Innovations in animal breeding and genomics: vacancies for 8 PhD candidates and 2 postdocs

Innovations in animal breeding and genomics: vacancies for 8 PhD candidates and 2 postdocs

We are looking for talented persons for 8 PhD and 2 postdoc positions that want to join a multi-disciplinary team to conduct cutting-edge research in animal breeding and genomics to enhance innovations in animal breeding. Research combines expertise in different domains (bioinformatics, genomics, quantitative genetics, statistics and machine learning) and involves collaboration between leading research groups at five universities. The positions are funded by STW Breed4Food partnership: a joint initiative of the Technology Foundation STW and animal breeding companies associated in Breed4Food.

Animal breeding has always been and will increasingly become knowledge intensive. The ‘genomics revolution’ rapidly opens new opportunities for innovation and scientific research. Scientific research and breakthroughs are needed to meet changing consumer demands, to increase efficiency in the food chain, to reduce the ecological foot print, to reduce the use of antibiotics and to contribute to food safety and better health and welfare of livestock. This enables Netherlands-based breeding companies to expand their world-leading role and competitive position.

The Breed4Food Partnership focusses on the development of novel genetic and genomic tools through innovative science, beneficial to the breeding, production and consumption of animal proteins with a strong commitment to responsible stewardship of animal resources. In order to achieve this, the following research programs have been selected:

  1. From sequence to phenotype: detecting deleterious variation by prediction of functionality
  2. Topbreed: towards precision breeding using genomic prediction
  3. GenoMiX: Utilizing crossbred information to accelerate genetic progress
  4. SmartBreed: Smart animal breeding with advanced machine learning

More details on objectives, partners and positions in these research programs are given below.

Universities involved

  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Leiden University Medical Center
  • Radboud University / Radboud UMC
  • University of Groningen
  • Delft University of Technology


You may apply for one of the positions until 14th of September, 2015. Please specify the research program and location of your application. Please follow the link given below (or in Academic Transfer) for send your application(s), with Curriculum Vitae.

Position available

More details on the research programs is given below.

Vacancies on Academic Transfer

Conditions of employment

We offer challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. You will be part of a research team involving multiple universities. You are expected to spend time at different locations to ensure that you benefit from the partners involved in your project. You will actively engage in meetings organised by the Breed4Food consortium. The proposed start is in the autumn of 2015.

For postdocs, the Universities offer a salary depending on qualifications and work experience between € 2,977 (scale 10 Dutch Universities) gross per month up to a maximum of € 4,551 (scale 11) gross per month for a full-time (1.0 fte) position (Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities 2015-2016, available in English on

As a PhD candidate, you will be offered a fulltime position for 4 years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis and individual training plan. The salary for a PhD candidate starts at € 2.125,- gross per month in the first year and extends to a maximum of € 2.717,- gross per month in the fourth year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).


Breed4Food is an initiative of Wageningen University & Research and four Netherlands-based animal breeding companies (TOPIGS, CRV, Hendrix Genetics and Cobb Europe), prominent global players in animal breeding. Dutch animal breeders, associated in Breed4Food, generate an annual turnover of 600 million Euro and invest 60 million Euro annually in R&D. The Breed4Food companies are dedicated to be the world leading research consortium in animal breeding and genetics, enabling the partners to breed better products to the benefit of society’s needs. More information on the project can be found at Breed4Food.

STW Breed4Food partnership

Technology Foundation STW, the Netherlands funding organisation for the engineering and application-oriented sciences, and the animal breeding companies associated in Breed4Food established a Partnership. The objective of STW Partnership programmes is to foster collaboration between academic and industrial researchers. At the end of 2014, academic scientists were invited to submit proposals for research projects that may give answers to the scientific and technological challenges identified by Breed4Food. Project proposals must involve two or more research groups from different engineering or scientific disciplines, because of the inherent multidisciplinary character of the Breed4Food-STW Partnership programme. Based on scientific quality and utilisation perspective four research proposals were selected for funding.