Netherlands: PhD Positions in Biology at The Leiden University.

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Job description

Within the IBL, the research group Molecular Biotechnology focuses on the biology of streptomycetes, which are important producers of secondary metabolites and industrial relevant enzymes. We combine applied and fundamental knowledge to understand how growth and productivity are related, and develop innovative solutions to control these processes. With a recently acquired VIDI grant from STW we are looking for two bright and highly motivated candidates to strengthen our team.

2 Talented PhD Candidates Molecular Biotechnology (1.0 fte)
Vacancy Number: 13-235

Duties and responsibilities

The goal of this project is to develop innovative solutions to improve streptomycetes as cell factory for the production of enzymes and antibiotics. We have recently discovered that macromolecules present on the cell surface are crucial determinants for mycelial morphology. The first PhD candidate will employ state-of-the-art technologies, including large particle flow cytometry and microencapsulation to assess the relationship between surface molecules, growth, morphology and productivity. The second PhD candidate will use advanced genetics and microbiological approaches to study streptomycetes growing in an unconventional, yet industrial favorable way. Ultimately, each of the appointments must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis.


The candidates are part of an interdisciplinary group of people. Our strength is the shared passion in and collaborative nature of our research.
We expect the creative and highly motivated candidates to actively participate and function in our group, which provides an inspiring and vibrant research environment with an excellent group of supervisors and academic staff.

  • The candidates should have a MSc degree in (micro)biology, molecular science & technology, or related study with an excellent grade list.
  • The candidates should have a strong background and interest in molecular biology, microbiology and/or industrial microbiology.
  • The candidates are expected to be able to think outside the box.
  • The candidates should have a good spoken and written English level and are expected to master the Dutch language sufficiently.

Conditions of employment

What we offer
The appointment will be 38 hours a week for the duration of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation. The salary will be set on € 2083,- per month in the first year up to € 2664,- (based on a fulltime appointment) according to the PhD-scale and terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten). An appointment with Leiden University includes a pension build-up and facilitates other benefits such as an annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%.
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 though other PhD training networks



Leiden University

Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe’s foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia.



Institute for Biology

The Institute of Biology (IBL) is part of the Faculty of Science. It is located at the LeidenBiosciencePark in the recently completely refurbished Sylvius building, providing state-of-the-art facilities for biological research. It collaborates with neighboring institutes such as the Leiden University Medical Centre, the National Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis, the Centre for Environmental Sciences and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry. The IBL has a long tradition of excellence in fundamental research in a broad range of biological subjects. It fosters an international atmosphere with strong interactions among the various groups as well as with other departments from the Faculty of Science and other partners. The IBL contributes to the Faculty priority area ‘Bioscience: the Science Base of Health’.

Additional information

For more information, please contact Dr. Dennis Claessen, tel. +31 71 527 5052,

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