Universiteit Leiden

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PhD candidate on spatial and temporal plant microbiome

Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
2 januari 2024
11 februari 2024 Vacature gesloten

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

PhD candidate on spatial and temporal plant microbiome
Vacancy number: 14437

Are you interested in unlocking the secrets of plant microbiomes? Would you like to combine molecular microbiology, microscopy, and microbiome analysis? We have a PhD vacancy to scrutinise plant microbiomes.

Project description
Microorganisms have an important influence on plant growth and protection. Colonization of the plant by microorganisms on the surface, e.g. rhizosphere or inside as endophyte depends on various genetic factors of the host and its microbiome. In this project, the candidate will dissect the impact of plant host genetics on rhizosphere and endosphere colonization by microorganisms, especially concentrating on Bacilli.

The candidate’s tasks will include assessing the microbiome composition of various crop and model plants in the presence of biocontrol bacterial strains. Additionally, the candidate will test various plant varieties and mutants for colonization by endophytic bacteria. At the Institute of Biology microscopy unit, the candidate will test fluorescently labeled bacteria for plant colonization in time and space to reveal the dynamics of plant-microbiome interaction.

Selection Criteria
The Faculty of Science Leiden and Institute of Biology are looking for a candidate with a solid background in plant-microbiome interaction, specifically concentrating on bacterial interactions, preferably experience with

  • plant and bacteria cultivation
  • microbiome analysis
  • molecular microbiology (genetic engineering of bacteria)
  • fluorescence microscopy

Background on microbial ecology and evolutionary theory is advantageous. The candidate should be an efficient team worker, have good communication skills, and have a critical host-bacteria genetic mindset on plant-microbiomes.

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 {see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/wiskunde-en-natuurwetenschappen} staff and almost 5000 {see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/wiskunde-en-natuurwetenschappen} 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 www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science and https://workingat.leiden.edu/

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.

The candidate will join a dynamic research group working on the development and chemical ecology of plant beneficial bacteria, including plant microbiomes and bacteria-fungi interaction. The project includes collaboration with plant biologists.

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 € 2.770,- to € 3.539,- 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 www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl. 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.

Do you have questions about this position? Please contact Prof. dr Ákos T. Kovács (a.t.kovacs@biology.leidenuniv.nl). For more information about the recruitment process please contact Christina Kamerman (sylvius@biology.leidenuniv.nl).

Applications for this vacancy can be submitted via the blue button of our online system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter

Only applications received before 11 February 2024 can be considered.

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