Company: Next Professionals Services Limited
Deadline: January 24, 2021

External Website Scholarship a month ago

In this PhD position you will use experimental data and data integration approaches to unravel causal relations in plant-microbiome interactions under stress.

Plant roots house one of the most diverse microbial communities on Earth. Potentially these can be used to improve stress resilience of crops and enable sustainable food production. In collaboration with company partner Keygene you will look for relations between plant genotype and microbiome functionality changes under stress. You will collect experimental data on how a lack of phosphorus results in changes in gene expression, root exudate metabolite composition and microbiome recruitment in tomato. From these data, using advanced data integration approaches and causal relationship analyses, you will look for evidence of decision points and trade-offs in changes in microbiome recruitment. The selection of gene candidates will be further supported by a GWAS experiment in which you will look for genomic associations for microbiome recruitment in tomato. Gene candidates will be verified using mutants and/or Virus Induced Gene Silencing.


What are you going to do?
You are expected:

to study the effect of phosphate starvation on plant root microbiome recruitment;
to analyse causal relations between changes in gene expression, root exudate metabolite composition and microbiome composition and function;
to analyse the trade-off between recruitment of the microbiome and other P-starvation responses;
to supervise bachelor and master students.


Our offer
A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended to a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students. 

Based on a full-time employment contract (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,395 in the first year to €3,061 in the last year. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.


What do we require?
MSc in Biology or Plant Science;
experience with data analysis and/or bioinformatics;
affinity with (plant) microbiome analysis;
affinity with experimental plant science, RNAseq and/or metabolomics;
fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Eligible Applicants:

Tertiary School Administrators, Secondary School Administrators, Counsellors in Tertiary School, Counsellors in Secondary School, Tertiary Students

Eligible Countries:

Nigeria, West Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Africa, South Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, South America

Duration of Scholarship:

Temporal (4 Years)

Application Deadline:

January 24, 2021

Mode of Accessing Shortlisted Candidates:

Internal Assessment without Contact with Candidate

Mode of Application:

External Website