PhD candidate Mixotrophic Cultivation of Microalgae

Gepubliceerd op
23 juli 2019
Locatie Wageningen
Reageren Klik hier om te reageren

We are looking for

We are looking for a PhD candidate who wants to set the final step in the development of a  production process of algal biomass based on ‘mixotrophy’. Algal biomass is a potential feedstock for human food and animal nutrition. Mixotrophy refers to the combination of photoautotrophic growth on light and carbon dioxide, and heterotrophic growth based on organic compounds such as sugars. We seek a candidate who will develop an optimized mixotrophic production strategy of microalgal monocultures based on a tight control of process conditions. The production process developed must be validated under pilot-scale outdoor conditions. Proces development will be based on a rigorous analysis of mixotrophic growth kinetics. Mathematical model simulations will be used to describe the relation between process conditions and microalgal growth in mixotrophically operated photobioreactors. We therefore seek a candidate able to combine engineering principles with microbial physiology and photosynthesis.
This PhD project will be part of a large European research project (‘Profuture’, Horizon 2020) aiming for the sustainable production of microalgal biomass and its utilization as a source of proteins for food and feed. The overall project will be carried out by a consortium of 32 academic groups and companies.

We ask

You are an ambitious and enthusiastic person devoted to science and eager to work on the interphase of fundamental science and practical application. In addition, we ask:
• A successfully completed academic study in bioprocess engineering, (bio)chemical engineering or comparable discipline (MSc level, recognized in the Netherlands);
• Knowledge on microbial metabolic processes, preferably incuding photosynthesis;
• Wet lab experience, preferably including experience with bench-scale (photo)bioreactors;
• Excellent communication skills;
• Proficiency in English (spoken as well as written).

We offer

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2325,-.  in the first year rising up to € 2972,-.  per month in the fourth year. 

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.

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 Maria Barbosa, Professor Microalgal Biotechnology, telephone number +31 317 480079, E-mail:  or Marcel Janssen, assistant professor Microalgal Biotechnology, telephone number +31 317 484708, E-mail:
For more information about the procedure, please contact Greetje van de Hulsbeek, HR advisor, telephone number +31 317 486148.

This vacancy is open until August 31st, 2019. Internal and external recruitment is at the same time. If qualifications do match, internal candidates have priority.

We are

You will be a member of the chair group Bioprocess Engineering of Wageningen University. Bioprocess Engineering teaches and develops innovative bio-based processes. We work on a sustainable and healthy future by engineering efficient bioprocesses for high quality products. We study and develop photoautotrophic and heterotrophic production systems for biobased products, as well as high-quality processes for the production of biopharmaceuticals. The group offers expertise in reactor engineering, down-stream processing and metabolic engineering. Our research aims at development of the scientific field as well as application in typical Wageningen themes such as circular processes, food and environmental sciences.

General information about Bioprocess Engineering can be found on

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialized 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, 5,000 employees, and 10,000 students, it is one of the leading organizations 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.

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.

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.


Solliciteer nu