PhD Dynamic Light Spectra for optimal plant production and product quality of leafy vegetables in Vertical Farming

PhD Dynamic Light Spectra for optimal plant production and product quality of leafy vegetables in Vertical Farming

Published Deadline Location
11 Sep 16 Sep Wageningen

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Job description

Are you that enthusiastic researcher that likes to work on the physiology of plants grown under fully controlled conditions?
Within the Sky-High NWO-perspective program about vertical farming (VF) this PhD-project aims to improve growth and (postharvest) quality of leafy vegetables through the use of dynamic light spectra. The spectral composition of LED light is an important factor that influences the growth as well as the quality of leafy vegetables in VF. So far, applied light spectra in VF are mostly static, while it is known that plants physiologically respond to light spectra in a time-resolved manner: i.e. it matters which colours it receives, at which moment of the day and during which production phase. Knowledge about the underlying physiological processes is essential for the efficient design of dynamic lighting protocols for optimal production in VF, but success may also be genotype dependent. The task of the PhD in this project is to develop and test physiology-based knowledge for optimal dynamic spectral lighting in leafy vegetable production and product quality in VF.

Job description
  • Selection of genotypes from a lettuce breeding population with a wide response range to light spectrum.
  • Design experiments based on phenomenological and (molecular) physiological knowledge.
  • Setup and execute experiments simulating vertical farm conditions with dynamic light spectra.
  • Analyse plant responses to dynamic light spectra using phenomics and plant molecular techniques.
  • Optimize GxE to most favorable growth and quality characteristics.
  • Present your work at (inter)national meetings and publish scientific articles.
  • Supervise BSc and MSc students, and contribute to courses.
More information:


Wageningen University & Research


  • MSc degree in plant -science, -physiology or -biology.
  • Good conceptual thinking skills.
  • Likes to collaborate and communicate about her/his research (scientific and general public).
  • Experience with macro, and microscopic research in plant biology. Comfortable with molecular and biochemical work.
  • Result-driven and likes to make and defend decisions based on argumentation.
This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

Conditions of employment

A challenging position with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of € 2395 to a maximum of € 3061 for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (scale P)

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 can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time;
  • 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.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere, with students and staff from over 100 countries around the world.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 15th consecutive time.


Wageningen University & Research

The mission of Wageningen University & Research 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, 6,000 employees, and 12,000 students, Wageningen University & Research 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.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at thespecial career site.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.
We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 651552


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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