PhD candidate VIDI 'Flowering time genes branching out'

PhD candidate VIDI 'Flowering time genes branching out'

Published Deadline Location
13 Jan 15 Feb Wageningen

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Job description

An enthusiastic and highly motivated PhD student to work on the link between flowering time, plant architecture and yield in temperate cereals, barley and wheat. In temperate cereals yield is determined by a delegate balance between the moment of flowering, seed weight and seed and side branch (tiller) number. These yield components are controlled by architecture genes that regulate tiller- and seed outgrowth, and the flowering time genes which control the timing of this growth. All these traits are seemingly unconnected, but recent evidence indicates that the same genes and regulatory modules control both the flowering time and the outgrowth of seeds and tillers, but importantly, contributing in an opposite manner to yield. Such negative correlations between yield components make improvement of yield difficult. An optimal balance between flowering time, and seed and tiller numbers is thus essential to maximize yield. This requires knowledge-based breeding strategies, aiming to increase yield through manipulation of flowering time, and different plant architectural traits.

Your role in the team is to unravel the molecular and genetic bases that underlie the trade-off between key yield components in temperate cereals, barley and wheat. You will investigate how flowering time, and seed and tiller numbers are connected at the molecular level. In addition, you will study the effect of natural variation in key regulators on the molecular networks. For this you will use a scale of known molecular techniques and develop state-of-the art omics tools to study protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions of key yield controlling transcriptional regulators.


Wageningen University & Research


The ideal candidate should have:
  • M.Sc. degree in either plant molecular biology, genetics or relate fields.
  • Interest and passion for studying molecular networks that control plant development.
  • A teamplayer.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills (communication, presentation).
  • Fluent in written and spoken English is essential. One of the official requirements for a PhD is proven English knowledge. For more information about the required level please take a look at:
  • Knowledge of state-of the art molecular techniques.
  • Strong background in bioinformatics, molecular biology and/or genetics.
  • Interest in developing and implementing new technologies.
  • Experience with cereal crops such as barley and wheat is a plus.

Conditions of employment

We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for one year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on an extension for an additional three years. Gross salary per month €2.395 in the first year rising to €3.061,- per month in the fourth year for a fulltime appointment. The candidate will be based at the chair group Molecular Biology of Wageningen University and part of the graduate school EPS. In addition, an appointment of 0.8 FTE is negotiable.

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 an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.


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.

The Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the Wageningen University is part of the newly formed cluster Plant Developmental Biology (PDB). The research of PDB focuses on plant development potentially in response to the biotic and abiotic environment. PDB brings together a group of highly motivated and international scientist with a broad spectrum of expertise that study plant development at various levels ranging from molecular interactions and signaling, cellular dynamics, stem cell development till organ formation and the response of plants to their environment. The team carries out fundamental research with potential impact on societal challenges and knowledge implementation in crops.


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 685658


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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