Postdoc UNLOCK: Biological engineering and microbial ecology

Published on
June 2, 2021
Location Wageningen
End date Sat 19 June 2021
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We are looking for

Do you have a PhD degree in environmental science and technology, microbiology, water biotechnology or a related field? Do you want to become a postdoctoral researcher in a new research facility in Wageningen University and Research (WUR) which is called UNLOCK? We have a vacancy for a bright and inspiring postdoctoral researcher (0.8 fte) in the field of biological engineering and microbial ecology at the Environmental Technology Group and the Laboratory of Microbiology.

As a Postdoc researcher, Your activities will be embedded in the Modular bioreactor platform and the Biodiscovery platform of UNLOCK. The Modular bioreactor platform facilitates research for sustainable solutions to environmental issues, such as the degradation of (micro) pollutants, sustainable energy generation and reclaiming resources from complex waste streams. The Biodiscovery platform allows its users to discover and characterize new micro-organisms. In addition, there is a processing unit that allows for fully automated unlocking of biological samples for biomolecular analysis.
Your activities will include, among others:

  • Setting up the bioreactor systems as well as the installations of the Biodiscovery platform in a team with platform managers and technical staff;
  • coordinating/facilitating the research that will be done in the facilities. This is done in close collaboration with the internal and external groups that are using the UNLOCK facilities;
  • as a member of the Department of Environmental Technology and the Laboratory of Microbiology, you are expected to participate in our educational activities and our applications for research grants. 

We ask

As PostDoc you are an ambitious, enthusiastic and creative scientist and a team player, devoted to research and education in the field of water biotechnology and microbial ecology. You also have:

  • A PhD degree in environmental science and technology, microbiology, water biotechnology or related fields;
  • knowledge and expertise in pollutant and/or biomass conversions, microbial ecology, biotechnology and associated microbiological and chemical processes;
  • knowledge of- and interest in interdisciplinary physico/chemical and biological research fields;
  • a talent to inspire PhD students and other researchers;
  • ability in acquisition and proposal writing for getting research funding;
  • excellent communication and organisation skills;
  • didactic qualities and enthusiasm for teaching and working with students.

We offer

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

  • Sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 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 of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €2790,-and €4402,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Your contract will be for 0,8 FTE. 

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. 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.

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this function you can contact Alette Langenhoff, manager Modular Bioreactor platform, telephone: +31 317 480254 or by e-mail:, and Hauke Smidt, manager Biodiscovery platform: telephone +31 317 483102 or by e-mail:
For more information about the procedure you can contact Ina Lüttmann, HR-advisor by email:

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 Sunday June 20th 2021. 

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.

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.

What is UNLOCK
UNLOCK is a national research facility with the goal to unlock the potential of microbial mixed cultures for a broad range of societal and biotechnological applications. Microorganisms are born team-players, and having the right team is essential for the cleaning of polluted water and soil, biobased production of e.g. bioplastics, stimulation of plant growth, production of fermented foods as well as for a healthy digestion of humans and animals. The Dutch Research Council (NWO) invests together with Wageningen University & Research and Delft University of Technology twenty-five million euro in UNLOCK.
UNLOCK consists of four complementary, fully integrated state of the art research platforms; a Biodiscovery platform (WUR-Microbiology), a Modular bioreactor platform (WUR-Environmental Technology), a Parallel Bioreactor platform (TUD-Biotechnology) and a FAIR data platform (WUR-Systems & Synthetic Biology).

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