We are looking for a tenure track candidate to join the section Molecular Microbiology of the new Amsterdam Institute for Life and Environment (A-LIFE, Faculty of Science of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Location: AMSTERDAM FTE: 0.8 – 1

Job description: A-LIFE brings together the groups of Molecular Cell Biology, Environment & Health, and Ecological Sciences, with the aim to advance the fundamental understanding of the interplay between life and its environment. A-LIFE seeks to connect properties and emergent behaviors across all scales, from molecules to ecosystems, including human populations.

The research of the department covers a broad range of research topics, including ecology and evolution, microbiology, (eco)toxicology and analytical chemistry of pollutants, global change biology, and biotechnology, and the associated state-of-the-art methods and technologies, both computational and experimental.

In the section Molecular Microbiology, the major current research theme is the bacterial cell envelopes: biogenesis, structure, mechanisms of transport and functions in host-pathogen interactions, as well as exploitation for the development of antibiotics/vaccines and applications in biotechnology. However, we also wish to extend our research portfolio to the interfaces with the other themes within the new A-LIFE institute:

  • molecular and cellular networks giving rise to the function and physiology of microbes, from fundamental principles to applications in biotechnology and medical biology
  • organismal functional traits and their role in global change responses, biotic interactions, and their impacts on communities, ecosystems, and climate
  • ecological and evolutionary processes driving the emergence of biodiversity, organismal behavior, and ecosystem health
  • exposure and fate assessment of classic, emerging, and bioactive contaminants in humans and the environment e.g. target analysis, suspect and non-target screening, and effect-directed analysis
  • investigation of the mode of action of contaminants from molecular initiating event to adverse outcomes, through the development of in vitro bioassays, zebrafish, and invertebrate models, metabolomics approaches, and through epidemiological studies.

We ask candidates to write a concise research statement that identifies their research plans preferentially making connections with other research themes within A-LIFE. You are encouraged to also include thoughts about (how to maximize) the societal impact of your research activities. In addition, we ask candidates to provide a concise teaching statement, reflecting on their teaching vision and how they will contribute to the teaching tasks of the department. Teaching involves courses in various Bachelor and Master degree programs.

Your duties

  • develop a largely externally funded research program in your research field
  • develop and promote academic leadership
  • teach Bachelor and Master level courses and supervise student projects
  • provide high-quality training and supervision to PhD students and postdocs
  • engage in professional development activities related to teaching
  • maintain an output of high-quality publications
  • In the longer term, build up a successful group around your field of expertise
  • fulfill limited administrative duties in support of the strong teaching and research base


  • a PhD degree in a relevant field fitting A-LIFE’s research themes
  • research interest and academic track record in a relevant field fitting A-LIFE’s research themes
  • experience in university-level teaching is preferred
  • a research profile that enables the bridging of multidisciplinary research across the themes of A-LIFE
  • excellent communication skills (written and spoken English) and motivation to work in a team
  • proficiency in the Dutch language is not required, but the successful candidate is expected to develop at least a passive proficiency in the first three years after the appointment

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization.
We offer a Tenure Track position at the level of Assistant Professor. A career plan to grow in 6 years from Assistant Professor (profile Universitair Docent 2) to Assistant Professor (profile Universitair Docent 1) will be made and formalised in a Tenure/Career Track agreement. After a positive evaluation the initial contract will be converted to a permanent position after a period of 18 months.

On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,974 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,439 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience.
The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • good growth opportunities

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 31/08/2022. The job interviews are planned for the end of September/beginning of October.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr Edith Houben, group leader
E-mail: e.n.g.houben@vu.nl


Job area:Research

Educational Level:Postdoc

VU unit:Faculty of Science

Contract type:Temporary with prospects of permanent employment

Minimum FTE:0.8

Minimum salary scale:€3,974 (scale 11)

Maximum salary scale:€5,439 (scale 11)

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