PhD position Ecology and Evolution of Microbial Infectious Ecosystems (1.0 FTE)

PhD position Ecology and Evolution of Microbial Infectious Ecosystems (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
9 Mar 20 Apr Groningen

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Job description

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic quantitative microbiologist for a fully funded 4-year PhD position. The PhD candidate for this project will be jointly supervised by Prof. Rampal Etienne (Theoretical and Evolutionary Community Ecology) and Dr. Marjon de Vos (Experimental Microbial Ecology and Evolution), and Prof. Marnix Medema (Wageningen University, Bioinformatics).

PhD candidates will receive excellent training through cutting-edge research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on generic research, transferable skills and teaching. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within 4 years.

Project summary
The PhD position is part of the ENW-XL consortium project ‘Urinary Tract Infections Revisited: Microbial Eco-evolutionary Drivers and Regulators’ (UTIR). In this project a multi-disciplinary team of clinical microbiologists, infectious disease specialists, bioinformaticians, modelers, chemists, and eco-evolutionary microbiologists will combine in vivo measurements with in vitro reductionist bottom-up experiments to identify the evolutionary strategies of microbes, and investigate how and why an established urinary microbiome goes “off balance” into a disease state that leads to recurrent urinary tract infections.

The work will consist of a combination of microbial growth experiments, theoretical modeling, molecular biology, and bioinformatic sequence and data analysis.

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 37,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

The Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES)
GELIFES, the largest institute of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) fills a special niche in the life sciences by covering and integrating mechanistic, evolutionary and ecological approaches, aiming to understand adaptation on all levels of biological organisation. Researchers pursue fundamental questions while collaborating with partners from nature conservation, industry, medicine and other realms of society. Our research fields include ecology, conservation biology, evolutionary biology, behavioural biology, chronobiology, genetics and genomics, neurobiology, physiology and theoretical modelling, using a wide array of research tools. Research levels range from molecular and organismal to populations and ecosystems, performed under laboratory, semi-natural and field conditions.


University of Groningen


Specific requirements: MSc with specialization in microbiology, ecology or evolution, theoretical modelling, quantitative biology, skills in data management and analysis, and statistics.

In addition to specific qualifications outlined above, the candidate has a good command of English (oral and written), is a team-worker, is highly motivated to work within the field of microbial ecology and evolution at the interface with medicine within an interdisciplinary consortium, and possess excellent communication skills and has the ability to write scientific papers and deliver presentations.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.

Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty.

The preferred starting date is 1 September 2023.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • V23.0163


University of Groningen

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Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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