UvA PhD Position in Plant biotechnology, Biochemistry

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

The Netherlands

Faculty of Science – Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences invites applications for PhD position in “Genetic Insect Resistance for Sustainable Crop Protection”, at University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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General Info

Position: PhD Position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: 2,434 to 3,111 Euro/Month

Workplace:
Faculty of Science
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
University of Amsterdam (UvA)
Amsterdam,

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Qualification Details

  • A MSc degree (or equivalent) in molecular biology or biochemistry focused on Plant sciences, with a research thesis in that direction.
  • Trained in molecular biology experimental work
  • Affinity for metabolomics and programming skills for data analysis is highly appreciated
  • Experience or willingness to work with plants and insects is key.
  • The candidate should have affinity towards implementation of findings and is willing to work in collaborations between academic and industry partners.
  • The PhD candidate should have excellent communication skills, like teamwork and needs to be highly motivated for conducting scientific research.
  • You are able to show curiosity, drive and enthusiasm and display the willingness to learn and participate in scientific discussion.
  • You are fluent in English, both written and spoken, as evidenced in MSc theses.

Responsibilities/Job Description

You are expected to:

  • perform high quality research in the field of plant biotechnology;
  • work independently but in close collaboration with other members of the team, including the industrial partner;
  • to be active and eager in research and constructive in collaborations;
  • to take part in scientific and social activities with other members of the research departments and the faculty;
  • actively contribute to the teaching of the new Science for Design Bachelor program and relevant programs.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: 21-774
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications.

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews after 18 October 2021.

About the Project

The use of non-renewable resources is causing global-scale environmental problems, which threaten the stability of our planet earth. The safe operating space to maintain liveable conditions on earth has been formulated in the planetary boundaries, of which several are already overstepped. Many of these problems are caused by human interruptions of biogeochemical cycles of the biogenic elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur leading to the creation of waste.

Zero Waste is a part of the university-wide theme of Sustainable Prosperity presented in the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) 2021-2026 strategic plan. With Zero Waste, the UvA Faculty of Science (FNWI) aims to contribute to alleviating these environmental problems resulting from the current linear use of resources by (re-)designing processes, materials, and products to keep materials in closed cycles while meeting our needs.

Zero Waste will strongly connect to education at the Faculty of Science, especially to the new BSc programme Science and Design that focusses on four interdisciplinary themes: 1) high-tech designer materials, 2) renewable energy and resources, 3) engineering life and health, and 4) information science, modelling and simulation. Six Science & Design Doctorates will form the start of the Zero Waste research theme. They will work together in physical proximity and intensive interaction to strengthen the common aspects of the projects, while researching a broad range of topics. Physically, research and demonstration activities and part of the research of the theme can be carried out in SustainaLab, the new Matrix ONE building at Amsterdam Science Park.

Insects and the viruses they carry can cause enormous losses in crop production systems world-wide, threatening food security. Traditionally, insects are combatted with heavy pesticides such as neonicotinoids. Approximately 3.5 million tons of pesticides are applied globally each year. These persistent chemicals however have severely negative impacts on ecosystems and pollute soils and groundwater. Hence many such chemicals are now being banned, leaving crop plants unprotected. Our approach towards a solution is a biotechnological one. Together with a leading vegetable breeding company we aim to re-arm crop plants by developing genetic insect resistant food crops. Exploiting the natural insect resistance still present in wild ancestors of our current day crops, we will add value by reducing crop (food) loss and contribute to a decreased reliance on chemical insecticides. The fundamental knowledge generated in this project will be converted into biochemical and molecular tools for directed breeding of a high-performance variety with added insect resistance. For this project we will explore insect resistance in wild ancestor species and profile the chemical composition in different species. We will apply a machine learning approach to select relevant features which will be validated using a variety of plant biotech approaches, including technologies like CRISPR-Cas, VIGS and advanced metabolomics.

About the Department

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the largest institutes in the Faculty of Science that performs research on four different themes: Microbiology, Neurobiology, Cell and Systems biology and Green Life Sciences (GLS) supported by several centers of technical expertise.  The research in the GLS departments aims at understanding, at a molecular level, of how plants deal with biotic and abiotic constraints, how they interact with insects, microbes and other organisms and how plants diversified in evolution. The position advertised here will be embedded in the department of Plant Physiology whose mission is to elucidate signal transduction pathways employed in biotic interactions, focusing on the role of metabolites. With an omics toolbox we aim to identify metabolites, genes and proteins in plants and insects that are important for their interactions. Much of our work has direct application in breeding for resilient crop plants.

About the Employer: University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Note or Other details

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of four years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and Master students.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,434 to €3,111 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

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Contact details

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

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