2 PhD students Biotechnology and Safety

Published Deadline Location
5 Oct 29 Oct Wageningen

2 PhD students Biotechnology and Safety

Job description

Functie omschrijving:
Native genes from a crop species can be introduced through classical breeding or through novel breeding techniques. Novel breeding techniques have several decisive advantages over classical breeding, especially in crops with slow breeding progress. However, with the introduction of new technology, questions about safety arise and thus must be addressed.
In this project two PhD students will work together to study novel plant breeding techniques from a biotechnology and from a modelling of food safety angle.

PhD student Biotechnology:
You will design a new research approach to repair or re-shuffle inactive late blight resistance genes in potato using CRISPR-Cas technology to produce late blight resistant varieties. The resulting recombination events will be used for food safety research by the second PhD student, and for potential off-target effects elsewhere in the genome by yourselves. Bioinformatics pipelines will be developed to process whole genome sequencing data and will serve as a basis for novel safety assessment protocols. The candidate will work in the department of Plant Breeding of Wageningen University & Research, and there will be collaboration with the Biometris department( and the RIKILT Institute for Food Safety).

PhD student Modelling food safety:
You will design new statistical safety assessment methodology, as an alternative to current regulatory risk assessment procedures. You will apply multivariate statistical modelling for the assessment of the safety of novel potato varieties based on transcriptomics and metabolomics data. The methodology will be based on comparing broad-spectrum -omics measurements for the potato variety to be tested with measurements for classically bred varieties using new and optimized statistical methods. The candidate will work in the Biometris department of Wageningen University & Research, and there will be collaboration with the department of Plant Breeding and the RIKILT Institute for Food Safety.


PhD student Biotechnology:
You are a result-driven team player with strong interests in (plant) genomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology and/or plant-microbe interactions. You have an Msc in the field of life sciences and a good proficiency in English (both oral and written). You are motivated to teach and supervise BSc and MSc students.

PhD student Modelling food safety:
You have an MSc in statistics, mathematics, quantitative biology or any other direction with a strong quantitative component. You have good programming skills. You like to work in the area between biology and (multivariate) statistics. You can work in multi-disciplinary teams and have good oral and written communication skills.

Conditions of employment

You will be working in a team with PhD students, technicians and expert scientists from Plant Breeding, Biometris and RIKILT. As a PhD student you will be a member of the graduate school Experimental Plant Sciences. You will start preferably on December 1st 2017. A later start date can be discussed. A fulltime employment (38 hours a week) as PhD researcher at Wageningen University and Research is foreseen for 4 years with a go/no go after one year. The gross salary will increase from € 2225,- in the first year up to € 2840,- per month in the fourth year (based on fulltime employment).


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University and Research delivers a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale. Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.
Plant Breeding is a merger of the Laboratory of Plant Breeding of Wageningen University and the Business Unit Biodiversity and Breeding of Wageningen Research with about 200 employees. The group conducts fundamental, strategic and applied research on breeding and genetics of various crop plant species. We employ traditional methods and develop new insights and approaches for using latest developments and genomics and bioinforamtics tools to make breeding of outstanding varieties faster and more efficient.
Biometris is one of the largest groups of quantitative scientists in North-Western Europe. We develop statistical and mathematical methods for the quantification of biological processes and processes in our living environment. These methods are applied and validated in practice and are often available as software packages. We cover a wide range of application areas, from gene to ecosystem and from product to production chain. Our goal is to bring quantitative methods to life!


  • PhD positions
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University Graduate
  • 323013


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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