PhD Position in Photoperiodic Plant Responses

Wageningen University

PhD Position in Photoperiodic Plant Responses

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Are you that enthusiastic researcher that likes to work on the physiology of plants grown under fully controlled conditions?

Together with a consortium of an inter-disciplinary team of researchers and companies, we are starting a large research programme of 17 PhDs/Postdocs entitled ‘Sky High: Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production’.

Vertical farming is a novel technology where plants are grown on many stacked layers with LED light. It is a secure and sustainable route to provide cities with fresh food. This program targets a revolution in the production of fresh vegetables. The ambition is a secure and sustainable vegetable supply: no pesticides, no nutrient emission, only 2-4 litres water per kg produce, at least twentyfold less land use, lower food mileage, less waste and lower energy use per kg produce compared to greenhouses. These vegetables have a greatly improved quality (taste, aroma, appearance, shelf life, nutritional value, safety) compared to conventionally produced vegetables. The Sky High programme will develop concepts for design and control of vertical farms that meet all mentioned targets on sustainability, yield, and quality, based on a fundamental understanding of the different components of vertical farming.

To realise these targets a fundamental understanding of the different components of vertical farming is needed. The efficiency of light and energy use is strongly affected by the photoperiod and the duration of the diel (24 hour; diurnal and nocturnal) cycle. The aim off the here announced PhD project is to study the response (physiology, growth, development) of lettuce plants to different photoperiods in interaction with total daily light integral and light intensity when the total cycle is 24 hours. Furthermore, the possibilities for deviations in duration of total diel cycle will be studied, which includes studies of the circadian clock of plants.

The chair group Horticulture & Product Physiology

The chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology conducts high impact research and educates students providing the scientific basis required to answer questions that are of utmost importance for sustainable crop production and product quality in horticulture.

The research focus is on how physiological processes in crops, plants and plant organs interact with the abiotic environment and how this affects crop production and product quality. Questions arising from horticultural practice are translated into fundamental research topics, aiming to explain mechanisms. The research and education contributes to sustainably feeding the World with healthy high-quality products.

The chair group is an international team consisting of 14 permanent staff members, about 25 PhD candidates and postdocs and a number of guest researchers. Each year about 40 MSc students conduct their thesis study (a 6-month research) at our group. We organize and participate in a variety of courses for BSc and MSc students to transfer knowledge on horticulture (pre- and post harvest), environmental physiology and product quality.
More info about the chair group can be found at www.hpp.wur.nl

We ask

We are seeking a PhD candidate with an MSc degree in Plant Sciences, Plant Biology or a related discipline. We are looking for result-driven team player with creative ideas, excellent communication skills as well as good proficiency in English (both oral and written). This position requires an excellent English language proficiency  (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

  • You have a MSc degree in plant sciences Plant Sciences, Plant Biology or a related discipline
  • You have experience in experimental and environmental plant physiology; a proven ability to develop experimental methodology related to environmental plant physiology is expected as well as the ability to think in physiological and molecular concepts.
  • You are a team player who can also work independently
  • You have an interest in (co-)supervising (under) graduate students

We offer

You will receive a funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team. We offer a temporary contract for a period of 1 year with extension of 3 years after successful evaluation. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreement (scale P). This is based on a full working week of 38 hours.

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere, with students and staff from over 100 countries around the world.

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 15th consecutive time.

More information

For more information about this function you can contact Prof. dr Leo Marcelis, e-mail: Leo.Marcelis@wur.nl or or dr Ep Heuvelink, Ep.Heuvelink@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact vacaturemeldingen.psg@wur.nl .

Do you want to apply?

This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission.
This vacancy is open until 23 August 2020.

Equal opportunities employer

We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.

We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Coming from abroad

Wageningen is a centre for research and entrepreneurship. 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. It is a historic university town of about 36,000 residents in the central Netherlands. The academic community hails from more than 100 countries, giving the town a lively, international feel. Our highly qualified team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for you and your family.

The WUR International Community page contains practical information about what we do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen.

We are

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.
With approximately 30 locations, 6.500 employees, and 12.000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.
Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research. More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.

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