercise on the cardiovascular system are well recognized and are explored in the setting of cardiac rehabilitation of heart failure patients. On the other side of the spectrum, excessive exercise has been associated with adverse cardiac outcomes in case studies of professional athletes. The current vacant position aims to attract complementary expertise and skills to coordinate and support several ongoing clinical and preclinical (animal models) research projects with focus on i) underlying mechanisms for exercise-induced benefits for patients with (risk for) cardiovascular disease, and ii) mechanisms by which excessive exercise (in conjunction with silent myocarditis) can contribute to pathological remodeling. The position is funded through the “Stichting tegen Kanker” and Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).
  • Relevant expertise: we are looking for a candidate with expertise in exercise research and/or experimental models of cardiovascular diseases (e.g., heart failure, myocarditis). Furthermore, (hands-on) experience with flowcytometry is a strong asset. Candidates with a background in immunology are also eligible.
  • Scope: You are involved in the daily supervision of PhD-students and participate (hands-on) in the execution of ongoing research projects (when needed). Importantly, you are also responsible for flowcytometry analysis within the team. In addition, you identify opportunities to develop your own Furthermore, you will write project reports for your supervisor on a regular basis, write scientific papers and support grant writing.  


  • You hold a doctorate degree (PhD) in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biology, Exercise Physiology, Pharmacy or (Bio)Medicine or equivalent discipline.
  • You did not reside, study or work in Belgium for more than 24 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date (eligibility rule for postdoc with a subsidy)
  • Expertise in exercise physiology, experimental models of cardiovascular diseases (heart failure or myocarditis) is required. A strong background in flowcytometry analysis is highly recommended.
  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy.
  • You co-supervise PhD students
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.
  • You have strong communication skills.
  • You are fluent in academic English (speaking and writing)

What we offer

  • An appointment as a postdoctoral researcher for a period of one year, with a possibility of renewal for an additional 2 years.
  • The date of appointment: as soon as possible, we aim for a start in Sept. 2022.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for postdoctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will receive ecocheques, Internet-connectivity allowance and a bicycle allowance or a full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting.
  • You will work in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to June 19th 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter and CV.
  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications.
  • The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel. Interviews will take place beginning of September (exact date will be communicated).
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questionsor send an email to For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact Prof. Pieter-Jan Guns (

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.