Researcher Soil laboratory method development and Biological Indicator Platform (BIOSIS)

Gepubliceerd op
15 augustus 2019
Locatie Wageningen
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We are looking for

We now seek to strengthen our team with expertise on method development of new soil biological methodologies and development of a laboratory platform for the assessment of soil functions.  The successful candidate will be a bridge between the soil laboratories and the chairgroup staff, to identify and develop new soil biological, bio-chemical and bio-physical methodologies for research within the group. In addition the candidate will develop and manage a soil indicator scientific platform which will integrate models, data assessment and biological methods to define soil functions at a range of scales. The platform will be aimed at researchers initially to bring together methodologies and look at the potential for standardisation of methods across laboratories. Later development will include indicator assessment for farm advisors at the local scale or for policy makers at the national scale. The candidate will be asked to connect with colleagues all across Europe to link to the platform and method harmonisation.

We ask

The successful candidate will be expected to:
- identify methodologies to be tested and further defined within the soil biology laboratories;
- implement new methods in the soil biology labs in collaboration with current lab staff team;
- to work with colleagues across Europe to look at method standardisation or harmonisation;
- to develop a platform for the definition of indicators for soil functions (quality and health) that will be linked to the on-going work of the LANDMARK project (;
- manage an annual international laboratory skills training course, with around 20 participants
- develop a lab education course for WUR MSc students
- contribute to operational and outreach activities of the Soil Biology group and laboratories as needed.
Applicants for this position should hold a PhD in soil biology/biochemistry, soil science, soil ecology, with a strong  laboratory experimental background.  Applicants should be able to work within the context of an international, multidisciplinary projects. Excellent communication skills are essential for this post.

We offer

A challenging position for 3 years with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of € 3.255 to a maximum of € 4.274 for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (scale 10).

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;
  • 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 position please contact Prof. dr. Rachel Creamer (

This vacancy is open up to and including 15th September 2019.

We are

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of our University 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, 5,000 employees, and 10,000 students, it 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.

The Soil Biology Group blends expertise from the soil, plant and ecological sciences in cutting edge research and education in the areas of Fertile Soil; Soils in a Changing Climate; and Soil Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services.

The Soil Biology group integrates knowledge on soil biota across a range of scales from the microbe to the globe. Our mission is to use soil processes driven by soil biota to develop and maintain sustainable agro-ecosystems. We have four core themes in which we complete our research:


  1. The role of soil biota in nutrient cycling to enhance plant soil interactions and associated ecosystem services;
  2. The richness and community composition of soil biota coupled with soil functions (nutrient provision, carbon management, pest and disease resilience and resistance, water regulation and purification) in (agro)ecosystems;
  3. How soil and land management can enhance soil health and the beneficial soil functions provided by soil biota;
  4. The effects of climate change on soil life, and the controls that soil life exerts on greenhouse gas emissions from the soil.
Our multi-disciplinary team includes expertise in nutrient dynamics, microbial processes and assemblages, mycology, soil faunal identification, and food-web systems, plant-soil feedbacks, trait-based ecology of soil biota, soil biological indicators, biofunctionality of carbon, agro-ecology, agronomy, monitoring systems, statistical and mechanistic modelling of soil biological systems. The Soil Biology Group is supported by four laboratories for developing the research, including; a soil biology lab, microscopy lab, microbiology lab and molecular ecology lab. We also work in close collaboration with soil chemistry laboratories of the soil chemistry chair group.  

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