Postdoctoral Researcher in Plant-Thrips-Virus Interactions

Postdoctoral Researcher in Plant-Thrips-Virus Interactions

Published Deadline Location
14 Nov 5 Dec Amsterdam

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Job description

The Plant Physiology research group of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, one of the eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science (FNWI) investigates the molecular and physiological basis of plant signaling cascades in response to biotic stress, with a focus on the role of plant metabolites. With an omics toolbox we identify not only metabolites but also genes and proteins in plants and insects that are important for the interactions between the two organisms.

Our research is done by a multidisciplinary team of international researchers, PhD candidates and technicians with expertise in analytical chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology. We often collaborate with other departments in the institute and with external partners, such as other universities and the (plant-breeding) industry.

We study how insects deploy proteinaceous effectors to modulate plant defenses. Understanding the mechanism of such effectors and identification of the plant proteins with which they interact is important for developing more resistant plants, in collaboration with the plant-breeding industry.

Are you a skilled researcher in Plant Biology and intrigued by how pest insects, such as thrips, modulate plant defenses? And how their pathogens, such as microsporidia, and the plant viruses that they vector manipulate their insect hosts? We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher for an ambitious project studying the effectorome of thrips and the in-planta interactome.

This project is part of a larger consortium at the UvA, thus requiring team spirit and collaborative skills. You will be embedded in an interdisciplinary team with three other researchers who aim to provide breeding solutions for devastating plant diseases by studying the underpinning mechanisms at the molecular level, using state-of-the-art technologies.

What are you going to do?
In this project we aim to determine the effect of microsporidia and viruses on the effectorome of thrips and on the plant proteins with which relevant effectors interact. We seek to determine whether manipulation of these plant targets alters the success of thrips.

You are expected:
  • to work with plants, insects and viruses and to perform bio-assays;
  • to analyze RNAseq and proteomics data;
  • to apply and implement advanced biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology;
  • to use molecular tools to manipulate genes and gene expression in planta;
  • to report and present your work progress on a regular basis to our industrial partners;
  • to actively participate in scientific discussions in our research field.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You have/are:
  • a recent PhD degree in Plant biology with one or more publications as first author in a peer-reviewed

scientific journal;
  • preferentially skilled in plant biochemistry and big data (statistical) analyses including bioinformatics;
  • hands-on experience in and affinity with molecular biology;
  • an enthusiasm and willingness to become multidisciplinary with a keen eye on Plant-Insect and/or

Plant-virus interactions;
  • an ambitious person that is a team player with an open character, who can take ownership of the research project;
  • an appreciation to contribute to valorization efforts and to foster collaborations with academic and

industry partners;

Our selection will be based on your scientific track record, your vision on this research project, and your ambition and skills.

Conditions of employment

A temporary contract for 30,4 - 38 hours a week, preferably starting on 1 February 2024 for the duration of 12 months. An extension of 24 months subsequently follows if we assess your performance positive.
The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €3.226 to €5.090 gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is located at the vibrant Amsterdam Science Park. SILS is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Science (FNWI). With around 240 employees, SILS carries out internationally high-quality life science research and provides education within various university programs. Research is also carried out in close cooperation with the medical, biotech, chemical, flavor, food & agricultural, and high-tech industries, and revolves around 4 main themes, Cell & Systems biology, Neurosciences, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 5 December 2023.

You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:
  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications and grades for your MSc thesis projects;
  • contact details of two academic referees.

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews in December 2023.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines)


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • 12350


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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