NLP Expert in Molecular Life Sciences


As NLP Expert in Molecular Life Sciences, you will be part of the research group RAPID. RAPID (Risk Analysis for Prevention, Innovation & Development) specialises in multidisciplinary projects on the assessment of health risks due to potentially hazardous exposures in the general environment as well as via intake of food or drugs. RAPID consists of around 50 members with expertise in numerous fields including toxicology, epidemiology, exposome, chemistry, occupational hygiene, and statistics.

RAPID develops innovative, science-based tools, models, and methods to estimate exposures, toxicity and potential health-risks accurately and efficiently. Ultimately, RAPID research focusses on preventing exposure, reducing risks and hence lower the burden of disease. This is achieved by RAPID’s active involvement in endeavours such as advising on exposure prevention and reduction strategies and interventions, applying safe- and sustainable-by-design principles for products and processes, as well as generating actionable knowledge for policymakers and other stakeholders. This is done together with other TNO departments as well as universities, research institutes, government and industry partners.

One of the research lines within the RAPID department focusses on the development of innovative text-mining and data-mining based solutions to support biomedical research. Examples include the development of the web-based platform TargetTri to support drug target profiling, the application of large language models (LLMs) to perform data-driven target identification and training and applying LLMs to support the development of animal free methodologies and analysing their translational value.

As NLP Expert in Molecular Life Sciences, you will work together with a team of developers and biomedical experts, depending on the project. You will also be part of the cross-departmental team of data scientists.

Your core activities are:

  • Developing and applying NLP models to support various aspects of biomedical results;
  • Creation and curation of training and test sets required for development of new NLP models;
  • Determining relevancy and usability of existing LLMs for specific research questions;
  • Broad view on the NLP field and ability to advise on suitablity of text-mining methods;
  • Extracting relevant information from public databases and other resources following internal standards for data processing;
  • Compile and communicate research results in scientific publications, scientific conference presentations, and TNO internal reports;
  • Participation in (multidisciplinary) research projects and in scientific discussions with (international) experts from various fields both within TNO and in (inter)national projects;
  • Participate in writing internal and external research project proposals.


    We are looking for an NLP Expert who has a scientific background in Molecular Life Science, Pharmacy and/or Drug Discovery in addition to experience in NLP and Text Mining. You will use this biomedical knowledge to guide and optimize the design of our NLP solutions.

    We are looking for a candidate with:

    • Scientific expertise in the biomedical sciences field is required, e.g., pharmaceutical science, molecular science, life science or drug discovery;
    • Experience with NLP Tooling such as NLTK, SpaCy, and HuggingFace;
    • Experience with LLM’s as BERT and ChatGPT, and LLM finetuning;
    • Experience with analyzing unstructured textual data sets and application of text-mining techniques (e.g. Named Entity Extraction, Relation Extraction, Text Classification, etc.);
    • Experience with other types of (big) data analyses (e.g.: building knowledge graphs);
    • Proficient in relevant programming languages (Python);
    • Passionate about NLP and wanting your work to have a high impact on health in practical applications;
    • Excellent verbal and written communicative skills in English;
    • Experience with working in project teams;
    • 32-40 hour a week availability.


    Challenging and varied work with a real impact. And plenty of opportunities as, at TNO, you are in charge of shaping your career. We offer a gross monthly salary between € 3.950,- and € 6.500,- (based on your knowledge and experience), 8% holiday pay, a 13th month bonus of 8.33% and a flex budget (5.58% + € 180). In addition, you will be given every opportunity to develop yourself.

    TNO offers optional employee benefits, enabling you to tailor your benefits package to match your personal situation. You may also expect:

    • An extremely professional, innovative working environment where colleagues are leading experts in their field.
    • The opportunity to attend courses, workshops and conferences, and to receive training and coaching based on your needs.
    • 33 days annual leave on a full-time basis.
    • An employer that values and encourages diverse talent, with initiatives like the Female Leadership Program, our Rainbow Community and round tables on inclusion topics.
    • We offer a comprehensive and flexible mobility plan that also includes full compensation for public transportation for commuting and business travel.
    • Great social events with your team and other TNO colleagues. That’s how you will get to know a lot of people really quickly.
    • Flexible working hours, the possibility to work parttime (32 of 36 hours) and the possibility of working from home.
    • Extensive relocation package for international candidates.
    • A good pension scheme.

    Read more about tailoring your benefits package.

    Company profile

    At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

    At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.


      Please apply before the 15th of July, 2024. The selection process comprises two interview rounds. In a final meeting we will discuss the terms of employment and your tailored benefits package. We aim to finalize the entire process within four weeks.

      The selection process may include an online assessment and a reference check.

      A certificate of Good Conduct (VOG) is required before starting a new job at TNO.

      For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us:
      Recruiter: Marco Tongeren, van

      Mobile: +31 (0)6-112 49467


      Location Utrecht
      NLP Expert in Molecular Life Sciences

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