PhD positions in Molecular Microbiology

PhD positions in Molecular Microbiology

Published Deadline Location
20 Feb 15 Apr Groningen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 15 Apr 2024).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

PhD positions in Molecular Microbiology (2.0 FTE)
We are looking for

Job description

We are looking for two highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidates with a strong background in microbiology, bioengineering, bioinformatics or closely related fields to join the Systems Biology of Predatory Bacteria group of Dr Renske van Raaphorst.

The bacterial predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus has an unusual life cycle. When the fast-swimming predator encounters a prey bacterium, it attaches to the prey and enters the periplasm. There, B. bacteriovorus grows into a large filament while digesting the prey content, finally dividing into a variable number of daughter cells, leaving only prey debris behind.

B. bacteriovorus can kill a wide range of Gram-negative bacteria, including E. coli, Salmonella, Vibrio cholerae and Pseudomonas spp., making it especially interesting to find out how it recognizes, invades, kills & digests its prey. In the last years, technical advances have been made by different research groups, making it possible to genetically modify this bacterium and track its growth cycle using time-lapse microscopy. However, though several genes important for prey invasion were identified, most of the B. bacteriovorus predatory cycle remains elusive.

Our group uses systems approaches to identify genes that are essential for B. bacteriovorus predation and growth. We do this using state-of-the-art screening approaches such as transposon-sequencing (tn-seq). The resulting screening libraries will be further investigated using a combination of quantitative fluorescence microscopy and advanced image analysis. As B. bacteriovorus is an atypical bacterium, we often use creative approaches to develop new experimental setups and analysis methods.

The Systems Biology of Predatory Bacteria group is embedded in the Molecular Microbiology unit at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, which provides an inspiring, interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment. The PhD candidates will further receive excellent training through innovative research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on 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.

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 34,000 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. Thirteen vibrant research units 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’.


University of Groningen


The successful applicant has:

• a Master's degree with specialization in microbiology, bioengineering, bioinformatics or related topics (if not graduated yet, please indicate the expected graduation date)
• research experience in biochemistry, microbiology or related topics
• a creative, open mind and good English skills
• excellent interpersonal skills combined with an ability to work efficiently both independently and in a team.

Experience in genetic engineering of bacteria, microscopy or statistics is of advantage.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

We offer you following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the fourth and final year
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% of gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance.

The successful candidates 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 successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.
The conditions of employment:

The planned starting date is August/September 2024, however, there is some flexibility in the starting date.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • V24.0121


University of Groningen

Learn more about this employer


Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

View on Google Maps

Interessant voor jou