PhD Position in Aphid Resistance in Capsicum
Wageningen University

PhD candidate in Aphid resistance in Capsicum

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

As a result of three PhD projects within Plant Breeding, we can appoint four PhD candidates for the following positions:

  1.     PhD candidate Aphid resistance in Capsicum
  2.     Two PhD candidates pulses without off-flavours
  3.     PhD candidates valorization of proteins from agricultural side streams
You can apply on more than one position.
Research will take place at: Plant Breeding

Do you want to use your passion for making our agricultural production more sustainable as a PhD candidate Aphid resistance in Capsicum? Are you an enthusiastic, problem solving person who likes to combine lab and greenhouse work?

Within the insect resistance group of Wageningen UR Plant Breeding we are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate who is passionate about making our agricultural production more sustainable.

Aphids are a major problem in pepper cultivation. Not only do they cause direct damage by feeding, which results in wilting, defoliation and fruit loss, they also cause damage indirectly by the viruses they transmit. Chemical control is widely used. However, due to environmental concerns this is more and more restricted and alternatives are needed. One such alternative is host plant resistance.

Several aphids can cause problems in pepper cultivation. Of these the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) and the foxglove aphid (Aulacorthum solani) are the most important in paprika cultivation in the Netherlands and are the focus of this PhD project.

Over the past years WUR has identified a good source of resistance against the green peach aphid in the related species Capsicum baccatum and this resistance will be further characterized in this project Genetics and mechanism of Aphid resistance in Capsicum. In addition we want to identity resistance against the foxglove aphid and make it available for use in breeding. So, with this project we want to make pepper growers less dependent on chemical insecticides by creating the scientific basis for the development of aphid resistant varieties.

As PhD candidate you will be using a variety of state of the art tools to identify and characterize aphid resistance traits in pepper and its wild relatives. This includes the (molecular) genetic characterization of the resistance, genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, and detailed analysis of life history components of aphids. This project is carried out in close collaboration with the department of Entomology of WUR and leading Dutch pepper breeding companies.

We ask

  • has a successfully completed MSc degree in MSc in Biology or Plant Sciences
  • An enthusiastic, problem solving person who likes to combine lab and greenhouse work
  • Experience with molecular techniques; experience in working with insects is an asset
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills in English (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page
  • A team player who can also work independently
  • An interest in (co-)supervising (under) graduate students
  • You meet all the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.

We offer

You will receive a funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team. We offer a temporary contract for a period of 1 year with extension of 3 years after successful evaluation. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreement (scale P). This is based on a full working week of 38 hours.

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance
  • a structural end-of year bonus of 8.3%
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions
  • flexible working hours that we determine together in good consultation
  • excellent pension plan through ABP
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan
  • a lively workplace on the Wageningen Campus
  • make use of the sports facilities on campus for a small fee.
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere, with students and staff from over 100 countries around the world.

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 15th consecutive time.

More information

For further information about the position you can contact Dr. Ben Vosman

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 is open until 10th August 2020. Preferred staring date 1st September or 1st October

We are

Plant Breeding, Wageningen University & Research is a merged unit of Wageningen Research and Wageningen University with around 200 people including MSc and PhD students and guest workers. It is a highly international group with more than 50 nationalities organised in ten research groups. We conduct fundamental, strategic and applied research and provide teaching at all educational (BSc, MSc and PhD) levels. Our research focusses on unravelling the genetic basis of traits which are relevant to achieve a sustainable agri- and horticulture. We conduct this research often together or in partnership with breeding companies, local, regional and state governments.

Our objective is to raise the productivity of agriculture in a sustainable and socially acceptable manner and increase the resilience of systems to deliver food security, feed, fuel, fibre and ornamental services under current and future climate and resource availability. As guiding principles we work synergistically in teams, like to express and base our opinions on sound science and operate self-conscientiously in our networks to have impact and attract and serve our clients’ needs. We strongly believe in diversity and inclusiveness to strengthen our teams, their modus operandi and their impact. We advise the public and the private sector and provide training in areas of our expertise.

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6.500 employees, and 12.000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.

Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research. More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.

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