PhD Position in Biophysics of Photosynthesis

VU University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science

Location: AMSTERDAM

FTE:  1

Job description

Plants have evolved elaborate feedback mechanisms to protect themselves from excess sunlight, which involve rearrangement and structural dynamics of light-harvesting proteins in the photosynthetic membrane. The candidate will employ advanced time-resolved infrared and fluorescence spectroscopy to assess in vivo protein structural dynamics in photosynthetic membranes, and thereby solve an important puzzle in our understanding of photoprotection in photosynthesis. This project is part of the recent consortium grant Nanoscale Regulators of Photosynthesis, with research partners at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University and Research, Leiden University and Groningen University.

Your duties

  • Establish the experimental conditions to perform in vivo infrared spectroscopy on photosynthetic membranes
  • Operate a state-of-the-art frequency-comb quantum cascade laser (QCL) infrared spectrometer
  • design and construct an attenuated total internal reflection (ATR) infrared sample cell for in vivo infrared spectroscopy
  • integrate a PAM fluorometer in the QCL infrared setup
  • perform in vivo time-resolved fluorescence experiments
  • prepare photosynthetic membrane samples for experimentation
  • Write and defend a doctoral thesis on the basis of your own experimental work 

Requirements

  • MSc degree in Physics, Physical Chemistry or Plant Biology specializing in physical methods
  • knowledge of and experience with optical spectroscopy
  • interest in working with complex biological systems
  • excellent command of English

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts €2,395 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,061 (PhD) per month during the fourth year. The job profile: Promovendus, is based on the university job ranking system.

The initial employment contract is for 1 year and will be expended for an additional three years upon positive evaluation. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), discount on (and occasionally exclusive access to) theater performances and sport facilities
  • contribution to commuting expenses, discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)

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 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 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.

Diversity
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 project
The project will be conducted in the Biophysics of Photosynthesis group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The group offers a very multidisciplinary environment in which biologists, chemists and physicists work in close collaboration and state-of-the-art facilities for molecular biology, biochemistry, plant physiology and spectroscopy.

Application

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until October 31, 2021. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: John Kennis
Position: Professor of Biophysics
E-mail: j.t.m.kennis@vu.nl
Telephone: +31205987212

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