Glaucoma is the most common age-related neurodegenerative eye disease in Western society and one of the four major eye diseases causing blindness. Unfortunately, current treatments can only slow the deterioration but do not halt or reverse the process. Despite the efforts of the early detection and treatment of the disease, currently, approximately 15% of all glaucoma patients in the EU still become bilaterally blind.

Our European MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE Doctoral Network (DN) EGRET-AAA ('European Glaucoma REsearch Training program for Accelerating the Approach to Advanced Glaucoma') will focus specifically on finding solutions for those patients suffering from advanced glaucoma. We aim to bring revolutionary therapies for protecting and restoring vision in patients with advanced glaucoma a significant step closer to clinical deployment.

Are you, like us, fascinated by the complex genetics, molecular mechanisms, and pathobiology of the visual system, by retinal physiology or clinical research with advanced techniques for retinal imaging and function testing, or by visual neuroscience and brain-imaging? Do you consider it important to help patients with advanced glaucoma? Do you have an inquisitive mind, and are you looking for a PhD position embedded in an international doctoral network in which you can develop your research, clinical, and entrepreneurial skills? Then consider applying within EGRET-AAA for one of our 15 3-year Joint-Doctorate positions in academia, medical institutes, and high-tech companies in the Netherlands, Germany, France, or Norway.

All 15 positions and projects are shortlisted below, more details on each of the positions and information about the Joint Doctorate training program can be found on our website

3 Challenges = 15 projects = 15 positions

Challenge 1: We need new experimental approaches for restoring vision in advanced glaucoma. In 4 PhD projects you can work on furthering gene and stem cell-based treatment for advanced glaucoma using human retinal organoids.

Challenge 2: We need ways to protect remaining or newly established connections between the eye and the brain sufficientlyIn 5 PhD positions, you can work on developing new methods to offer remaining and new ganglion cells a healthy environment in terms of oxygen delivery and neuroprotection.

Challenge 3: We need new and accurate diagnostic tools to assess patients with advanced glaucomaIn 6 PhD positions, you can work on developing new techniques to assess changes in retinal and visual pathway structure and function in advanced glaucoma.

The network

EGRET-AAA has brought together top European expertise and resources in molecular biology, ophthalmology, visual neuroscience, and technology from 15 European labs and companies in the field of vision science and technology. An overview of the participating labs and their projects can be found at This network has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Doctoral Networks under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101072435.Curious to see and hear more about what it means to be part of a European Training Network? Check out these two short movies about our previous ones NextGenVis and EGRET+.

Employment conditions

PhD projects will start between July and October 2023, with some flexibility to negotiate the exact starting date with the relevant supervisor. All recruiting partners honor EU and national employment laws about researcher recruitment and ensure that you will have the same rights, health, and safety standards as local researchers.


The candidates we are looking for should:

  1. Have a deep interest in vision (complex genetics, molecular mechanisms, pathobiology of the visual system, retinal physiology, clinical research with advanced techniques for retinal imaging and function testing, visual neuroscience and brain imaging)
  2. Be passionate about doing research and have or be willing to develop the skills to communicate this passion with other scientists and the general public.
  3. Have relevant skills and experiences, and a strong interest in both theoretical and applied science.
  4. Welcome the opportunity to conduct research abroad and to work within an international and multidisciplinary team.
  5. Hold an MSc (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline (which can be, but is not limited to biology, biomedical engineering, genetics, medicine, neuroscience, (bio)physics).
  6. Be an eligible candidate according to the eligibility conditions indicated below.

Details on and the requirements for the specific projects can be found on the research page on our website:

Eligibility conditions

EGRET-AAA is supported by a European MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE which requires transnational mobility. Therefore, to be eligible for a PhD position, you cannot have resided or carried out your main activity in the country of the recruiting institution for more than 12 months during the previous 36 months. Furthermore, we can only recruit researchers who are not already in the possession of a doctoral degree at the date of appointment. Please keep this in mind when applying.


By joining the EGRET-AAA network, you will become the pivotal, next generation of experts who can advance the development of genetic and stem-cell therapies and the associated technologies to target glaucoma. You will gain a unique, well-balanced, and individually tailored portfolio of skills and competencies, ensuring they will be ready to solve intersectoral and interdisciplinary challenges in a range of environments in healthcare, industry, and academia. On completing the network training (see above) you will be ready to take up leading positions to benefit patients, health care, industry, and science.

A unique, complete, and international training program

You will follow EGRET-AAA’s multidisciplinary 3-year PhD training consisting of several high-level training courses and workshops throughout Europe. Besides working at your primary employer, you will carry out secondments at other academic and technology partners. With that, you will gain experience working in industrial, health care, and academic environments, and have the opportunity to develop both your hard skills (research & technology) and soft skills (e.g., academic, entrepreneurial, working with people). In addition to this network training, you will gain a PhD awarded by two academic partners, via a bilateral joint doctorate agreement.

What does it mean to do a joint doctorate?

Joint Doctorates provide a highly integrated type of international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration in doctoral training leading to a joint doctoral degree awarded by the participating institutions. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in a joint programme and be jointly supervised.