PhD Position in Peptide Chemistry
Wageningen University

PhD in Peptide Chemistry

Published on
March 10, 2020
Location Wageningen
End date Mon 30 March 2020

We are looking for
Are you a highly driven and an extremely curious person?
Do you have an MSc degree in Organic Chemistry?
Then we are looking for you!

We are looking for a PhD student (AIO) in synthetic peptide chemistry. We aim to identify and synthesize peptides that can enhance the regeneration of protoplasts into plantlets. This is of utmost and urgent importance in view of the increasing resource and areal demands to feed the world. By boosting regeneration with synthetic peptides, we can shorten the life-cycle of plants and increase the productivity. We aim for a twofold approach to this: First, you will prepare these synthetic peptides by means of established protocols, and use them to prepare libraries in order to perform a structure-activity relationship study. The design and screening of these peptides for any biological activity in regard to enhancing the regeneration capacity of protoplasts will be done in close collaboration with Wageningen Plant Research. Second, apart from having a unique chance to work on new methods to feed the world, you will also have the chance to develop environmentally sustainable peptide synthesis methods. We want to find methods that avoid the massive amounts of waste for each unit of peptide that is prepared by current optimized methods that have a typical atom efficiency of ca. 0.2 %, that are actually used world-wide as nothing better exists yet.

We are looking for an organic chemist who does not shy away from synthetic challenges. In this project, you combine solution-phase synthesis of building blocks with solid-phase synthesis of the peptides. You have the change to become a valuable member in a larger consortium that consists of academic and industrial partners. And by being part of ORC you can develop a plethora of skills, get familiar with our state-of-the-art equipment, including an automated peptide synthesizer, preparative HPLC-MS, UPLC-HR-MS, microwave synthesizer, and multiple high-end NMR machines.

We ask


  • You are highly driven and extremely curious. “Why?” is a question you often ask, both inside and outside of science;
  • you have an MSc degree (or equivalent) in Organic Chemistry;
  • you have a strong background and solid hands-on experience in organic synthesis and/or chemical biology chemistry, and a strong interest (preferentially experience) in biochemistry (specifically expression, purification and conjugation of proteins);
  • you must have a deep understanding of physical and chemical principles to be able to design new reactions, study their properties and develop new bioconjugation reactions;
  • you aim to excel, and your biggest talents are creativity, persistence and being inquisitive. Your affinity for the collaborative nature of the project, and good written and oral communication skills in English (minimally IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 90) are crucial for the successful development of this study;
  • only applications that clearly show these facets will be considered.

We offer
We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month €2325,- in the first year rising up to € 2972,- per month in the fourth year.

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, e.g. the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra for extra leave;
  • 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.

More information

For more information about this function you can contact Dr. Bauke Albada, assistant professor, via

For more information about the procedure you can contact mrs. Nicole de Vries (HR advisor), e-mail, telephone number +31 317 485 677.

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 March 31st 2020.

Equal opportunities employer

We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.

We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.


We are

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.


The Organic Chemistry group ( constitutes a large, interdisciplinary research team involved in teaching and research on organic chemistry, with an emphasis on surface-based reactivity, click reactions and bioconjugation chemistry. Our group excels in the field and aims to continue to do so. The team consists of around 20 PhD students and postdocs, a permanent staff of 7 technical employees, three part-time professors with external expertise, 5 assistant and associate professors, and one chair (many of whom have received highly competitive national and ERC personal grants). The new laboratory is extremely well-equipped with a unique set of analysis instruments for bio-organic chemistry. In addition to this, the embedding within Wageningen University & Research adds ample biological context for our chemical tools. Currently ca. 1700 students/year take part in one or more Organic Chemistry study elements provided by our faculty.



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