Postdoctoral Position in Biochemistry
VU University of Amsterdam

For this position, we are interested in investigating the influence of microbial activity on carbonate biomineralization

Location: Amsterdam
FTE:  1

Job description

Specifically, the main goals are to determine the mineralogical, chemical and microbial composition of carbonate minerals that have been formed under a wide range of physicochemical conditions (pH, T, salinity, etc). This work is important for interpreting carbonates in natural systems and their use in paleo-environmental reconstructions and the search for life in other planets.

Your duties
-  Participation and implementation of research projects with a focus on microbial-mineral interactions, analysis of environmental and experimental carbonate samples.
- Supervision of students and participation in the management and administration of the geobiology laboratory, teaching and research.
- Performance of laboratory culture experiments.
-  Process and interpret experimental data.
-  Present and promote the results obtained (reports, publications, conferences);
-  Collaborate with team, exchange and share knowledge.
-  Ensure compliance with milestones and deliverables.


  • A relevant university education and PhD degree.
  • A solid background in geomicrobiology, biogeochemistry, analytical chemistry, environmental microbiology, or a related field.
  • Experience in either stable isotopes or microbiology, and in performing laboratory experiments are required. Familiarity in using different mineralogical and analytical techniques (e.g., XRD, FTIR, ICP, IRMS, SEM, TEM, Raman, AFM) is highly desirable.
  • An interest in interdisciplinary research and experience with one or more of the applied approaches.
  • A strong interest in experimental work and a passion for science and research.
  • Spirit of initiative, laboratory experiments, analysis and synthesis.
  • Organised, rigorous, respectful of safety instructions.
  • The ability to work and collaborate in a group, to develop new ideas.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel (postdoc) based on a full-time employment. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
• a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
• 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
• solid pension scheme (ABP), a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use
at a modest charge.

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.

About the department
The Earth Sciences Department at the Faculty of Science offers a stimulating multidisciplinary working environment in research and teaching within two clusters: Geology and Geochemistry and Earth and Climate. This PhD position is in the Geology and Geochemistry cluster that covers a broad spectrum of research including isotopic and trace element studies of the Earth system, time scales and rates processes, sedimentology and stratigraphy, geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, Earth’s climate, geodynamics and tectonics, and planetary science.

The application must include the following:

  • A letter explaining your motivation and qualifications to join this project
  • A CV documenting your PhD degree and other qualifications for the position
  • A list of publications, with links to published articles
  • Contact details of three persons who could provide a reference letter.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.
Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated.
To qualify you must have passed a PhD or equivalent. Applications will be assessed by an expert assessor/committee.

Starting date of the employment
As soon as possible. The vacancy is available for 3 years.

The position is funded for three years. The position is funded by the Dutch Research Council and the Netherlands Space Office. Application deadline: 1 December 2023.
Starting date: January 2024.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae, cover letter, list of publications and three persons contact details until 1 December 2023.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Dr. Mónica Sánchez-Román
Position: Associate professor

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


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