Universiteit Leiden

nl en


PhD candidate in Molecular Plant Immunity

Omvang (fte)
Intern , Extern
Type aanstelling
Geplaatst op
8 september 2021
30 september 2021 Nog 13 dagen om te solliciteren

Solliciteer direct

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

PhD candidate in Molecular Plant Immunity

Vacancy number 21-440

Key responsibilities

Plant diseases occur everywhere and are one of the major threats to our agriculture. Understanding how disease resistance works is one of the long-term missions in the newly established group led by Dr. Ding, and also the key to protecting plant health.

The PhD project will focus on investigating gene regulatory mechanisms involved in immunity activated by intracellular nucleotide-binding leucine-rich-repeat (NB-LRR) receptors (NLRs). This research will continue on the recent discovery that NLR-activated transcription in-part potentiates the cell-surface receptor-mediated immunity (Ngou et al. Nature 2021; Ding et al. JXB 2021).

Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Plan and conduct research activities;
  • Write manuscripts for publication and thesis;
  • Present research at meetings, etc.;
  • Co-supervise undergraduate and graduate students;
  • Follow university guidelines, scientific ethics and integrity.

Selection criteria

We seek for a PhD candidate with:

  • A master’s degree in biology or a related area;
  • A strong curiosity in biology with an interest in plant sciences;
  • A clear motivation in taking a PhD career and understanding of the commitment;
  • A strong enthusiasm and a humble attitude in learning new knowledge and technics;
  • Good resilience from potential stresses during conducting research activities;
  • Profound theoretical knowledge in and experience with molecular biology;
  • Basic knowledge of chemistry, physics, mathematics and statistics;
  • Affinity with using computers and proficient skills with commonly used software;
  • Good organization habits and time management skills;
  • Good communication and proficient English skills (both written and spoken);
  • Capability and flexibility to work independently as well as a team player.

Other optional qualities if the candidate has experience in:

    • Bioinformatics (e.g. coding with R, Python)
    • Next-generation sequencing (e.g. Illumina sequencing)
    • Protein biochemistry (e.g. protein purification)
    • Cell biology (e.g. confocal microscope)
    • Tissue culture
    • Research in plant-pathogen interactions

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 the website of the Faculty of Science.

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 1 year term 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 ranges from 2.434,-  to 3.111,- 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 Dr. Pingtao Ding, email p.ding@biology.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Sylvia Maas, email jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl. More information about research conducted at the Ding Lab can be found at the website.


To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents (combined in a single PDF file) quoting the vacancy number:

  • A cover letter; stating your motivation for applying to this studentship; addressing how your previous experiences may enable you to fit in this program and be successful
  • Curriculum vitae; a description of your academic profile and a showcase of your qualities and skills
  • A copy of higher education diploma;
  • Detailed transcripts from both the bachelor’s and master’s studies;
  • Two letters of reference from a university teacher or previous/current supervisors providing information about your academic qualifications

Only applications received no later than  30th September 2021 will be considered. The starting date of the PhD program is relatively flexible

Solliciteer direct

Deze website maakt gebruik van cookies.  Meer informatie.