PhD student Experimental Evolution

PhD student Experimental Evolution

Published Deadline Location
8 Feb 25 Feb Amsterdam

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Job description

In food, biotechnology and pharmaceutical applications various organisms are used to produce metabolites, proteins or biomass. The organisms used for it are carefully chosen and many strains have been developed by decades of strain improvement. Such improvements are often based on so called laboratory or experimental evolution. In addition to the applied aspect of such evolved strains, their characterization has allowed to unravel many fundamental biological questions on the evolution, physiology and genetics of various organisms.

We have recently developed a technology for experimental evolution that differs from existing systems. Within this project the method will be improved and automated, and a diverse set of organisms will be evolved and characterized in depth. This includes the evolution of food and pharma related microorganisms and eukaryotic cells, including microbial communities and host-phage co-evolution.

Your duties
  • design and carry out experiments with state of the art analysis in the field of molecular microbiology, omics technologies, systems biology and bioinformatics
  • data analysis and interpretation
  • give scientific presentations internally and at scientific meetings
  • writing scientific publications
  • supervising bachelor and master students
  • teaching students


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • degree in MSc, specializing (molecular) microbiology, biotechnology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, bio(physics), systems biology or related
  • knowledge of and experience in working a microbiological or biochemical laboratory
  • affinity with either engineering of devices and/or complex data analysis and interpretation
  • excellent planning, analytical and writing skills
  • good team worker

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • a salary of minimum € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile PhD candidate.
  • a position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year and prolonged to 4 years upon a positive evaluation.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • Opportunities for further professional development (e.g., by taking additional courses, participating in workshops, seminars and conferences)
  • Free access to the universities sports facilities and discount for courses and shows at the universities cultural centre


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

About the department, institute, project
This project will be carried out in the A-Life Institute at the VU Amsterdam. The two groups involved are the Systems Biology Lab which studies the molecular networks inside cells that give rise to cell behavior and fitness, in isolation and in interaction with other cells and their environment. At the Molecular Microbiology group state-of-the-art genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques are used to study cellular processes.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact.

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3696


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1108, 1081HZ, Amsterdam

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