Are you that enthusiastic researcher that likes fundamental research on the physiology of plants grown under fully controlled conditions? ‘Sky High: Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production’ is an inter-disciplinary consortium of researchers and companies that investigates many aspects of vertical farming from plant physiological research to systems modelling. Within the vertical farming research teams of HPP, this post-doc project focuses on root-to-shoot signaling, specifically the effect of root penetration resistance on shoot elongation.

Plants respond to mechanical perturbations by modifying their morphology, a process called thigmomorphogenesis. Thigmomorphogenesis can occur at the location of perturbation, but within minutes a sudden drop in elongation growth can also be observed far away from the perturbed area.

This rapid, long-distance communication within plants may be caused by hormonal, electrical, or hydraulic signals. This project will quantify the dose response relationship between root penetration resistance and leaf elongation rates, compare long-term versus short-term responses, assess acclimation to repeated perturbations, and investigate the signals responsible for this rapid long-distance communication.

Jouw kwaliteiten:

We are looking for result-driven team player with creative ideas, excellent communication skills as well as good proficiency in English (both oral and written). This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

  • You have a PhD in plant sciences and you have published some high-quality papers in peer-reviewed journals.
  • You enjoy supervising BSc, MSc and PhD students and have excellent collaboration skills.
  • You are capable to operate in an international and multi-disciplinary environment.
  • You have proven a profound knowledge of measuring techniques and analysing physiological processes.
  • You have a strong affinity with building research tools and setups for plant experiments under fully controlled conditions.
  • You have proven a profound knowledge of measuring techniques and analysing physiological processes.
  • Although the focus will be on high-quality experimental plant physiology research, you should be well capable to translate and communicate your research findings with companies working in the vertical farming industry.

Wij bieden jou

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, 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. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 2.960,- and € 4.670,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, which will then be extended to an open-ended contract if there is mutual enthusiasm.

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 18th 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.

Wil je meer informatie?

For more information about this function you can contact Prof. dr Leo Marcelis, e-mail: or dr Paul Kusuma,  For more information about the procedure, please contact .

Do you want to apply?
This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission. This vacancy will be listed up to and including May 8, 2023. 

Wageningen University & Research
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.

The chair group Horticulture & Product Physiology
The chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology conducts high impact research and educates students providing the scientific basis required to answer questions that are of utmost importance for sustainable crop production and product quality in horticulture.

The research focus is on how physiological processes in crops, plants and plant organs interact with the abiotic environment and how this affects crop production and product quality. Questions arising from horticultural practice are translated into fundamental research topics, aiming to explain mechanisms. The research and education contributes to sustainably feeding the World with healthy high-quality products.

The chair group is an international team consisting of 20 staff members, about 35 PhD candidates and postdocs and a number of guest researchers. Each year about 40 MSc students conduct their thesis study (a 6-month research) at our group. We organize and participate in a variety of courses for BSc and MSc students to transfer knowledge on horticulture (pre- and post harvest), environmental physiology and product quality.

Solliciteer nu / Apply now

Leave a Reply