PhD Quantitative Microbiology ESR 10

Published on
March 22, 2021
Location Wageningen
End date Sun 30 May 2021
Respond Click here to respond

We are looking for

We are looking for on Early Stage Researcher (ESR) (PhD student) with a great interest in quantitative microbiology. Sustainable food production has become a worldwide priority.

Sustainable technologies such as high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), pulsed electric field (PEF), ultrasound (US) and nonthermal plasma (NTP) provide clean-label, nutritious food products and solutions to antimicrobial resistance. This ESR project aims to quantify the decontamination efficiency of sustainable food technologies, and will develop risk assessment models to assess the impact of HHP, PEF, US and NTP decontamination technologies on the public health risk and reduction of food spoilage. The project output will provide product/process designers with quantitative tools to optimally design sustainably produced high quality products.

You will be given the opportunity to work within a network of international partners in the context of the EC-funded Horizon 2020 MSCA ITN TRANSIT ( TRANSIT will train ESRs who will be capable of creating a transformational change to drive utility of sustainable food technologies through an interdisciplinary action. 

In this ITN consortium, each recruited researcher will be seconded to other beneficiaries and/or to partner organisations. For this project two secondments are planned: 2 months in Wageningen at Food and Biobased Research, 2 months in Wageningen at Unilever, as wells as 2 months in Germany. Also attendance in off-site training events and meetings is expected. All travel is fully funded. Additional family allowance is provided if the applicant can provide evidence of eligibility (marriage (equivalent) and/or dependent children) at the beginning of the appointment.

We ask

We are looking for an outstanding candidate with the ability to excel in research. The candidate must be eager to learn and gain new experiences. Specific skills needed for the position are:

  • An excellent academic (MSc) record in (food) microbiology, food sciences, food technology;
  • familiarity with quantitative microbiology is considered an advantage;
  • networking and communication skills: you should have a goal-oriented and well-organized personality, you should have the capability to learn rapidly and sustainably;
  • creative researcher, being independent yet at the same time being a team player;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English; 
  • willingness to be involved in teaching activities. 

For general information on the PhD programme at Wageningen University, please see:

Eligibility Criteria
As the project is funded within MSCA, researchers can be of any nationality but need to demonstrate transnational mobility. To be eligible applicants must satisfy the requirements that apply to all ITN Early Stage Researchers, see:


We offer

We offer you a research project with high value in The Laboratory of Food Microbiology of Wageningen University which consists of a dynamic international group of food microbiologists; state of the art infrastructure to conduct your research and close national and international collaboration with other researchers.  

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights are: 

  • Working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • paid parental leave;
  • the option to accrue additional 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.

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after a successful Go-No Go evaluation. We offer you a fully financed research project. Gross salary will consist of a monthly living allowance topped up with a mobility allowance according to Marie Curie guidelines based on a fulltime employment for the first 3 years, followed by a year of payment according to Dutch national PhD salaries. Taxation and Social (including Pension) Contribution deductions based on National and institute regulations will apply (see also Marie Curie Career development information).

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research has a large international community. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. 

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Heidy den Besten (Associate Professor), telephone number +31 317483213.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Mrs. Ina Lüttmann, HRM advisor, telephone number +31 317 487701.

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. 
This vacancy will be listed up to and including 30 May 2021.

Selection and Application process

  • Applicants will be reviewed without regard to sex, race or nationality. Applications from female scientists and engineers and ethnic minorities in are particularly encouraged;
  • applicants must fulfil the EC eligibility criteria set by the European Commission (see; 
  • important: to apply, upload a 1-2 page CV (please specify your residence/work place in the last 3 years), 1 page motivation letter (please mention the PROJECT TITLE and briefly address each skill as listed above, and address your research interest in relation to the research project), university transcripts (grades);
  • all other formats and document content (e.g., longer CVs) will NOT BE CONSIDERED for the application process. Email applications will NOT BE CONSIDERED; 
  • by uploading your CV, motivation letter and University transcripts, you agree that this information - while kept strictly confidential - will be processed and stored by Wageningen University for the time span of the recruitment process;
  • include the names and contact information of up to two referees in your application; if possible add letters;
  • selection will be made through structured skill-based review evaluation from CV, motivation letter and grades. After selection for the shortlist, an (online) interview conducted by at least two people (if possible from the TRANSIT network) will follow. Additional information may be requested for the (online) interview;
  • as there are multiple positions available in TRANSIT (, applicants are advised to indicate whether they have applied to or plan to apply to other positions in this consortium.
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 inclusive webpage. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

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, 6.500 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.

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

Apply now