Universiteit Leiden

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PhD candidate in natural and synthetic microbial biochemistry

Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
2 februari 2021
24 februari 2021 Vacature gesloten

The Faculty of Science / the Institute for Biology is looking for a

PhD candidate in natural and synthetic microbial biochemistry

Key responsibilities
The PhD candidate will work in a novel research group that will be set up in spring 2021 at the Institute of Biology. The research theme of the group will be the understanding and engineering of microbial metabolism and its regulation with the goal of creating innovative solutions for global sustainability issues, such as the microbial production of chemicals and the biodegradation of environmental pollutants.

The successful applicant will work on the metabolic engineering of marine bacteria and the identification and characterization of novel enzymes. The PhD candidate will utilize biochemical and genetic approaches as well as high-throughput screening and omics techniques. Motivation, flexibility, analytical thinking, and the ability to work independently will be vital to advance the project.

Selection criteria

  • MSc in microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, or a related discipline;
  • Previous experience in standard molecular biology and biochemistry laboratory techniques, such as molecular cloning, protein expression, and protein purification;
  • Previous experience in the growth, handling, and genetic modification of prokaryotic microorganisms;
  • A previous record of working with non-model microorganisms is highly beneficial;
  • A keen interest in contributing to building a cutting-edge research environment;
  • Good communication and teamworking skills;
  • Fluent written and spoken English.

Our organisation
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 committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity 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 of Science 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 2300 staff and almost 5000 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. For more information, see  our website.

The research within the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) aims to work on the science base of biodiversity and health, which is reflected in our leading principle Harnessing Biodiversity for Health. We perform innovative curiosity-driven research to answer fundamental questions, and solutions-driven research to help solving major societal challenges. The latter include protecting natures biodiversity, creating sustainable biotechnology and agriculture and increasing good health. Our research focuses on four Research Themes: Bioactive Molecules, Host-Microbe Interactions, Development & Disease and Evolution & Biodiversity. Located in a thriving scientific environment with our Faculty of Sciences, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Leiden Bioscience Park, IBL offers an exciting, internationally oriented and inclusive place to work and study.  

Terms and conditions 
We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from 2.395,- to € 3.061,- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

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. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to Lennart Schada von Borzyskowski, Assistant Professor at the IBL email l.schada.von.borzyskowski@biology.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Sylvia Maas, email jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl.

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

  • CV;
  • cover letter;
  • contact details of two referees.  

Only applications received no later than February 24th, 2021 can be considered.



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