PhD candidate in Plant Molecular Biology

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: 27 Feb 2019

Faculty of Science – Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
Publication date
30 January 2019
Level of education
Master's degree
Salary indication
€2,325 to €2,972 gross per month
Closing date
27 February 2019
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

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:

  • Cell & Systems Biology
  • Neurosciences
  • Microbiology
  • Green Life Sciences
  • The theme Green Life Sciences consists of 5 research groups: Plant Physiology, Molecular Plant Pathology, Developmental Genetics, Plant Cell Biology and Plant Hormone Biology. The research group Plant Physiology investigates the molecular and physiological basis of plant signaling cascades in response to biotic stress. In this context we are seeking for a PhD student for a project funded by the EU (part of an ERC grant) to study the molecular mechanism of volatile perception in plants.

    Project description

    Plant leaves can emit large amounts of volatiles into the air. When attacked by insects, the composition of these blends changes markedly. It is well known that these changes affect not only the behavior of insects interacting with the plant but also the metabolism of the plant itself as well as its neighbors. How plants perceive these volatiles and subsequently generate a functional response is not known. We have identified mutants in the model species Arabidopsis which have lost their ability to respond to a specific volatile compound. By genetic mapping of these mutants and through transcriptomics and proteomics approaches we want to find out which genes are responsible for the perception and the downstream responses of volatile compounds in plants.

    You will be part of a team that aims to elucidate the mechanism of volatile perception in plants. The team will develop new proteomics based tools and transcriptomic approaches to identify molecular players of volatile perception in plants. Techniques involved are: transcriptome analyses, protein affinity assays, plant transformation including CRISPR/Cas9-technology, GC-MS analyses and several bioassays with plant pathogens to identify and functionally analyse genes of interest.


    You should have a MSc in Plant Molecular Biology and preferentially have experience in working with DNA, RNA, proteins and plant transformation. Affinity with specialized metabolites is appreciated, but not essential. You should have excellent communication skills and you are able to work both independently and in a team. We expect from you that you become passionately engaged in your research and that you are highly motivated to pursue a scientific career.

    Further information

    For further information about the position please contact:


    The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of four years (18 months plus a further 30 months after a positive evaluation) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,325 in the first year to €2,972 in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD candidates. This is excl. 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end of year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities  is applicable.

    Job application

    The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

    Due to limitations in recruitment budget we will only consider candidates that are currently in Europe. Please do not respond if you are not in this continent.

    Are you interested? Applications may only be submitted by using the link below.

    Your application must include:

    • a CV (including contact details of two academic referees);
    • a letter of motivation.

    Please combine these documents in one single attachment and also mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience. To enable us to process your application immediately, please quote the vacancy number 19-066 and the position you are applying for.

    The closing date is 27 February 2019. #LI-DNP

    No agencies please

    Published by  University of Amsterdam

    View or Apply

    Similar Positions