PhD position: Modelling the evolution of antibiotic resistance in spatially structured environments

PhD position: Modelling the evolution of antibiotic resistance in spatially structured environments

Published Deadline Location
30 Jan 11 Mar Wageningen

Job description

Do you want to pursue a PhD in mathematical or computational biology? Are you interested in the effects of spatial structure on the evolution of bacteria? And do you have a strong drive to collaborate with experimental biologists? Then we are looking for you!

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections pose a growing global health problem. To understand and potentially predict the evolutionary trajectories towards antibiotic resistance, we need to know which resistant mutants can thrive. Currently, most knowledge of bacterial fitness effects of resistance mutations comes from laboratory experiments in mixed liquid cultures, whereas in reality bacteria typically live in spatially structured environments, such as biofilms. The fitness of resistant mutants then depends on local conditions, which vary, among others, due to changes in local drug concentrations caused by nearby bacteria that degrade or export the drug.

A fully funded PhD position (four years when full-time employed) is available in our group for a theoretical biologist to work as part of an interdisciplinary project studying how spatial environmental structure affects the evolution of antibiotic resistance (full project proposal available upon request). You will develop spatially explicit models of bacterial growth, competition, and evolution under antibiotic pressure. Throughout the project, you will collaborate closely with a postdoc who will perform competition and evolution experiments in the lab. You will integrate experimental results in your models and produce model predictions that can be tested in the lab.

Your duties and responsibilities will include:
  • developing and analysing mathematical and computational models;
  • engaging in model-experiment feedback;
  • communicating your results by delivering talks at (inter)national conferences and writing scientific manuscripts;
  • participating in undergraduate teaching and/or co-supervising thesis projects of BSc- and MSc-students.

You will work here
Your research will be embedded within the Laboratory of Genetics and will be supervised by Dr. Hilje Doekes and Prof. Arjan de Visser. You will join the graduate school for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation, which offers PhD training and other activities.

Specifications

Wageningen University & Research

Requirements

We are looking for someone with a fascination for microbial evolution and a quantitative mindset. Close interaction between modelling and experiments is key to this project. The ideal candidate therefore has excellent communication skills and will enjoy the interdisciplinary collaboration.

We also ask that you possess:
  • an MSc degree in computational biology, evolutionary biology, applied mathematics, or another relevant field;
  • some experience with computer programming;
  • affinity with the development of mathematical and/or individual-based models and their application to experimental results;

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.

A PhD is a learning trajectory. If you do not yet have a track-record showing all the requirements but do have a strong motivation to acquire the skills necessary to make this project a success, we would like to encourage you to apply.

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 Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (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 for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling. Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.

Employer

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.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

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 dr. Hilje Doekes, Assistant Professor, by e-mail: hilje.doekes@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate Recruiter, by email: vacaturemeldingen.psg@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 11 March 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews in the week of 18 March 2024.

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
  • P1421202-1

Employer

Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer

Location

Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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Application procedure

For more information about this position, please contact dr. Hilje Doekes, Assistant Professor, by e-mail: hilje.doekes@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate Recruiter, by email: vacaturemeldingen.psg@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 11 March 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews in the week of 18 March 2024.

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 dr. Hilje Doekes, Assistant Professor, by e-mail: hilje.doekes@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate Recruiter, by email: vacaturemeldingen.psg@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 11 March 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews in the week of 18 March 2024.

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 11 Mar 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).