Microbe-drought/insect-plant interactions

Stellenanangebot Doktorand/PhD in Wageningen | Niederlande


Location:  Wageningen
Hours:  38

Do you want to unravel how the below-ground microbiome alleviates drought stress and insect herbivory in plants? And would you like to work as a PhD candidate in an international, multidisciplinary team? 

We are looking for a talented PhD candidate in the field of plant physiology and plant-microbe-insect interactions, who is interested in molecular mechanisms underlying drought tolerance and insect resistance in cruciferous plants. You will study plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria for their stress-protective properties against drought and herbivorous insects with the aim to identify the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways underlying these interactions. You will focus on transcriptome analysis and the discovery of plant genes and processes that are crucial for plants to maximize profitable functions from their root microbiome and help the plant to perform better under environmental stresses.
You will be working in at the Laboratory of Plant Physiology and the Laboratory of Entomology, while being closely connected to a multidisciplinary team of PhD students, post-docs and principal investigators at 5 academic institutes.
This research project addresses fundamental research to provide a basis for innovative developments in sustainable crop protection based on plant capacities to defend themselves against stresses.
Function Requirements
  • An enthusiastic, creative and proactive candidate who would like to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • MSc degree in Biology, Plant Sciences, Plant Biotechnology or another relevant field.
  • Affinity with plant abiotic and biotic stress.
  • Experience with molecular techniques.
  • Experience with plant-microbe interactions, abiotic stress and/or plant-insect interactions.
  • Motivated to perform large greenhouse experiments and molecular assays.
  • You are curiosity driven and passionate about fundamental research in the context of sustainable crop production.
  • Excellent communication skills and 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.
  • Our PhD students are encouraged to supervise MSc thesis students when such opportunities arise and you will be involved in teaching activities.
Working conditions
We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years. Gross salary per month € 2325,- in the first year rising to € 2972,-  per month in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment. The candidate will be based at the Laboratory of Entomology in Wageningen. 

In addition, we offer:
  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • 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;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • 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;
  • use the sports facilities on campus
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
For more information about this function, please contact Professor Marcel Dicke, marcel.dicke(at) or Professor Christa Testerink, christa.testerink(at)
For more information about the procedure, please contact vacaturemeldingen.psg(at)

General information about the Laboratory of Entomology can be found on
General information about the Laboratory of Plant Physiology can be found on

This vacancy is open up to and including March 15, 2020.
You can only apply online through:

The first job interviews will take place in the week of March 23, 2020.
The mission of Wageningen University & Research 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, 6,000 employees, and 12,000 students, Wageningen University & Research 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.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at the special career site.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.


öffentliche StelleVollzeitbefristet

Bewerbungsschluss: 15.03.2020

Wageningen University & Research