PhD in Cellular Agriculture

PhD in Cellular Agriculture

Published Deadline Location
25 Jan 29 Feb Wageningen

Job description

Are you passionate about the future of sustainable food production and eager to contribute to the fast-developing field of cellular agriculture? We are seeking a mission-driven individual to join our team as a PhD candidate, with a focus on media formulation for cultivated meat and seafood.

With the world’s population predicted to surpass nine billion by 2050, substantial challenges emerge regarding food production and security. Traditional practices such as livestock farming and fishing are deemed unsustainable due to their resource-intensive nature and adverse environmental effects. Therefore, there is an ever-growing need for innovative and sustainable food production technologies. Cultivated meat is an emerging technology where meat and seafood are produced using animal cell culture. Despite significant advances in the field, several key technical obstacles remain to be addressed before this technology is viable at a commercially scale. One such obstacle is the development of animal ingredient-free, cost-effective, and food-grade cell culture media. At BPE we will use our expertise in bioprocess engineering and biobased production to tackle this. We will extract, screen, and characterize compounds derived from other bioprocesses, and evaluate whether they support cell proliferation and differentiation of different cell types (e.g. fat, muscle cells) in different culture conditions (i.e. 2D, 3D, suspension cultures).
As a PhD student you will be responsible for developing and optimizing extraction protocols, and for screening and characterization of compounds that could potentially be used as nutrients in cell culture media. In addition, you will identify compounds that could be used to steer muscle and fat cell differentiation.

Your duties and responsibilities include:
  • cell isolation, 2D and 3D cell culture;
  • preparation characterization of extracts from different organisms (e.g. bacteria, yeast);
  • screening of compounds for cell-specific media formulation;
  • planning and execution of experiments;
  • data collection, analysis, reporting, and presentation of experimental data.

Specifications

Wageningen University & Research

Requirements

You are curious and passionate about cellular agriculture, possess great problem-solving and analytical skills, and are highly motivated to contribute to the development of a safe and secure food system.
You also possess:
  • a successfully completed MSc degree in biotechnology, bioprocess engineering, biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, cell biology, food science or another relevant field;
  • significant hands-on expertise with mammalian cell culture techniques;
  • experience with commonly used laboratory techniques, such as qPCR, immunohistochemistry, HPLC, etc.;
  • strong critical thinking and organizational skills;
  • excellent writing and communication skills;
  • ability to work independently and in a team environment;
  • in-depth knowledge of the field and technology state-of-the-art;
  • experience with bioprocess engineering is a plus;

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • 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 receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- in the fourth year in according to the collective labour agreement Wageningen University (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

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 19th 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.

Employer

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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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.

You will work here
The research is embedded within the chair Bioprocess Engineering, and member of the Cellular Agriculture team, which is led by Prof. Rene Wijffels.

Bioprocess Engineering teaches and develops innovative bio-based processes. We work on a sustainable and healthy future by engineering efficient bioprocesses for high quality products. We study and develop photoautotrophic and heterotrophic production systems for biobased products, as well as high-quality processes for the production of biopharmaceuticals. The group offers expertise in reactor engineering, down-stream processing and metabolic engineering. Our research aims at development of the scientific field as well as application in typical Wageningen themes such as circular processes, food and environmental sciences.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to 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.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Rene Wijffels, chairholder, by e-mail: rene.wijffels@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips, corporate recruiter, by e-mail: rutger.voorrips@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including February 29th, 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews shortly after.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1419048-1

Employer

Wageningen University & Research

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Location

Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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Application procedure

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Rene Wijffels, chairholder, by e-mail: rene.wijffels@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips, corporate recruiter, by e-mail: rutger.voorrips@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including February 29th, 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews shortly after.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Application procedure

Application procedure

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Rene Wijffels, chairholder, by e-mail: rene.wijffels@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips, corporate recruiter, by e-mail: rutger.voorrips@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including February 29th, 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews shortly after.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Make sure to apply no later than 29 Feb 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).