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1 Junior Lecturer/PhD candidate related to applying eDNA to human impact stressors

Vacancy number
Job type
Academic staff, PhD positions
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
12 July 2022
Closing date
10 July 2022 Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Science and Institute of Environmental Sciences  are looking for:

1 Junior Lecturer/PhD candidate related to applying eDNA to human impact stressors 
Vacancy number: 22-446

Key responsibilities

The academic landscape is ever-changing, and increasing emphasis is placed on a balanced skillset that includes research, education, and impact ( https://www.universiteitenvannederland.nl/en_GB/Recognition-and-rewards-of-academics.html ). 

Today, a career in Academia and beyond  requires more emphasis on educational skillsets and the capacity to bridge research endeavors with didactic approaches than ever before. In response, the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Leiden University (CML) is offering an attractive opportunity to combine a research-based PhD with a lectureship (co-teaching courses with Leiden University) at an equal division of tasks.  

The successful candidate will conduct research as part of a PhD  (50% of your appointment).  CML is looking for someone that is skilled in genetic-based laboratory and sampling techniques but also has the ambition to apply these techniques to study questions relating to human impacts on our environment or to improve sustainable use of our environment. We are particularly interested in candidates familiar with environmental DNA (or eDNA).  Specifically, the following projects might be included in this PhD: impact assessment of toxic mixtures in manure on the aquatic environment through eDNA measurements of the aquatic communities, assessing water quality for the water framework directive through eDNA community measurements, influence of emerging aquatic stressors (such as pesticides, antibiotics, pharmacological drugs, hormones etc.) on eDNA degradation patterns in aquatic systems and an eDNA related meta-analysis on aquatic taxon’s and their eDNA related degradation patterns, ultimately to look for uniformities.   

The successful candidate will also fulfill lectureship duties (50% of your appointment)  and have the opportunity to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ or Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs/BKO in Dutch).  Responsibilities will include teaching in interdisciplinary education programs, including BSc/MSc Biology, BSc Urban Studies, MSc Governance of Sustainability and others. This will include assisting course coordinators with regular teaching tasks (including moderating/supervising workgroups, assessing, and providing feedback on assessments), and mentoring students as they develop personally and professionally during their BSc and MSc studies. To formally deepen your didactic skills and educational experiences we offer the opportunity to follow courses that allow you to develop as a fully trained and experienced university lecturer.

The following links provide information about the different programs you might be involved in:

BSc Biology: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/studies/8828/biologie#tab-1 

BSc Urban Studies: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/studies/8139/urban-studies#tab-1

MSc Biology: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/studies/8401/biology-general-biology-programme-no-research-specialisation#tab-1

MSc Governance of Sustainability: https://studiegids.universiteitleiden.nl/studies/8769/governance-of-sustainability#tab-1

Are you an interdisciplinary thinker with a MSc degree in Biology, Sustainability, Environmental science or a related field? Do you enjoy doing a combination of both laboratory (DNA) related and field work? Are you interested in combining education with research and do you want to improve your didactic skills whilst simultaneously starting your career as a young researcher/PhD? And do you enjoy coaching students through in course assignments or thesis projects? If so, our Junior lecturer/PhD position might be a great fit for you

You are expected to:

  • Be a collegial with a proactive attitude towards balancing your time between education and research
  • Contribute to a dynamic research group involved in eDNA analysis
  • Work independently both within education and research
  • Supervise BSc or MSc students for thesis projects
  • Attend and present at national and international conferences
  • Work with supervisors outlining research methodologies and proposals
  • Help to teach in several courses in the BSc & MSc programs specified above
  • Jointly set-up, evaluate, give feedback on, and assess assignments and exercises;
  • Monitor students’ progress (also in the development of their academic skills);

Create a safe working environment in which students can learn from and with each other;

  • Stimulate students’ collaborative and pro-active attitudes

Selection criteria:
The preferred candidate

  • Has a MSc degree, ideally in Biology, Sustainability, Environmental Science or a related discipline;
  • Proven ability to motivate and/or encourage students and to coach them through group work;
  • Has excellent organization and communication skills;
  • Possesses a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ or Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs/BKO in Dutch) or is willing to obtain this UTQ within two years, therewith improving their didactic skills;
  • Is eager to contribute actively to improving the quality of education; has a proactive and flexible attitude;
  • Has experience with environmental DNA research or regular DNA-related lab analysis (such as DNA extractions, PCR and preferably also metabarcoding analysis including bioinformatics) and is keen on applying these within an Environmental Science related framework;
  • Has Strong data management, visualization, scripting and bioinformatic skills (e.g. in R, Galaxy or Qiime) are an advantage but not prerequisite. Your BSc or MSc thesis ideally involves all the environmental DNA related steps (sampling, DNA extractions, and subsequent quantitative or qualitative DNA analysis), data analysis through R and reporting about the outcomes of your research;
  • You are a team player, and can communicate your work to other researchers of various disciplines within and outside of the CML.
  • Fluent in English, verbally and in writing;

Research at our Institute/Faculty 
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The environmental science research in CML is organized around two major research areas: ‘Industrial Ecology’ and ‘Environmental Biology’. This makes CML one of the few institutes covering both the circular, sustainable economic use of natural resources and natural capital, as well as assessing the environmental impacts of economic activities on natural resources, biodiversity and natural capital. Presently, over 140 FTE (including postdocs and PhDs) are employed at CML. CML collaborates with the TU Delft and Erasmus University (Rotterdam) in the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability (LDE-CfS).

Terms and conditions 
We offer a 1-year position with the possibility of extension to 6 years based on performance and following the pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Salary ranges from € 2.541.- gross per month in the first year to € 3.247 gross per month in the fourth year based on a full-time position. Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.  

At the Faculty of Science we value inclusiveness and strive for a diverse community with equal opportunities for all. We give full support to our staff in achieving their potential to become independent academic researchers and teachers. For more information about our policy on diversity and equality please go to the diversity page on our website. Female researchers are also welcomed to join the Researchers In Science for Equality network of the Faculty if Science (rise.nu).

Enquiries can be made to either trimbos@cml.leidenuniv.nl or k.a.stewart@cml.leidenuniv.nl, or sollicitaties@cml.leidenuniv for general questions.

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to sollicitaties@cml.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • CV – highlighting any research or teaching related experiences.
  • A motivation letter
  • The names and contact information of two referees

Applications will be considered until the 10th of August 2022. Interviews will take place in September 2022

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