Postdoc position on chemical and microbiological hazards of mild-processed plant-based ingredients

Postdoc position on chemical and microbiological hazards of mild-processed plant-based ingredients

Published Deadline Location
8 Sep 1 Oct Wageningen

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Job description

Do you want to use your passion to study the possible toxicological and microbiological hazards of environmentally friendly-produced, plant-based food ingredients as a Post Doc researcher? Are you motivated to work in a team of scientists and international companies in an ambitious Dutch research program? We have a Post Doc position on chemical and microbiological hazards of mild-processed plant-based ingredients within a combined project of the Toxicology and Food Microbiology groups of Wageningen University. Are you the Post Doctoral researcher we are looking for?

You will explore (novel) toxicological hazards produced by bacteria, fungi and/or plants as well as microbiological hazards that might be present in plant-based food ingredients that have only been mildly processed. For this you will develop novel hazard assessment and quantitative risk ranking approaches without the use of animal data. You will work in the Dutch Sustainable Plant Fractionation project with 4 other young scientists of Wageningen University in close collaboration with industrial partners
This position will be embedded in the Toxicology group where you will work for about 85% of your time, while about 15% of your research will focus on microbiological hazards in the Food Microbiological group.
You are expected to assess the toxicological and microbiological hazards based on a literature review study. In addition, you will you will use computational toxicology and microbiology approaches (i.e. in silico models including physiologically based kinetic (PBK) modeling) to extrapolate observed in vitro effects to potential human risks. For this you might need to perform in vitro studies to obtain kinetic parameters, for quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation additional in vitro toxicity studies might be needed. You will be involved in supervision of MSc thesis students within the Toxicology group.

About the project:
The large TKI-Agrifood funded project aims to develop new and safe mild-processing technology for plant-based food ingredients. Importantly it will investigate potential beneficial as well as adverse effects of mild-processing derived food ingredients on human health. The consortium in this large project consists of four private companies, NIZO Food Research, HAS Den Bosch and several chair groups of Wageningen University.
The research is embedded within the chair Toxicology. You will be supervised by Dr. ir. Hans Bouwmeester, and Prof. dr ir. Ivonne Rietjens.


Wageningen University & Research


  • a successfully completed PhD degree in toxicology, molecular life sciences or food microbiology with proven affinity for toxicological and microbiological risk assessment;
  • You are highly driven and curious. “Why?” is a question you often ask, both inside and outside of science;
  • You can proof excellent writing skills and have the ability to perform a (systematic) review study and quantitative food safety risks assessment;
  • In addition, you have experience in cell culturing under sterile conditions, molecular biology techniques, and solid hands-on experience as well as a strong interest in computational approaches;
  • You also have excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €3226,- and €5090,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, which will then be extended to a contract for the duration of the project after succesful evaluation. Of course, we would be happy to discuss this with you if you have any questions.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.
Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.
Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • P1263562-9


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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