Assistant professor Data-analyst plant-microbiome interaction

Assistant professor Data-analyst plant-microbiome interaction

Published Deadline Location
11 Feb 24 Mar Amsterdam

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Job description

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) of the Faculty of Science has a vacancy for an Assistant professor Modeling mechanistic relationships in plant metabolome-microbiome signaling.

The faculty has defined a Research Priority Area Systems Biology (RPA-SB) with a focus on modeling host-microbe interactions in different fields of biology. The current vacancy is part of this RPA-SB. You will interact extensively with the other researchers in this RPA-SB and other plant, metabolomics and microbiome specialists in the Faculty of Science.

The mission of the 'Plant Hormone Biology' group is to understand the chemical communication of plants with other organisms in their environment. We study how plants produce and secrete signalling molecules, particularly underground, and how this affects the behaviour of other organisms in the soil. One of our topics is the discovery of new signalling relationships between plants and micro-organisms for which we use –omics approaches. The analysis of such datasets and the discovery of mechanistic relationships present a huge challenge for which we collaborate with the Biosystems Data Analysis group that develops data analysis and modeling methods for analyzing complex biological data, among others metabolomics and microbiome data, with a focus on data fusion.

Host-microbiome interaction is a field of increasing importance. Micro-organisms, often in interaction with their complex communities, contribute to host fitness and well-being. This is increasingly clear for humans and animals, and also in plants there are more and more indications that microbes and the microbiome play a substantial role in resilience of plants to environmental conditions and thus may play an important role in the quest for sustainable agriculture. We study how the host is affecting the microbiome and vice versa and want to use omics data to pinpoint unknown functional relationships between plants and (beneficial) microbes. You will develop new data analysis and computational tools to discover mechanistic relationships between, for example, transcriptomics, metabolomics and metagenomics data. This will be done in close interaction with biologists in the Plant Hormone Biology group as well as with others in SILS and IBED. Also you will be involved in teaching in this field.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You should:

  • have a PhD and several years of postdoctoral experience in the area of analysis and integration of different omics datasets, preferably metabolomics, transcriptomics as well as metagenomics data;
  • be able to communicate with bioinformatics and data analysis experts as well as (plant and/or microbe) biologists.
  • have a good understanding of state of the art data-analysis and modeling packages such as R, Matlab and COBRA;
  • have a clear affinity with education demonstrated by a University Teaching Qualification (BKO) or enter into a programme leading to such.
  • be fluent in Dutch and English (SILS expects its staff to acquire sufficient fluency in the Dutch language within two years of the appointment).

Within the Faculty of Science, newly appointed Assistant professors , who do not yet have a BKO certificate, follow a didactic training trajectory, which should lead up to completion of a certificate qualifying yourself for academic teaching (basiskwalificatie onderwijs, BKO) within two years.

Affinity with causal relationship analysis, systems biology modeling, plant metabolism and microbiome work are an advantage.

Conditions of employment

The vacancy is for a permanent position. According to standard university policies this implies that you will be offered a permanent contract, after an initial two year probation period during which you should show your competence in science and teaching.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary in the first year will be between €3,637 and €4,978 (scale 11), depending on CV and experience. The Collective Labour Agreement (Cao) of the Dutch Universities is applicable.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is an institute that belongs to the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Its approximately 230 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research, centred on four themes:

1) Cell & Systems Biology

2) Neurosciences

3) Microbiology and

4) Green Life Sciences


  • Professor; Associate professor; Assistant professor; Lecturer
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3637—€4978 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 19-091


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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