Post Doc in Plant Genetics
Wageningen University

Postdoc Plant Genetics

Published on
March 15, 2021

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Are you looking for an exciting position as postdoc to the most fundamental biological process on Earth? Do you want to develop and apply your knowledge of plant genetics and plant biology and find promising solutions to improve plant photosynthesis efficiency? Then please read this job opportunity carefully and apply!

We are looking for a talented and motivated post-doctoral researcher, who enjoys to work in a multidisciplinary project investigating the genetic, physiological, anatomical and morphological nature of plant photosynthetic responses to fluctuating light. Someone who has the ambition to disseminate acquired knowledge by publication of high-impact scientific papers, and through interaction with the plant breeding industry. We invite motivated applications from candidates with a broad interest in the fundamental basis of natural phenomena in plant science and relevant research experience in molecular and quantitative genetic analyses.

Plant photosynthesis is the main driving force of life on our planet. Global environmental changes and a growing human population require a strong increase in plant production the coming decades. Plant photosynthesis could significantly contribute to this required increased yield, but sufficient knowledge of how to do this is still mostly lacking. While fluctuations in irradiance are very common in nature and in agriculture, plants are notoriously sensitive to it, reducing photosynthesis in response to fluctuating light. The NWO-funded multidisciplinary project “Plant photosynthesis responses to fluctuating light” aims to understand how plants respond to fluctuating light and how this is genetically controlled. The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for the identification, verification, and characterization of quantitative trait loci and causal genes responsible for phenotypic variation in the Arabidopsis response to fluctuating light. You will collaborate with PhD-candidates and postdocs in plant (eco)physiology, biochemistry, biophysics, and plant development. In addition, you will, as part of this team, design and perform experiments in the fluctuating-light phenotyping facilities of the Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Centre (, not only using Arabidopsis, but also several crop species. Estimating genetic variation for fluctuating light responses in crops will be essential for any potential plant breeding efforts for improved tolerance to fluctuating light. This will be explored in close consultation with collaborating plant breeding companies.

The post-doctoral position will be under the daily supervision of Prof. Mark Aarts in the Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University & Research. The project is a collaboration between Prof. Roberta Croce (Physics and Astronomy, Free University, Amsterdam), Prof. Ronald Pierik (Ecophysiology, University Utrecht), Prof. David Kramer (Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA) and Prof. Herbert van Amerongen and Dr. Jeremy Harbinson (Laboratory of Biophysics, Wageningen University & Research).

We ask

  • A PhD in plant sciences, with expertise in quantitative and molecular genetic analysis, with an interest in plant physiology (especially photosynthesis), plant biotechnology or plant breeding;
  • a strong interest in experimental research;
  • a collaborative researcher with good verbal communication skills;
  • an interest in translating scientific discoveries into practical solutions;
  • an excellent command of the English language.

We offer

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

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 flexible 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 receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive salary of between €2.790,= and €4.402,= gross for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). A contract for 0.8 FTE can be discussed. The job is for a period of 4 years (initially for 1 year, after a positive evaluation an extension will follow for another 3 years). The candidate will be based at the Laboratory of Genetics, part of the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen University & Research.

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 16th 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. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information

For more information about this function, please contact Prof. Mark Aarts, by phone 0317-485413 or by e-mail;

For more information about the procedure, please contact

General information about the Laboratory of Genetics can be found on

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including April 6, 2021.
We hope to schedule the first job interviews on April 14, 2021.

In this first round please only send your resume and motivation letter. Any other documents will not be taken into consideration at this stage.

We are

Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University and 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, 6.500 employees and 12.500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

Equal opportunities
WUR is an equal opportunity employer. We are keen to receive applications from all sufficiently qualified people, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, functional impairment, religion/life philosophy, sexual orientation, or age.

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Apply now

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