PhD student position in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Biology and Hyphal Networks

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you looking for a PhD student position at the intersection between fungal biology, fluorescence microscopy and technology development? The

Kiers group

(A-LIFE, VU Amsterdam) together with the

Kokkoris group

(A-LIFE, VU Amsterdam) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands are accepting applications for a 4 years fully-funded PhD student position. Ideal applicants must have basic microscopy, data analysis and programming skills (specifically R and Python) and

must be

experienced with

in-vitroand in-vivo

culturing of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Applicants who do not possess these skillset will not be considered. The PhD position will start in October 2022. Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form one of the most widespread terrestrial symbiosis on earth with the roots of host plants, known broadly as the mycorrhizal symbiosis. Multiple AMF connect with multiple plants simultaneously forming large underground common mycorrhizal networks where carbon and nutrients are exchanged. By integrating high-throughput imaging and video, nanoprobe-tracking and ecological manipulations, we will achieve a quantitative and predictive understanding of mycorrhizal trade – a globally ubiquitous partnership fundamental to agricultural and natural ecosystems.

Your duties

  • you optimize nanoprobe based tracking systems to better understand nutrient exchange
  • you will use high-throughput imaging techniques to analyze the architecture and connectivity of mycorrhizal networks
  • you perform in-vitro and in-vivo experiments to progress our understanding of mycorrhizal trade
  • you communicate your research in local and international conferences
  • you are actively involved in the research
  • you publish the results in peer-reviewed journals and a PhD dissertation

  • you have a MSc or equivalent degree in Microbiology, Molecular biology  or a related field, with a strong interest in microscopy and data analysis
  • imaging analysis and programming software knowledge, in particular R studio and Python
  • experience with in-vitroandin-vivo culturing of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi is necessary
  • excellent ability to communicate in both written and spoken English

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2.443 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,122 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment, 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus, child daycare facilities available on campus, contribution to commuting expenses

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department, institute, project
The sub-department A-LIFE / Ecology and Evolution ( ) offers a stimulating international research environment with world-class academic reputation, and excellent state-of-the-art facilities. Research in the department covers a wide range of fundamental and applied research topics, including stress ecology, species interactions, evolutionary adaptation, symbiotic interactions, climate change and ecosystem functioning. Our strength lies in the ability to integrate studies of adaptive changes across the entire range of biological organizational levels. The sub-department has a strong commitment to equity and diversity.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until


. The job interviews are planned for Monday 20 June 2022, when possible please take them into account when applying for the position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. Vasilis Kokkoris
Position: Co-supervisor

No agencies

View or Apply

Similar Positions