PhD Student - Lettuce Pangenomics

Gepubliceerd op
17 maart 2020
Locatie Wageningen
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We are looking for

A PhD student on lettuce pangenomics, as part of a large research program, LettuceKnow. Are you skilled in plant bioinformatics, interested in the combination of method development and genome analysis, and eager to collaborate with experimental plant biologists? This may be the right position for you.

Our research team on comparative genomics is looking for a PhD student to work on genome analysis of lettuce. The specific aim of this PhD project will be to construct and analyze the Lactuca pangenome, using a dataset of 500 genomes, 5000 transcriptomes and extensive phenotyping data. This will require developing additional functionalities in our pangenome software, PanTools, and performing extensive genome and transcriptome analyses related to resilience and architecture traits. The PhD candidate will become a member of the public-private LettuceKnow consortium (, offering access to a community of PhDs en postdocs, contacts with plant breeding companies, and an international context with opportunities for visits abroad. LettuceKnow has the ambition to establish lettuce as a model crop for scientific research to enable the knowledge-driven transformation of breeding lettuce and other leafy vegetables.

This is a 5-year position, including one year of bioinformatics support to other researchers in the LettuceKnow consortium. The PhD student will be based in the Bioinformatics Group of Wageningen University ( and be part of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS, Besides research, the position includes time for personal development and bioinformatics teaching. Are you in for collaborative research, interested in “the science of salad”, and challenged by big data in plants? We look forward to your application.

We ask

  • A motivated, proactive PhD candidate to collaborate in an interdisciplinary consortium.
  • MSc degree in bioinformatics, plant biotechnology or related field.
  • Fluency in Linux command-line use, good programming skills in python, and ideally java.
  • Affinity with crop research and plant breeding.
  • Strong communication skills, connecting technology to biology and developers to end users.
  • Curiosity, a critical research attitude, and willingness to offer application support.
  • Experience with relevant biology, bioinformatics, or technology is an advantage.
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.

We offer

A challenging PhD position, initially for one year, after which a go/no-go decision will be taken on extension with another four years. Gross salary will be € 2325 per month in the first year, rising to € 2972 per month in the last year for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • 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;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice 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 use 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 dr. Sandra Smit, assistant professor, by e-mail:
For more information about the procedure, please contact
General information about the Bioinformatics Group can be found on

This vacancy is open up to and including Monday, April 13, 2020.
You can apply via the button.

The first job interviews will take place in the week of April 20, 2020.

We are

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6,000 employees, and 12,000 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at the special career site.

The Bioinformatics Group offers an excellent, collaborative working environment within a diverse group of researchers. We develop novel computational methods for the representation, analysis and integration of biological data, to understand how the interplay of genomes, transcripts, proteins and metabolites results in the phenotypic complexity observed in living systems. We maintain extensive computational resources and have access to the university’s high-performance compute systems. As a group, we value (inter)national collaboration and strive for excellence in education and research. We teach (advanced) courses in bioinformatics and data science at the BSc, MSc and PhD level. Our group is strongly embedded in the Plant Sciences Group, collaborates intensively with Wageningen Research and is involved in the efforts of Wageningen University & Research to promote the use and development of data science in its research areas.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

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