Universiteit Leiden

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postdoc Slime mold social evolution

Wetenschappelijke functies
Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
21 september 2021
27 oktober 2021 Nog 2 dagen om te solliciteren

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

Postdoc (1 fte): Slime mold social evolution

Vacancy number 21-469

Key responsibilities

The Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) is one of the institutes of the Faculty of Science. IBL is an internationally oriented institute for research and education in biology. The Postdoc position is a collaborative project funded by the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) together with Profs Karen Alim (UT Munich) and Marcus Roper (UCLA) to study nuclear cooperation and conflict in the syncytial slime mold Physarum polycephalum.

The scientific aim of the interdisciplinary project is to determine how cooperative and competitive dynamics between nuclei within the syncytia of Physarum polycephalum interact to produce emergent organism-scale behaviors.

The candidate will generate chimeric syncytia, quantify the fitness and spatial distribution of distinct nuclear populations within plasmodia growing on different selective gradients, and examine feedbacks between nuclear dynamics and plasmodial behavior. Experimental work in Leiden will be closely integrated with our project partners who will image (Karen Alim) and model (Marcus Roper) nuclear activity and translocation across plasmodial tubes.

Selection Criteria

  • A PhD in evolutionary biology or microbiology;
  • Experience with microbial evolution, statistics, fluorescence microscopy, and bioinformatics is an advantage.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team;
  • Excellent written and oral proficiency in English.

Research at our 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 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 the website of the Faculty of Science.

The Institute for Biology

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 nature’s 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, 3 year post beginning Nov 1st, 2021. Salary range from € 2.836 to € 4.474 gross per month (pay scale 10 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. For more information, see the website. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.


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


Enquiries can be made to Daniel Rozen (d.e.rozen@biology.leidenuniv.nl) If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Sylvia Maas (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:

  • A motivation letter;
  • A full CV
  • Names and contact details of two persons who have agreed to be contacted for references

Only applications received before October 27th, 2021 can be considered

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