PhD Student Structural Basis of Endophyte Interactions with Their Plant Host

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship in environmental sciences at Leiden University. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 3 years. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

Project descriptionWe are seeking to appoint two PhD candidates for four years, which will consist of 1 year with 3 years extension. The PhD positions will be positioned within the frame of a collaborative project on the understanding of the life of endophytic bacteria inside plants, named “Unwiring beneficial functions and regulatory networks in the plant endosphere”. In Leiden, we seek to unravel the chemistry and physiology (more physiology scholarships) of plant-endophyte interactions. Please see the webpage for the other PhD position, Endophyte metabolites produced in time and space in planta.

We are interested in the morphological characteristics of endophytic bacteria compared to their free-living states, and to unravel the molecular machinery involved in the interspecies interactions. We use electron cryo-tomography, combined with correlative light- and electron microscopies and focused ion beam milling to study the biological samples three-dimensionally at the molecular level. This project is part of a recently funded NWO groot consortium grant. We will closely interact with the other consortium partners that provide expertise in plant microbiomes, microbiology, microbial ecology, natural product chemistry, and computational biology. Our organisation

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.200 staff and almost 4,200 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

Initially we offer a full-time position for one year… After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary starts from 2.325,- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands (new Netherlands scholarship positions) may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. Information

Enquiries can be made to Professor of Ultrastructural biology Ariane Briegel, email If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Ariane Briegel by e-mail. Applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number: Only applications received no later than 26 May 2020 can be considered.
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Please send your application via email.

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