Postdoctoral position available in the De Smet Lab

Updated: 1 day ago

About the Lab

The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB) is a world-leading plant science institute located at the heart of a renowned plant biotechnology campus in Ghent, Belgium. Its mission is to unravel plant biological processes and translate this knowledge into value for society. The Functional Phosphoproteomics group (, led by Prof. Ive De Smet at PSB, tackles early temperature signalling in plants, such as the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the crop plants wheat and soybean. To unravel this, we focus on dynamic changes in protein phosphorylation status, since temporary and reversible phosphorylation of proteins is essential in regulating various processes. Through a phosphoproteomics approach, the lab has identified potential key regulators of thermomorphogenesis in A. thaliana and wheat, which we started to functionally characterize (see, for example, Zhu et al 2021 Nature Communications 12:4804 and Vu et al 2021 Nature Communications 12:2842).

Job description

The De Smet lab is looking to recruit 1 highly-motivated postdoctoral researcher, who will be involved in elucidating the underlying signalling mechanisms that play a role in regulating plant growth under a changing climate, especially high temperature. The postdoctoral research will leverage Arabidopsis, wheat and soybean data to identify key temperature signaling components. The successful candidate will use a multidisciplinary approach, combining biochemistry (phosphoproteomics), cell biology (confocal microscopy), computational biology (data analyses and modelling), and plant genetics (functional characterization of key regulators). Overall, the project will contribute to our understanding of how an environmental signal (temperature) is perceived by the plant and converted into developmental and physiological responses.



  • You have a PhD in (plant) molecular biology with max. 4 years of postdoc experience
  • You are an expert in molecular biology and/or plant biotechnology
  • You are an expert in computational biology
  • You have guided (master/PhD) students and/or technicians
  • You can take initiative, function well in a team, and have a hands-on mentality, perseverance and critical mindset
  • You are proficient in the use of the English language for both oral and written communication
  • You are eligible for Marie Curie and/or EMBO postdoctoral fellowship applications

Desirable but not required 

  • Experience with proteomics, interactomics and/or confocal microscopy
  • Experience with a crop, ideally wheat or soybean, will be to your benefit
  • A publication record in peer-reviewed journals in the field of ‘animal and plant sciences’ is an asset

Key personal characteristics 

  • You are proactive in establishing contacts with experts to solve problems and to communicate with other members of the different team(s).
  • You have a strong sense of responsibility, maintaining a clean working environment.
  • You can accurately compile and document experiments (using an ELN)
  • You have a no-nonsense can-do attitude.
  • You build team interactions quickly. You feel great in a fun team and add to that spirit.
  • You communicate clearly, candidly, and respectfully.

We offer
  • A 1+2-year postdoc position
  • A multidisciplinary, highly stimulating and supporting international research environment at VIB and Ghent University (UGent)
  • Access to state-of-the-art tools and infrastructure, including core facilities for proteomics
  • Various training opportunities are organized at VIB to broaden your expertise and skills ( ).
  • Tentative start date: 1 August 2024

How to apply? 

Submit your application through the VIB application tool. The call will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified. Make sure that your application includes:

  • A detailed CV
  • A one-page summary of past research activities (e.g. in PhD/PostDoc projects)
  • A one-page letter of intent describing your motivation for this position, how your research experiences and interests are aligned with those of the lab and research topic and future goals
  • The names and contact details of 3 referees

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