Assistant professor of Biology

Wageningen University


Assistant professor of Biology

Published on
January 8, 2024
Location Wageningen
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Your job

Are you a computational scientist eager to build your own group? Are you ready to deploy the tools and methods of systems biology to understand mechanisms underlying basic cellular processes, evolution, and interactions among microbes and between microbes and their environment (including the human host? Are you ready for a career in Academia and to be part of our Tenure Track programme?

We are looking for a new colleague to complement our data analysis and data and model integration group and to contribute to the teaching activity at the Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology (SSB) at Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

At the Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology we see opportunities for research in the areas of microbial metabolism and its regulation, microbe-microbe interaction, microbial-host interactions and systems health applications for both humans and animal. We believe methods for omics data generation at the population and at the single cell level need to be complemented with mechanistic modelling, AI and deep learning approaches for knowledge extraction to arrive at a systems level description.

Your research activities should intersect with bioinformatics and/or multilevel/multiscale modelling with a strong emphasis on the theoretical development and application of machine learning, neural networks, deep learning and/or AI technologies to address complex biological problems

What are you going to do?
Within our Laboratory:

  • you will lead your own group;
  • you will collaborate with a team of systems and synthetic biologists to develop integrated experimental-computational research with a focus on AI and deep learning;
  • you will contribute to the management of the SSB Laboratory;
  • you will contribute to the education activities of the chair group, including the opportunity to develop courses, supervise thesis students, to lecture in English taught MSc and BSc level courses such as Introduction to Systems and Synthetic Biology, Advanced Systems Biology, Molecular Systems Biology, iBiosystems or Bioinformation technology.
You will be supported when applying for new projects to attract funding.

The Tenure Track position comes with the competitive package of 1 fully funded PhD position to start your group and pursue your own research lines. The chair group has its own computer cluster, and it is staffed with a data steward and a scientific programmer to support both routine and scientific activities. In addition, you will have access to FAIR data management infrastructures for omics datasets through FAIR data platform the UNLOCK infrastructure.

Tenure Trackis a career path for scientists who pursue to excel in education and research. We seek to attract scientific talent and to stimulate and support their development.


Your qualities


  • you are a researcher with a PhD degree and an internationally proven scientific record in the application and development of AI tools (such as neural networks and deep learning) to address systems biology problems and a deep understanding of mathematical and statistical modelling of biological systems. In addition, you have strong affinity with advanced statistical and data analysis approaches;
  • you are willing to contribute to the development of approaches for the analysis and integration of large data sets working in collaboration with the systems data analysis group and modelers at SSB;
  • you want to combine fundamental research aimed at method development and development of applications of biotechnological, medical, and environmental interest;
  • you have a University Teaching Qualification or are willing to work towards obtaining such a qualification. Experience in teaching activities and education innovation will be valued.
Of course, you are fluent in English at C1 level.


We offer you

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will be offered a fixed-term, 7 year contract which, upon positive evaluation based on criteria elaborated in the University's Tenure Track policy, can lead to a permanent employment contract as professor. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 4332,- and € 6737,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 11 - 12).

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 19th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and informationabout helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Edoardo Saccenti, assistant professor, by e-mail:

For more information about the procedure, please contact Joes van Meurs, HR Business Partner, by e-mail: .

Do you want to apply?
If you are up to the challenge, we would like to receive your application which can be submitted using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

Your application must include the following information

  1. a detailed CV highlighting your education and work experience, including a list of publications. Please indicates months not just years of your experience;
  2. a motivation letter where you describe your research vision and the challenges that you would like to address when joining the SSB (max 2 A4 pages);
  3. a brief narrative (max 1 A4 page) with max three examples of your collaborative research and the role you played in it;
  4. the names and full contact of three academic references who can provide letters of recommendation
Document 2, 3 and 4 should be combined in the above specified order and submitted as a single PDF file.  
This vacancy will be listed up to and including February 5th 2024. We expect a first round interview of selected candidates to take place in the second half of February. A follow up interview will be organized with selected candidates in the second half of March

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.


We are

The laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology (SSB)
The mission of the SSB group is to contribute to the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying basic cellular processes, evolution and interactions among cells, organisms, and their environment and to translate this knowledge into applications of biotechnological, medical and environmental interest. The approach is characterized by combining expertise on specific biological systems with extensive expertise in methods for data generation, integration, and modelling. A key strength is the combination of fundamental computational expertise in systems biology with a laboratory that allows extending findings and testing hypothesis in a synthetic biology setting. The group further applies this approach to a broad range of systems through collaboration with experts. These systems encompass viruses, bacteria, fungus, microalgae, bacterial communities, host-microbe and host-microbiome interactions, and animals and humans. Additional information on the laboratory can be found at and at Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 students and over 150,000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.
Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Apply now