PhD in Precision Fermentation

PhD in Precision Fermentation

Published Deadline Location
23 May yesterday Wageningen

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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 in Precision Fermentation, with a focus on Process Development and Intensification.

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.

Precision Fermentation is an emerging technology where animal derived products are produced using bioreactors and microorganisms instead of livestock. Despite significant advances in the field, several key technical obstacles remain to be addressed before this technology is viable at a commercial scale. One key aspect is the development of an intensified process to increase yields and reduce costs to improve the current economical balance. Additionally, alternative production strategies need to be developed to reduce energy consumption and to introduce sustainable fermentation substrates to make this technology a viable alternative.

What will you do?
As a PhD student you will be responsible for screening and characterization divers host microorganisms, developing and optimizing fermentation protocols, designing expression strategies and assessing expression levels of different protein products and developing a scalable intensified process at a pilot/bench scale.

Your duties and responsibilities include:
  • design genetic strategies in different host organisms for the expression of protein products;
  • perform small and bench scale culture in flasks and bioreactors;
  • media formulation and screening of fermentation substrates for protein production;
  • development of a scalable intensified process for the production of animal proteins;
  • use of computational tools for process design and optimization;
  • data collection, analysis, reporting, and presentation of experimental data.


Wageningen University & Research


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 MSc degree in biotechnology, bioprocess engineering, biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, cell biology, food science or another relevant field;
  • significant hands-on expertise with microbial cultures (preferably yeast and/or filamentous fungi);
  • experience with commonly used genetic engineering tools, such as CRISPR-Cas, Golden Gate cloning, 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 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.

Because we expect you to work and live in the Netherlands 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. 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.


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.

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


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1524865-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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