ERC-funded PhD candidate in Molecular Plant Immunity

ERC-funded PhD candidate in Molecular Plant Immunity

Published Deadline Location
14 Feb 31 Mar Leiden

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Job description

The Faculty of Science / the Institute for Biology is looking for a:

ERC-funded PhD candidate in Molecular Plant Immunity

Vacancy number: 23-101

Key responsibilities
Plant diseases occur everywhere and are one of the major threats to our agriculture. Understanding how disease resistance works is one of the long-term missions in the newly established group led by Dr. Ding (, and also the key to protecting plant health.

The PhD project is funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant titled R-ELEVATION, which will focus on investigating gene regulatory mechanisms involved in immunity activated by intracellular nucleotide-binding leucine-rich-repeat (NB-LRR) receptors (NLRs).

Your key responsibilities will include:

·      Plan and conduct research activities;

·      Write manuscripts for publication and thesis;

·      Present research at meetings, etc.;

·      Co-supervise graduate students;

·      Follow university guidelines, scientific ethics, and integrity.


Leiden University


Selection Criteria

We seek a PhD candidate with:

·      A master’s degree in biology or a related area;

·      A strong curiosity in biology with an interest in plant sciences;

·      Profound theoretical knowledge in and experience with genetics and molecular biology;

·      Basic knowledge of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics;

·      Affinity with using computers and proficient skills with commonly used software;

·      Good organisation habits and time management skills;

·      Good communication and proficient English skills (both written and spoken);

·      Capability and flexibility to work independently as well as a team player;

·      Good habits in maintaining mental health and stress resilience.

Other optional qualities if the candidate has experience in:

o  Bioinformatics (e.g. coding with R, Python)

o  Next-generation sequencing (e.g. Illumina sequencing)

o  Protein biochemistry (e.g. protein purification)

o  Cell biology (e.g. confocal microscope)

o  Tissue culture

o  Research in plant-pathogen interactions

Conditions of employment

Terms and conditions 
We offer a full-time 1-year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities, and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary ranges from € 2.541 to € 3.247 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model provides you with some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Research at our faculty
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development is the top priority. Our people are committed to expanding fundamental knowledge by curiosity and looking beyond the borders of their discipline; they aim to benefit science and contribute to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and has almost 2800 staff and over 6000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

For more information, see and

The Institute for Biology
The research within the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) aims to work on the science base of biodiversity and health, which is reflected in our leading principle Harnessing Biodiversity for Health. We perform innovative curiosity-driven research to answer fundamental questions and solutions-driven research to help solve major societal challenges. The latter include protecting nature’s biodiversity, creating sustainable biotechnology and agriculture and increasing good health. Our research focuses on four Research Themes: Bioactive Molecules, Host-Microbe Interactions, Development & Disease and Evolution & Biodiversity. Located in a thriving scientific environment with our Faculty of Sciences, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Leiden Bioscience Park, IBL offers an exciting, internationally oriented, and inclusive place to work and study.  


  • PhD
  • 23-101



Rapenburg 70, 2311 EZ, Leiden

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