Plant phenomics scientist (0.8 FTE)

Plant phenomics scientist (0.8 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
3 Mar 18 Apr Utrecht

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Join us as a plant phenomics scientist and help us lift plant science to the next level with the newly created NPEC opportunities!

Job description

Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research are currently establishing the Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Centre (NPEC). This national roadmap facility for large research infrastructure will be equipped with robotics for automated plant handling and image analysis. State-of-the-art high-resolution sensor and imaging technology will be used to unravel the genetic basis of plant/crop phenotypic responses to the biotic and abiotic environment. NPEC will be able to comprehensively capture a wide range of plant root and shoot phenotyping through an automated conveyor system incorporating RGB, hyperspectral, photosynthetic fluorescence, fluorophore fluorescence and 3D laser scanner imaging, in addition to a robotic root imager. This will allow for high-throughput screening of plant genotypes in response to different biotic (e.g. pathogens, microbiome) and abiotic (e.g., drought, light, flooding, salinity) stimuli, and link phenotype to genotype to uncover how plants respond and adapt to environmental challenges. NPEC will thus also be highly instrumental in speed breeding of our future crops that should be climate resilient and produced in a more sustainable manner with less input of agrochemicals.

At the Utrecht location, we are looking for a plant phenomics scientist who can play a central role in the operation of NPEC phenotyping equipment, in co-design of NPEC research, in training of NPEC scientists, and in implementation of new developments in the field of plant phenotyping. 

  • You will work in close collaboration with a technical and operational support team that is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the NPEC facility as a whole.
  • You will play a central role in the co-design of the research and research grant applications of the NPEC users from both academia and industry.
  • You will work in close collaboration with an artificial intelligence/computational image analysis scientist and a NPEC data steward.
  • You will be responsible for trainingNPEC users.
  • You will stay up-to-date on developments in the field of plant phenotyping.
  • You will be involved in the strategy for NPEC upgrades and technology improvement.
  • You will be part of the Department of Biology of the faculty of Science at Utrecht University. 


Utrecht University


  • You have a PhD-degree and a track record in the field of plant phenotyping.
  • You are able to acquire a detailed understanding of the operational use and possibilities of the high-end NPEC phenotyping equipment.
  • You have the vision and ambition to build a supportive environment and infrastructure in which NPEC users can maximize the scientific output of the facility.
  • You have affinity and enthusiasm for training and coaching young scientists in the field of plant phenomics.

Conditions of employment

  • a position (0.8 FTE), initially for two years, with a possible extension;
  • a gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – that ranges between €2,846 and €5,230 (scale 10-11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao)) per month for a full-time employment;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.


NPEC-Utrecht is part of the Utrecht University plant sciences cluster, which is embedded in the Institute of Environmental Biology of the Department of Biology. We host a dynamic research community of over 75 scientists, with PhD candidates, Postdocs and visiting scientists from 17 countries. Our mission is to discover conceptually novel biological mechanisms of how plants interact with and adapt to their biotic and abiotic environment. Our mission statement “Understanding nature for future innovations” reflects our vision that knowledge generated by fundamental research on unravelling what nature has already invented, will form an essential knowledge basis for urgent societal problems, such as future food security and the transition towards more sustainable horticultural and agricultural systems.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences. and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts researchers, professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences
  • 30—32 hours per week
  • €2846—€5230 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1185572



Domplein 29, 3512 JE, Utrecht

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