Vacancy

PhD mEATquality project

Published on
November 22, 2021
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Global pressure for more sustainable animal-derived meats presents us with various opportunities and challenges. Would you like to explore these research opportunities and help to address the challenges in a funded H2020 European mEATquality project? Does research on the ‘extensification’ of animal production and the effects on meat quality and authenticity interest you? Then the position PhD in Meat quality and authentication might be for you!

What will you be doing?
Your PhD research will focus on “omics” approaches (i.e., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) for broiler meat quality and authenticity related to husbandry factors. Omics is becoming increasingly common in the fields of animal production and food science, with potential applications that allow the tracing and quality monitoring of meats by omics-derived biomarkers. Yet, there are still various knowledge gaps that need to be explored, which will be your task!
As there is a lack of knowledge on the relation between the effects of extensive husbandry practices on meat quality and authenticity, your aim will be to use omics approaches to explain the relationships that exist between intrinsic meat quality and extrinsic factors (e.g., genetics, diet, environment enrichment, etc.) at a molecular level, which implies a comprehensive assessment of a set of molecules.

  • you will refine the existing knowledge in the domain of omics and apply it to broiler meat samples from a wide range of production circumstances;
  • you will seek to identify omics markers linked with intrinsic meat quality, which includes physical and chemical quality, authenticity, sensory quality, safety, and any unfavourable properties (abnormalities) or quality defects (e.g., white striping). For example, an outcome could be to identify the proteins behind desirable traits such as meat tenderness;
  • it will also be pivotal for you to explain production effects on meat quality and authenticity;
  • it is envisaged that your combined findings will provide the building blocks for an EU Meat Database that supports the fight against food fraud, which the bigger linked H2020 mEATquality project will develop in collaboration with the meat industry;
  • ultimately, your findings will improve our in-depth understanding of how production circumstances influence intrinsic meat quality.

The research is embedded within the Food Quality and Design group (FQD) which is led by Prof. Vincenzo Fogliano. You will be co-supervised by Dr. Sara Erasmus (feel free to connect on LinkedIn).

We ask

  • a successfully completed MSc degree in in food science or related fields;
  • excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page;
  • experience working with data and performing various statistical analyses;
  • knowledge of meat science and technology, experience in food authentication is considered an advantage;
  • a bespoke motivation letter to accompany your application.

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our  Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.434,- per month rising to € 3.111,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well. 

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the Best University in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family. 

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

Equal opportunities 
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Sara Erasmus, Assistant professor, by e-mail: sara.erasmus@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips, Recruiter, by e-mail: rutger.voorrips@wur.nl

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. In this first round, only send your resume (curriculum vitae) and motivation letter. Any other documents will not be taken into consideration at this stage.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including December 10th 2021. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on December 20th 2021. The preferred starting date for this position is 1st of February 2022.

We are

The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

Apply now