PhD position on meta'omic analysis of sponge microbiota

PhD position on meta'omic analysis of sponge microbiota

Published Deadline Location
1 Jun 8 Jul Wageningen

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Job description

Marine microbiomes represent an untapped resource of microorganisms and natural bioactive compounds that constitute a source of candidates for the development of pharmaceuticals and crop protection agents. In this project, you will implement innovative metagenomic and metatranscriptomic strategies to isolate microbial strains from marine microbiomes, profile their specialized metabolic capabilities to identify promising new biosynthetic pathways, and identify their interactions with each other and their host using gene expression data. You will work closely with PhD students and postdocs appointed within the same consortium around Europe, which will make it possible to unravel the chemical products and ecological roles of the pathways you identify. In the end, the research is projected to lead to fundamental new insights into microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions, and may provide leads for the development of novel pharmaceuticals and crop/aquaculture protection solutions.


Wageningen University & Research


We are looking for an ambitious, enthusiastic team player and result-driven scientist with:
  • a solid academic record (MSc) in bioinformatics, biology or biotechnology;
  • experience in computational omics analysis and proficiency in programming (in, e.g., Python);
  • experience with basic molecular biology laboratory techniques (pipetting etc.);
  • basic to intermediate statistical and mathematical skills;
  • demonstrable expertise in working with next-generation sequencing data;
  • affinity with microbiology, metabolism and/or biosynthetic pathways;
  • very good level of oral and written English. You are required to show us a certification of English skills. For more information about the required level please take a look at:;
  • furthermore you meet all the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 flexible 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, we offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years. Gross salary per month € 2395,- in the first year rising to € 3061,- per month in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment. The candidate will be based at the chair groups Bioinformatics and Microbiology in Wageningen.

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 16th 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.

Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. 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. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University and 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, 6.500 employees and 12.500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

Wageningen UR has a global reputation for its ground-breaking research and innovative education in the fields of food and health, sustainable agrosystems, the rural environment, and societal development - all of which make an essential contribution to the quality of life, i.e. the supply of safe and healthy food and drink, on the one hand, and the chance to live, work and play in a balanced ecosystem with a large variety of plants and animals on the other. Within Wageningen UR, the Plant Sciences Group (PSG) brings together science education and scientific, strategic and applied research in the fields of biology, of plants in relation to their environment, of plant-related organisms and of plant production. AFSG research and education is focussed on translating basic science on plants, animals and the environment into societal improvements, for example through development of biotechnological processes.
This project will be carried out at the Bioinformatics Group within PSG and the Laboratory of Microbiology at AFSG. The Bioinformatics Group is a rapidly expanding research group that focuses on fundamental and applied bioinformatics research in the green life sciences. In particular, they develop and apply novel computational methods for the analysis and integration of -omics data. The group has a strong track record in genome analysis, algorithm development and tool construction. There are many national and international collaborations with researchers studying plant and microbe metabolism, biotechnology and genomics. Research at the Laboratory of Microbiology is characterized by a focus on innovative cultivation- and genomics-driven approaches, and applications in food, pharmaceutical and environmental biotechnology. Aquatic Microbiology is one of the newer focus points and entails interactions between eukaryotes and prokaryotes with a specific focus on sponge, fish and microalgae as hosts.

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
  • University graduate
  • 739023


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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