PhD Student

PhD Student

Published Deadline Location
19 Sep 10 Oct Wageningen

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Job description

A PhD candidate for the project "Visualising the native architecture and dynamics of plants' photosynthetic machinery". You will be part of an NWO Vidi project, together with three other researchers you will investigate how plants adapt their photosynthetic light-harvesting machinery to the ever changing light conditions. To answer this question you will combine confocal fluorescence microscopy, spectroscopy and biochemistry in your research project.

Background information: Light drives photosynthesis and as such powers life on earth. In the field plants need to cope with constantly changing light conditions. This requires a flexible photosynthetic machinery. Light energy is converted into chemical energy in the thylakoid membrane, composed of lipids, proteins and pigments. The thylakoid structure and organisation can dynamically switch to optimize light harvesting and maintain efficient photosynthesis under different light intensities and spectra. At present it is unclear how the thylakoid structure is regulated and which factors control the changes in its organisation and architecture. The research team will use a combination of microscopy, spectroscopy, molecular biology and biochemistry, to reveal how the thylakoid structure is controlled at the molecular level. The goal is to provide new key insights into the adaptation of the thylakoid machinery to different light conditions.


Wageningen University & Research


  • an MSc in (bio)physics, biochemistry, optics or related fields with a fundamental interest in photosynthesis research;
  • a strong drive to do experimental research
  • research experience is required, preferably in the fields of photosynthesis, biochemistry and/or (micro)spectroscopy;
  • team player with good communication skills;
  • a good command of the English language is critical.

Conditions of employment

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2325,-. in the first year rising up to € 2972,- per month in the fourth year.

In addition, we offer
  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays; excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours based on a working week of 38 hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus against reduced fee.
  • we stimulate internal growth opportunities and mobility with an active and internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a creative learning environment.


Wageningen University & Research

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With approximately 30 locations, 5,000 employees, and 10,000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

The Laboratory of Biophysics (BIP) engages in research of the physical aspects of life processes and teaching of the fundamentals of physics and biophysics and their application in the life sciences. The research of BIP relies on both optical and magnetic resonance techniques.

BIP is a dynamic international team comprising around 10 staff members, 15 PhD students and post-docs. More information on our team can be found at BIP is embedded in the BioMolecular Sciences cluster and participates in the MicroSpectroscopy Research Facility and the MAGNEtic resonance research FacilitY of Wageningen university & Research.

Equal opportunities employer:
We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.


  • PhD positions
  • Natural Sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University Graduate
  • 549595


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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