PhD on the functionality of milk fat globule membrane ingredients: influence by composition and processed-induced variation

PhD on the functionality of milk fat globule membrane ingredients: influence by composition and processed-induced variation

Published Deadline Location
11 Jul 31 Jul Wageningen

Job description

The Food Quality and Design group of Wageningen University and Research (FQD, WUR) offers a PhD position on milk fat globule membrane functionality to a highly motivated candidate with a strong interest in food science.

One important difference between human milk and infant formula is the fat droplet interface composition and structure, which can greatly impact digestibility. To make digestion more comparable, a better understanding of the relationship between interface composition and functionality is needed, which can be used to improve the structure of infant formula. One option to stabilize the fat droplet interface is using milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), which has been introduced as a promising natural ingredient. However, the composition of MFGM ingredients can greatly vary depending on isolation methods. The extent of this variability and its effect on MFGM functionality remains unknown.

The main aim of this project is, therefore, to understand the impact of processing-induced variations in MFGM composition on their functionalities, particularly in terms of physicochemical stability and digestibility of the emulsions. You will work in close connection with a second PhD candidate in the Food Chemistry group, who uses these insights to develop plant-based alternatives.

What will you do?
As a PhD candidate, you will contribute to:
  • production and characterisation of MFGM extracts;
  • characterization of their emulsification properties;
  • digestibility of these emulsions;
  • performing comparisons on the systems with MFGM and plant-based alternatives.

Your duties and responsibilities include:
  • taking charge of the PhD project and performing the proposed research;
  • developing and executing analysis on state-of-the-art chemical analytical equipment;
  • publishing your results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presenting them at (inter)national scientific conferences and/or symposia;
  • supervising and guiding BSc and MSc students during their thesis;
  • collaborating with the other team members and partners from the larger consortium;
  • fulfilling the requirements of the PhD program, including completing a training and supervision plan to develop your personal skills as a researcher further.

You will work here
The research is embedded within the chair of Food Quality and Design, and you will become a member of a dynamic and international group that also includes a team of dairy scientists. During your PhD, you will use state-of-the-art analytics, such as e.g., liquid (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), static or semi-dynamic digestion models (based on INFOGEST protocol). You will be part of the Dairy Chemistry and Physics team, which is led by dr. Etske Bijl. During your PhD, your will also be co-supervised by dr. Marie Hennebelle who is leading the Lipid Chemistry team.

Specifications

Wageningen University & Research

Requirements

You are/have:
  • a successfully completed MSc degree in food science or related areas;
  • knowledge of dairy science and technology proven by successfully completed courses linked to this topic in the BSc or MSc program;
  • experience in conducting research, including design of experiments, data collection, work in a chemistry laboratory, data analysis;
  • you have strong scientific writing (evidence from your thesis and/or publications) and communication skills;
  • excellent English for communication and writing scientific publications.

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.

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.

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.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact dr. Etske Bijl by e-mail: etske.bijl@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact our recruitment department by e-mail: recruitment@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 the 31 July 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews in August 2024.

Additional information form
For this position, you must fill in a mandatory form which will allow us to have a comprehensive view of your qualifications and better assess your fit for it. You can access the form using THIS LINK.

Your prompt response will ensure that your application continues to move forward in the evaluation process. We assure you that the information provided will be kept confidential and used solely for this application process.

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
  • Food
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • P1563193-1

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. Etske Bijl by e-mail: etske.bijl@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact our recruitment department by e-mail: recruitment@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 the 31 July 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews in August 2024.

Additional information form
For this position, you must fill in a mandatory form which will allow us to have a comprehensive view of your qualifications and better assess your fit for it. You can access the form using THIS LINK.

Your prompt response will ensure that your application continues to move forward in the evaluation process. We assure you that the information provided will be kept confidential and used solely for this application process.

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. Etske Bijl by e-mail: etske.bijl@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure, please contact our recruitment department by e-mail: recruitment@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 the 31 July 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews in August 2024.

Additional information form
For this position, you must fill in a mandatory form which will allow us to have a comprehensive view of your qualifications and better assess your fit for it. You can access the form using THIS LINK.

Your prompt response will ensure that your application continues to move forward in the evaluation process. We assure you that the information provided will be kept confidential and used solely for this application process.

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 31 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).