Academic Jobs


PhD position in Plant Development, Molecular Biology – Utrecht University, Netherlands

The Netherlands, Utrecht University (UU)

We are looking for an enthusiastic, communicative, and highly motivated colleague with experience in molecular plant sciences to do a PhD in our group, at Department of Biology, Plant Ecophysiology, Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: ,
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2,443 to 3,122 Euro/Month

Faculty of Science
Department of Biology, Plant Ecophysiology
Utrecht University (UU)
Utrecht , The Netherlands

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Qualification Details

We are looking for a driven, creative and collaborative candidate with a keen interest to learn and the motivation to work in an ambitious and international research environment. Essential requirements for the position are:

  • a MSc in the area of molecular plant biology;
  • expertise in molecular and genetics techniques;
  • excellent command of both written and spoken English;
  • the ability to think critically and creatively;
  • you are organized and efficient.

We would like you to have:

  • experience in Arabidopsis research;
  • basic bioinformatic skills (e.g. basics of R);
  • experience in root development, stress signalling;
  • affiliation with plant-environment interactions.

Responsibilities/Job Description

You will be working on an NWO funded project that seeks to map the site of ethylene action (META), in protecting the Arabidopsis root meristem from hypoxic injury. This project builds on our previous work, characterizing the positive effect of ethylene on root meristem hypoxia tolerance. We now seek to identify the specific cell types and related mechanisms that are essential for this process. To do so, META will use a combination of physiological, genetics and computational modelling approaches working closely with the Plant Systems Physiology group at Radboud University. You will be directly supervised by Dr. Rashmi Sasidharan and will collaborate intensively with Prof. J. XuDr. V. Mironova and a PhD student also working on META and focusing more on the computational modeling approaches.

Your project will involve generating cell-type specific tools including conditional mutants and various reporter lines. Our goal is to identify root cell-types essential for ethylene action. We aim to identify mechanisms underlying collaborative action of cell-types towards meristem protection during hypoxia stress and the potential involvement of molecules such as ROS and auxin. The molecular genetic tools will also be used towards microscopy-based high-resolution growth analyses. This will be the basis for building 3D computer models for visualizing and testing cell type specific effects. Your project will require extensive molecular cloning, genetics, and high-resolution microscopy techniques. In addition, you will be tasked with developing and executing experiments, data analysis and presentation and writing manuscripts. You will also get the opportunity to gain teaching experience.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
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Documents Required

  • your letter of motivation clearly outlining why this position interests you, your motivation for joining our team and what makes you a suitable candidate;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward the link to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

About the Department

You will be working with Rashmi Sasidharan’s research team, embedded within the Plant Ecophysiology group. We are a very diverse and international research group embedded within the Institute of Environmental Biology. You can expect to work in an inclusive, collaborative and motivating environment with a very creative, ambitious and international team of PhD students, post-docs, tenured staff and research assistants. You will have access to world class research facilities and will benefit from our extensive national/international ongoing collaborations (including those with industry), facilitating network building, essential to future jobs.

About the Employer: Utrecht University (UU)

Note or Other details

  • an exciting project that will investigate a relatively unexplored but highly relevant research area;
  • a full-time position for four years;
  • a full-time gross salary starting at €2,443 in year 1 and increasing to €3,122 in year 4 (scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here  

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Contact details

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact:

Dr. Rashmi Sasidharan, via

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Then please send an email to

Advertisement Details: PhD position in Plant Development and Molecular Biology (1.0 FTE)

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