PhD Position in Plant Stress Resilience

Wageningen University

PhD student in Plant stress resilience

Published on
November 15, 2022

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Are you interested in the molecular mechanisms that steer plant growth and survival in stressful environments? Would you like to work together on providing the knowledge base for understanding resilience of plants to abiotic stress? Then we are looking for you to join our team!

Abiotic stress impacts plant growth and development worldwide in natural and agricultural settings. At the Laboratory of Plant Physiology we investigate how plants respond to their environment.
We are looking for two members to strengthen the developmental plasticity team, a PhD student (this vacancy) and a post-doc (see other vacancy). Within the Vici project “Plant Stress Resilience; Think global, act local” we investigate novel pathways that are activated by salinity and drought to steer root architecture and timing of flowering. Now, we are ready to capitalize on our earlier findings and will steer developmental plasticity in the model plant Arabidopsis to understand how flexibility contributes to growth and survival. Together with two post-docs, one other PhD student and a technician, you will investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying root and shoot response to salinity and water deficit. These include local stress sensing in roots, leading to production and redistribution of plant hormones and other metabolites. We will use genome editing in an approach to modulate seedling establishment, root development and timing of flowering under stressful conditions, without impacting growth under optimal conditions. Your role in the project will be to investigate the role of local pathways that affect plant hormone production under stress and their contribution to plasticity and resilience. Next to the scientific project you contribute to teaching by supervising BSc and MSc students working on the projects and by assisting practical courses.

We ask

  • a successfully completed MSc degree in Plant Science, Molecular life sciences or a similar MSc degree.
  • experience in plant physiology and molecular biology, and hands-on experience in biochemical and bioinformatics approaches are an advantage
  • above all you are a team player who enjoys collaborating within and outside your research team.
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level .Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate ofProficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

We offer

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

  • 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 receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

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 17th 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. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. 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 Communitypage 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 information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. dr. Christa Testerink, Project leader, See also for more information about the team and for more information on the Laboratory of plant Physiology.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including Dec 12, 2022. We will schedule the first job interviews in the first weeks of January.

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. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. 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 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, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 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!

Apply now