Junior researcher trichome based insect resistance

Published on
April 1, 2021
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Within the flourishing insect resistance group of Plant Breeding we are looking for a highly motivated Junior researcher (32 hrs/week) who is passionate about making our agricultural production more sustainable. You will contribute to the development of plants with a natural resistance against pest insects. Within the group we use state of the art tools to identify insect resistance traits in crop plants and their wild relatives. This involves the genetic characterization of the resistance and elucidation of the mechanism through genomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics. Many of our projects are carried out in close collaboration with breeding companies and the knowledge obtained will be instrumental to develop novel high yielding varieties of vegetables and ornamentals.

We are looking for a Junior researcher who will strengthen our research on trichome based resistance in crop plants. You will participate in ongoing projects in tomato and potato that focus on the role of glandular trichomes in resistance against small insects, including whiteflies, thrips and aphids.

Are you an enthusiastic scientist who likes to work on the genetics of resistance to insects? Do you want to help understand the mechanisms of resistance to insects in crop plants and wild relatives? Do you like working with plants in the greenhouse and lab?

Then this job is for you!

We ask

  • PhD in Biology, Plant Sciences or another relevant field
  • An enthusiastic, ambitious, communicative colleague with the following key competences: team player, creative, problem solving, quality oriented and stress tolerant 
  • Experience with supervision of students
  • Experience in written and oral reporting (in English). This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.
  • Good publication track record
  • Experience with molecular and gene editing technologies is preferred
  • Experience in working with insects is an asset


We offer

We offer you, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of €2790,- to a maximum of €4549,- Scale 10 for a full working week of 36 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Wageningen Research. The duration of the contract is initially for one year, with the possibility for extension with another 2 years.
In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of-year bonus of 3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • the possibility to work flexible to balance work and life;
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • for a small fee, make use of the sports facilities on campus.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.

We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

More information

For more information about this function, please contact Ben Vosman, research group leader, telephone; +31317480838 or by e-mail;; or Lotte Caarls, researcher insect resistance (telephone +31317480398 email:

For more information about the procedure, please contact:

This vacancy will be listed up to and including April 15, 2021.

The first job interviews will take place as soon as possible after the vacancy period has closed.

We are

Wageningen University & Research 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, 6.500 employees and 12.500 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.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

Plant Breeding, Wageningen University & Research ( is a merged unit of Wageningen Research and Wageningen University with around 200 people including MSc and PhD students and guest workers. It is a highly international group with more than 30 nationalities organised in ten research groups. We conduct fundamental, strategic and applied research and provide teaching at all educational (BSc, MSc and PhD) levels. Our research focusses on the dissemination of the genetic basis of traits which are relevant in order to achieve a sustainable agri- and horticulture. We conduct this research often together or in partnership with breeding companies, local, regional and state governments.

Our objective is to raise the productivity of agriculture in a sustainable and socially acceptable manner and increase the resilience of systems to deliver food security, feed, fuel, fibre and ornamental services under current and future climate and resource availability. As guiding principles we work synergistically in teams, like to express and base our opinions on sound science and operate self-conscientiously in our networks to have impact and attract and serve our clients’ needs. We strongly believe in diversity and inclusiveness to strengthen our teams, their modus operandi and their impact. We advise the public and the private sector and provide training in areas of our expertise.

Equal opportunities
WUR is an equal opportunity employer. We are keen to receive applications from all sufficiently qualified people, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, functional impairment, religion/life philosophy, sexual orientation, or age. 

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Apply now