PhD positions on integrative omics and phylogenomics of plant specialized metabolism:

Would you like to participate in an exciting interdisciplinary research project to discover the hidden chemistry of plants and its evolution using computational omics approaches? Do you enjoy collaboration and teamwork while being at the cutting edge of scientific progress? We are looking for two PhD candidates with complementary skills to pioneer new technologies to analyze, explore and leverage the diversity of plant chemistry hidden in plant genomes.

Plants represent an untapped resource of natural bioactive compounds that significantly contribute to plant resilience to pathogens, herbivores, and abiotic stresses, and may be applied for medicine or crop protection. In this project, you will design and/or apply innovative omics integration strategies for genomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics data, to discover plant specialized metabolite biosynthetic pathways and study their evolution.

You will work together with the other PhD candidate in this project, which will entail a combination of algorithm development, greenhouse experiments, integrative omics analysis, and evolutionary genomics. Extensive local and international collaboration is foreseen, including possibilities for a foreign research visit as part of your PhD project.

The research is embedded within the chairs of Bioinformatics and Biosystematics. The projects will be (co-)supervised by Dr. Marnix Medema, Dr. Justin van der Hooft, Dr. Klaas Bouwmeester and Prof. Dr. Eric Schranz.

We ask

We are looking for two enthusiastic and complementary team players with all or a subset of the following skills:

  • a solid academic record (MSc) in bioinformatics, biology, or biotechnology
  • experience in computational omics analysis and proficiency in programming (in, e.g., Python)
  • at least basic to intermediate statistical and mathematical skills
  • demonstrable experience in working with next-generation sequencing data or with greenhouse experiments with plants
  • affinity with plant science, metabolism and/or biosynthetic pathways
  • you meet all the entry requirements of the  WUR PhD programme.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language.

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 of course receive a good salary. We offer a competitive gross salary starting at € 2.541,- per month for a full-time working week of 38 hours, increasing yearly until € 3.247,- in the fourth year, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU). Additionally, a contract for 0.8 FTE can be discussed.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. 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

For more information about this position, please contact Marnix Medema, Associate Professor Bioinformatics, by email (
For more information about the procedure, please contact you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website, which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. We are especially curious how you would prefer to contribute to this project and which skills you would like to develop.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including October 28th, 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews by early November 2022.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs many people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR.

We are

The mission of Wageningen University & 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, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

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