PhD student in Plant - Microbe symbiosis

PhD student in Plant - Microbe symbiosis

Published Deadline Location
18 Jun 31 Jul Leiden

Job description

The Faculty of Science / the Institute for Biology is looking for a :

PhD student in Plant – Microbe symbiosis (cycad – cyanobacteria)

Vacancy number: 14971

Key responsibilities
  • Develop innovative and interdisciplinary research to decipher the evolutionary mechanisms underlying specialized metabolism in symbiotic cyanobacteria and its associated phytobiome.
  • Explore evolutionary hypotheses posed by our group, specifically in Cyanobacteria and associated microbiome living on cycad coralloid roots.
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  • Participate in collaborative and international research teams to perform both scientific research, conservation biology and teaching in multi-scale omics, including but not limited to the Hortus Botanicus and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, in Leiden.
  • Reflect about the role of Natural Products in Society, and efficiently communicate to the public key emerging issues related to this research and how they can impact society, in collaboration with the Hortus Botanicus and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, in Leiden.

Selection Criteria
  • Previous training and experience in Bioinformatics or equivalent (BSc or MSc)
  • Ability to design and develop bioinformatics pipelines de novo, and adopt and execute available pipelines using metagenomics and metabolomics data.
  • General genetic and biochemical understanding of natural products biosynthesis, and strong interest and understanding of evolutionary microbiology.
  • Experimental ability to perform microbiological cultures, plant-based experiments, and process samples for genomics and metabolomics analyses.
  • Big data analysis abilities and/or willingness to explore emerging technologies.
  • Ability to communicate results orally and in written to specialized audiences, including teaching and collaborative work.
  • Previous experience and/or interest in Plant – Microbe symbiosis.
  • Previous experience and/or interest on Science Communication & Society.

Research at our faculty
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2300 {see} staff and almost 5000 {see} students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.
For more information, see and

The Institute for Biology
The research within the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) aims to work on the science base of biodiversity and health, which is reflected in our leading principle Harnessing Biodiversity for Health. We perform innovative curiosity-driven research to answer fundamental questions, and solutions-driven research to help solving major societal challenges. The latter include protecting nature’s biodiversity, creating sustainable biotechnology and agriculture and increasing good health. Our research focuses on four Research Themes: Bioactive Molecules, Host-Microbe Interactions, Development & Disease and Evolution & Biodiversity. Located in a thriving scientific environment with our Faculty of Sciences, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Leiden Bioscience Park, IBL offers an exciting, internationally oriented and inclusive place to work and study.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time 1 year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2.770,- to € 3.539,- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to Prof. Francisco (Paco) Barona Gómez ( If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Christina Kamerman (

Applications for this vacancy can be submitted via the blue button of our online system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:
  • Detailed CV (long version)
  • Letter of expression of scientific background and interests

Only applications received before 1st of August, 2024 can be considered.


Leiden University


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14971



Rapenburg 70, 2311EZ, Leiden

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).