Interdisciplinary PhD positions in host-microbe biology (2.0 FTE)

Interdisciplinary PhD positions in host-microbe biology (2.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
31 Jan 28 Feb Groningen

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We are looking for two talented and enthusiastic biologists, biochemists, physicists or mathematicians who are interested in applying quantitative and system-level approaches towards understanding host-microbe interactions. The PhD candidates for this project will be working at t

Job description

We are looking for two talented and enthusiastic biologists, biochemists, physicists or mathematicians who are interested in applying quantitative and system-level approaches towards understanding host-microbe interactions. The PhD candidates for this project will be working at the Intestinal Microbiology group led by Dr. Jonas Cremer and which is part of the GBB Department of Molecular Immunology and Microbiology. Gut bacteria, their growth and their interactions within the human host are studied via a highly interdisciplinary approach that includes methods for state-of-the-art anaerobic cultivation, omics techniques, and extensive computer simulations. Recent papers include: Arnoldini et al. (2018); DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2018.1448741, Cremer et al. (2017); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619598114, and Cremer et al. (2016); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1601306113.

Successful applicants will follow quantitative considerations to study the involved (micro)biological processes occurring in the intestine.
The PhD projects will focus on:
• the interactions between primary (carbon consuming) fermenters and cross-feeding strains present in the intestine
• the dynamical aspects of gut microbiota growth and its daily variation depending on diet intake and gut activity
• the swimming physiology of different gut bacteria.

PhD candidates will receive excellent training through cutting-edge research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on generic research, transferable skills and teaching. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within 4 years. PhD candidates are expected to contribute 10% of their overall workload to teaching.


University of Groningen


The ideal candidates are interested in doing both, wet-lab experiments and modelling approaches, share an enthusiasm to investigate biology by numbers, and can provide the following qualifications:

• a MSc degree with specialization in molecular (micro)biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, physics, mathematics, or computer sciences is required
• excellent command of the English language
• ability to work independently and in a team
• experience with simulations/coding or wet-lab experiments is an advantage.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE) excluding a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of the year bonus.

Each position offered is for four years. Each successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School Science and Engineering of the Faculty.

The preferred starting date is prior to 1 September 2019.

You may apply for this position until 28 February 23:59h / before 1 March 2019 Dutch local time by means of the online application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications for the position should include (as a single PDF file):
• cover letter with background and motivation to apply for this position
• curriculum vitae, including details of bachelor and master degrees, labwork and/or computational/modelling experience and a publication list, if applicable
• detailed (1-2 pages) description of previous research experience, such as the bachelor/master research projects
• contact details of 2 academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position.

Interviews are scheduled to take place in March 2019 in Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


Faculty of Science and Engineering

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 31,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

The Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), one of the larger institutes of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), provides an excellent environment for top-notch research in the field of biomolecular sciences. Twelve vibrant research groups with strong roots in biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, cell biology, computational biology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, and systems biology are organized in two focal areas: ‘Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Processes’ and ‘Physiology and Systems Biology’.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 219044-45


University of Groningen

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Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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