PhD candidate, Molecular Plant Physiology

Gepubliceerd op
3 februari 2020
Locatie Wageningen
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We are looking for

Are you motivated to work in our international team to elucidate plant stress resilience mechanisms that are induced by the root microbiome?

The MiCROP PhD student at WUR-Plant Physiology will focus on investigating how plants evolved to recruit specific microbes to their root system that in turn can provide profitable functions aiding in alleviating drought stress. Genome-wide association mapping and CRISPR/Cas9- mediated forward genetics will be used to identify plant genes associated with mechanisms of stress induced microbe recruitment. Genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics techniques will be applied to further characterize plant stress responses leading to increased resilience.

  • We are looking for a a highly motivated, creative and proactive candidate. You enjoy working in an international team to achieve results that are both reliable and relevant.
  • You have an independent work attitude, and are also a real team player who will collaborate within a team of PhD students, post-docs and PIs.
  • Our PhD students supervise MSc students when such opportunities arise and you will be involved in teaching activities

We ask

For this position we seek a colleague who has experience with molecular and cellular techniques to study the interaction of plants with other species, the environment, and/or other aspects of plant development or physiology.
The PhD student at WUR-Plant Physiology will focus on discovery of plant genes and processes that are crucial for plants to maximize profitable functions from their root microbiome and help the plant to perform better under environmental stresses.

  • You have an MSc in Biology, Molecular Life Sciences or Plant Science.
  • You have experience with plant molecular biology.
  • You have affinity with plant abiotic stress and the plant microbiome.
  • You are an enthusiastic and highly motivated researcher.
  • You have good organizational, writing and presentation skills.
  • You have excellent communication skills and proficiency in English (both oral and written). 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

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1 year with extension of 3 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2325,-. in the first year rising up to € 2972,- per month in the fourth year, based on a full-time appointment.

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 the procedure, please contact
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Rumyana Karlova,, or Professor Christa Testerink,

For more information about our stress resilience research at WUR Laboratory of Plant Physiology,
See And our blog

This vacancy is open up to and including March 15, 2020.
You can only apply online through:

The first job interviews will take place in the week of  23 March, 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.

At the Laboratory of Plant Physiology we study plant responses to their environment. We investigate how stress tolerance and plant performance in adverse environmental conditions are guided by underlying molecular, cellular and physiological processes. This PhD project at PPH -WUR will be part of the recently awarded 'Zwaartekracht' programme MICROP: Harnessing the second genome of plants via microbial imprinting for crop resilience, which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). In the first phase of the programme, MICROP will recruit 9 PhD students, who will be stationed at the Universities of Amsterdam (VU and UvA), Utrecht (UU) and Wageningen (WU) and NIOO-KNAW/Leiden (IBL). In collaboration with partners around the world, you and your colleague PhD candidates will investigate the plant and microbial traits that facilitate profitable plant-microbiome interactions. This knowledge will form the basis for the development of a new generation of stress resistant crops that require fewer fertilizers and pesticides through the help of microbes.

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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