We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student to work within the larger project on sustainable plant fractionation. In the larger project several PhD students in different chairgroups at Wageningen work on the development of new approaches to fractionate components from plant materials. As PhD in this project, you will study prevention of enzymatic processes leading to formation of off-flavour and off-colour during plant protein isolation. Working under oxygen-poor (or oxygen-free) conditions will be a focus point.

During the extraction and further processing of plant proteins, enzymes such as lipases, lipoxygenases and poly-phenoloxidases (PPO) can be active. This can lead to formation of lipid oxidation products and brown coloured phenol-protein complexes. There is an increasing pressure to avoid sulfite to inhibit these reactions, so there is an urgent need to find alternative methods, e.g. by working under oxygen-free conditions. To reach the aims, the candidate will work on characterization of the activity of the enzymes present, under a range of conditions. Different approaches should be developed to inhibit the activity during isolation as well as when applied in food products. The effects of the different treatments on protein composition as well as structure, and techno-functional properties will be analysed.

As a colleague at the Laboratory of Food Chemistry, you will be part of a dynamic international group of food chemists; with state-of-the-art infrastructure to conduct your research. In parallel, studies at NIZO will be performed on the translation to larger scale methods. During the project, there will be close contact with the partners, to provide context on the conditions and restraints on larger industrial scale.

We ask

For this position we are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • a successfully completed academic degree (MSc level; recognized in The Netherlands) in (Food/analytical) Chemistry, Biochemistry or Molecular Life Sciences;
  • practical experience with complex systems, protein chemistry or enzyme activity will strongly add to the suitability of a candidate;
  • excellent research skills;
  • ability to collaborate with other researchers and support their analytical endeavours;
  • excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level.

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 € 2.443,- per month rising to € 3.122,- 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 Community page 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

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Prof.dr.ir. Jean-Paul Vincken, Chair of the laboratory of Food Chemistry, telephone number +31 317482234; or Dr.ir. Peter A. Wierenga, assistant professor in proteins at FCH, telephone number +31 317487386.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter, 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 31-05-2022. The preferred starting date for this position is October 2022.

Apply now

We are

The mission of Wageningen University and 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, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named the best university of the Netherlands by students for the 17th time in a row.

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