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Postdoctoral researcher in Structural Biology in Plant-virus interactions

Faculty of Science – Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

Postdoctoral researcher in Structural Biology in Plant-virus interactions
Publication date 14 September 2020
Closing date 13 October 2020
Level of education PhD
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,790 to €4,402 gross per month
Vacancy number 20-536

Are you trained in Structural biology (X-ray and/or Cryo-EM) and interested in applying research in Plant Biology? We are seeking a Postdoctoral researcher for an ambitious research project on an emerging plant virus with devastating effects on crops. We study how Geminiviruses replicate their viral genome in infected plant cells. At least two viral proteins orchestrate DNA replication by hijacking essential processes in the nucleus, including cell cycle control and DNA repair pathways. In this interdisciplinary research project we aim to identify the replication mechanism by studying the viral and plant proteins involved. The project will be executed in close collaboration with the Industry and the group of Dr. Sven Hennig (Free University of Amsterdam). Our team is dedicated to identify genetic solutions for plant diseases by studying virulence mechanisms using biochemical approaches.

What are you going to do?

You are expected:

  • to study replication of a plant virus biochemically;
  • to express and purify proteins and to study their structure (in complex);
  • to generate plant material for in vivo studies using molecular biology;
  • to report our progress on a regular basis in an open discussion with the participating companies;
  • to train others in structural biology and biochemistry;
  • to have an open attitude to learn and become skilled in new (molecular) techniques;
  • to actively participate in scientific discussions;
  • to be a (pro-)active team player that fosters and values the organization of our laboratory.

We will base our selection on your scientific track record, ideas for this project, as well as on your vision for your future (scientific) career.

What do we require?

  • A PhD in Structural Biology and/or Biochemistry, preferentially with hands on experience in X-ray and/or cryo-EM and protein work, reflected by publications in respectable international journals;
  • preferentially expertise with Plant Biology and/or research on (Plant) Viruses;
  • an enthusiasm and willingness to learn about plant-virus & plant-microbe interactions (to become multidisciplinary);
  • an ambitious team player with an open character and willingness to train and support others;
  • an appreciation to contribute to valorization efforts and to foster collaborations with other academic partners and industry;
  • an understanding and acceptation of the sensitivity of confidentiality in public-private collaborations;
  • fluency in English, both written and spoken, with proven in experience in writing papers/grants.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week, preferably starting at 1 January 2021 for the duration of 12 months. An extension for 2 years subsequently follows if we assess your performance positive.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,790 to €4,402 (scale 10) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

About the Faculty of Science and the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four themes: Green Life Sciences, Cell & Systems, Biology, Neurosciences and Microbiology.

About the Molecular Plant Pathology (MPP) group

MPP is a research group with three group leaders, which is part of the Green Life sciences research cluster of SILS. At MPP we study the molecular interaction of plant pathogens, including plant viruses, fungi and bacteria. Our work aims at unravelling both plant immune mechanisms and virulence strategies of these pathogens at the molecular level. We study these aspects in model organisms, like Arabidopsis, and crop plants including cabbage, Cucurbits and tomato.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 13 October 2020. You can apply online by using the link below. 

Applications should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications and
  • contact details for two references

Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews on 27 and 29 October 2020.

No agencies please