Assistant Professor in Artificial Intelligence in Big Data Plant & Microbial Biology (Tenure Track 1.0 FTE)

Assistant Professor in Artificial Intelligence in Big Data Plant & Microbial Biology (Tenure Track 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
18 May 3 Jul Utrecht

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Employ your expertise in Artificial Intelligence to resolve complex biological research questions at the interface of computing and plant & microbial biology!

Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic, communicative, and highly motivated Tenure Track Assistant Professor with experience in Computational Biology, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), who is interested in resolving big data-driven fundamental research questions in the Green Life Sciences.

As a Tenure Track researcher, you will be part of the Plant-Microbe Interactions (PMI) team of the Department of Biology but work in close collaboration with scientists in the AI Technology for Life cluster at the Department of Information and Computing Science. The PMI team is focused on unravelling the dynamics and complexity of root-microbiome interactions and of gene regulatory networks that steer the plant immune system. Besides strengthening the PMI team, you are encouraged to join forces with other life scientists at Utrecht Science Park to build your independent research group.

As an Assistant Professor, you actively do research, teaching, and supervision. We are looking for candidates with proven excellence in research and teaching, who can develop an independent research line at the interface of Plant-Microbe Interactions and AI Technology for Life. At the same time you are able to connect to, complement, or extend other research themes in the Department of Biology and beyond.

The Green Life Sciences research field is increasingly becoming data-driven. Technological developments have resulted in experimental methods producing vast amounts of data (e.g. next-generation sequencing or other omics techniques, high-throughput phenotyping). Also, the analysis, interpretation, and integration of different types of big data is becoming more and more complex. To address current and future questions in Green Life Sciences research, it is crucial to invest in novel and powerful computational data science approaches and AI. This enables our researchers to address increasingly complex data challenges and address novel, next-level biological research questions. Translation of the developed AI technology and resulting discoveries to the application will contribute to solving real-world problems. Computational biology and bioinformatics are already well developed within the Faculty of Science, but would highly benefit from strong investments in researching, developing and implementing algorithmic, data science, and AI methodology, provided by synergistic collaboration with Information and Computing Sciences in the AI Technology for Life cluster of the Faculty of Science.

To further build our team, we find it important that you can think critically and creatively and have strongly developed social skills. You have the capacity and interest to develop leadership skills for a future staff position in the Plant-Microbe Interactions group in the framework of the AI Technology for Life cluster at Utrecht Science Park.

If you are excited to play a connecting role at the interface of AI and the Green Life Sciences we invite you to apply.


Utrecht University


You have a track record in developing AI/Data Science technology and its application in modern life sciences research, which is evident from your publications with impact in international conferences and journals. Your experience allows you to be at ease with diverse types of experimental data: molecular (e.g. DNA/RNA/protein sequences), organismal (e.g. phenotypes of whole plants), and/or other experimental data types. We are seeking a driven, creative and collaborative candidate with the following qualifications:

  • a PhD in Computer Science, AI, Data Science or a relevant life sciences discipline with a focus on computer science related areas;
  • you have experience, talent and interest in academic teaching;
  • experience with big data-driven (plant) biological research;
  • a network in your science field and experience with outreach, demonstrated experience and success in acquiring external funding;
  • experience with publishing impactful science;
  • excellent English proficiency (speaking and writing) and willingness to learn Dutch.

Conditions of employment

  • a full-time Tenure Track position for five years (1.0 FTE) that will be subject to a mid-term evaluation after approximately 2.5 years and an end-term evaluation. If evaluations are positive after five years, the position becomes permanent;
  • a full-time gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranging between €3,821 and €5,230 per month (scale 11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • benefits including an 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.


The Department of Biology consists of 12 research divisions, which are organized within two institutes: the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity (IBB) and the Institute of Environmental Biology (IEB). The Department of Biology coordinates the teaching of the Bachelor’s programme in Biology, as well as Master’s programmes and PhD courses that are offered through the Graduate School of Life Sciences. Each Institute promotes the maintenance of a high-quality and interactive research environment.
You will be embedded within the Plant-Microbe Interactions group of the department of Biology but will work in close collaboration with the AI Technology for Life cluster. This newly established cluster is a collaboration between the life sciences institutes and the department of Information and Computing Sciences of the Faculty of Science. The Department of Biology will ensure mentoring for you. We consider diversity in research, cultural background, and personalities important in our international research group that is embedded in the Institute of Environmental Biology. You can expect to work in an inclusive, collaborative, and motivating environment with a very creative and international team of PhD students, Postdocs, Tenured staff, and Research Assistants. You will be able to work with scientists who have access to world-class research facilities and the state-of-the-art Utrecht Bioinformatics Center, and you will benefit from our extensive national/international collaborations in academia and industry.

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 challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

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 mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts Professors, Researchers, and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €3821—€5230 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1190167



Heidelberglaan 8, 3584CS, Utrecht

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