The mission of the Plant Hormone Biology group is to understand the chemical communication of plants with other organisms in their environment. We study how plants produce and secrete signaling molecules, particularly belowground, and how this affects the behavior of other organisms in the soil such as parasitic plants and (beneficial) micro-organisms. Plant roots house highly diverse microbial communities that have been shown to play a crucial role in the protection of plants against a range of stresses. Our research is aimed at understanding the role of strigolactones potential of these root microbes for improved stress resilience in crops for sustainable food production with reduced inputs, particularly of fertiliser. 

For a project on the role of strigolactones in maize on Striga resistance and microbiome recruitment, funded by the European Research Council (LGSMAIZE) and the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (MiCRop) we are looking for a highly qualified and enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher to strengthen our team.  

What are you going to do?
You will investigate the effect of changes in the composition of the maize strigolactone blend, through natural variation and genetic modification, on Striga infection and microbiome recruitment.

Tasks and responsibilities:
•    study the effect of mutations in maize strigolactone biosynthetic genes on the root exudate strigolactone composition;
•    study the effect of changes in the maize root exudate strigolactone composition on Striga germination and infection under controlled and field conditions;
•    study the effect of changes in the maize root exudate strigolactone composition on microbiome recruitment and its functions;
•    supervise bachelor and master students.

What do you have to offer?

You are passionate about biological science, particularly the role of metabolism in the communication of plants. You feel comfortable performing experimental lab work, while having an affinity for data analysis. You enjoy working in a multidisciplinary team and are a team player. You have good communication skills as you will be expected to discuss your results in (inter)national meetings. 

Your experience and profile:
•    a PhD in Biology or Plant Science;
•    affinity with plant metabolism;
•    experience with analytical chemistry, including data processing;
•    experience with (microbiome) data analysis;
•    fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Our offer

We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 15 months, with a probationary period of 2 months. The preferred starting date is 1 March 2023. 

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between  € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher, scale 10 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 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 Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 17 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Neurosciences, Cell & Systems Biology, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • Prof. dr. Harro Bouwmeester

          T: +31620387674

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 12 February 2023. 

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

•    a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
•    a letter of motivation;
•    a list of publications;
•    the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Science

Educational level:  PhD

Function type:  Academic Staff

Closing date:  12.02.2023

Vacancy number:  11086


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