Postdoc Position in Plant Development
Utrecht University

Postdoc position in Plant Development / Genomics / Molecular Biology / Evolution (1.0 FTE)

Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic, communicative, and highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with experience in plant development and transcriptomics. You will be working on an NWO-VIDI funded project investigating the evolution of exodermis in flowering plants. Exodermis is a barrier cell type protecting roots in fluctuating environments, and the evolutionary path and molecular regulators of exodermis are waiting for discovery. Your own project will focus on investigating exodermis phenotypes, evolution, and gene regulatory networks in legumes. You will be directly supervised by dr. Kajala and will collaborate with a PhD student that will be recruited in the second year of the project and who will work on dynamic (ABA-induced) exodermis across angiosperms. Your goal will be to characterize exodermis phenotypes in legumes, profile cell type-specific gene expression in legumes with contrasting exodermal phenotypes, and test hypotheses arising from the gene expression data. You will use a variety of techniques and tools, including histology (sectioning and staining for suberin and lignin), molecular cloning, hairy root transgenic cultures, genomics (TRAP-seq), and comparative gene expression analyses. You will be tasked with developing and executing experiments, data analysis, and presentation and writing manuscripts.


We are seeking a driven, creative and collaborative candidate with a keen interest to learn and the motivation to work in an ambitious and international research environment.

You also bring the following essential requirements:

  • a PhD in the area of molecular plant sciences and a record of relevant publications;
  • expertise in molecular techniques;
  • strong communication and English language skills;
  • the ability to think critically and creatively and you are organized and efficient.
  • We would like for you to have:
  • previous experience in histology and/or sequencing library preparation;
  • bioinformatics experience on gene expression data and/or comparative genomics;
  • experience in root development, evo devo, or legume biology;
  • affiliation with plant-environment interactions.


  • an exciting project that will investigate a relatively unexplored but highly relevant research area;
  • a full-time position for 1 year with the possibility of extension to 3 years;
  • a full-time gross salary depending on previous qualifications and experience ranging between €2,790 and €4,402 per month (scale 10 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (cao));
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

About the organization

You will be working with Kaisa Kajala’s research team, within the Plant Ecophysiology group. We are a very diverse and international research group embedded within the Institute of Environmental Biology. Successful candidates can expect to work in an inclusive, collaborative, and motivating environment with a very creative, ambitious, and international team of PhD students, post-docs, tenured staff, and research assistants. You will have access to world-class research facilities and will benefit from our extensive national/international ongoing collaborations (including those with industry), facilitating network building essential to future jobs.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully community diverse.

Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact dr. Kaisa Kajala,

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Then please send an email to


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button!

Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation clearly outlining why this position interests you, your motivation for joining our team, and what makes you a suitable candidate;
  • your Curriculum Vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references;
  • a copy of your PhD certificate, or a letter from your university stating when your defence will take place.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward the link to them.

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The application deadline is

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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