Assistant Professor Plant-Microbiome Interaction

Research / Academic


Are you the outstanding (junior) researcher in the field of Plant-microbiome Interaction with a collaborative mindset, intellectual curiosity and passion for teaching? Then we are looking for you to complement and strengthen the Plant Hormone Biology group and the Biosystems Data Analysis group

The mission of the Plant Hormone Biology group is to understand the chemical communication of plants with other organisms in their environment, particularly belowground, and how this affects the behaviour of these other organisms. The Biosystems Data Analysis group develops data analysis and modeling methods for analyzing complex biological data, among others metabolomics and microbiome data, with a focus on data fusion.

One of our joint research topics is the interaction between plants and their root microbiome. For this work we use omics approaches and the analysis and integration of such datasets to discover new mechanistic relationships underlying the plant-microbiome interaction.

Host-microbiome interaction is a field of increasing importance. Plants benefit from their interaction with micro-organisms, often in interaction with the complex community collectively called the microbiome, which contributes to host fitness. Indeed, there are more and more indications that microbes and the microbiome play a substantial role in resilience of plants to environmental conditions and thus may play an important role in the quest for sustainable agriculture. We study how the host is affecting the microbiome and vice versa.

What are you going to do?

We are looking for an assistant professor to strengthen our team. You are an experimental biologist, with affinity for omics data analysis approaches, and will study how plants shape the rhizosphere microbiome and its functionality. This will be done in close interaction with biologists in the Plant Hormone Biology and data analysts in the Biosystems Data Analysis groups as well as with the Research Priority Area 'Systems biology' of SILS and IBED.

You are expected to:

  • develop a research line on the plant-microbiome interaction;
  • research questions could be, but are not limited to:
    • How do plants shape the root microbial community and its functionality?
    • What is the effect of stress on this recruitment strategy and the microbiome functionality?
    • How is root microbiome recruitment depending on host genetics and how was it shaped by evolution?
  • be active in your research line, resulting in scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals;
  • be active in grant writing;
  • teach in the BSc and MSc programs of Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Bioinformatics & Systems Biology and supervise students.


What do you have to offer?

You are an experimental biologist, with affinity for omics data analysis approaches. You like a challenge, are creative and have the drive to get things done. Finally, you are a team player and a nice colleague with excellent  communication skills as you will be working with scientist in multiple research groups. 

What do we require?

  • a PhD in biology and at least three years of post-doctoral experience in the area of plant-microbiome interaction;
  • proven experimental skills (wetlab/greenhouse);
  • a good understanding of omics data-analysis methods and tools;
  • enthusiasm for, and dedication to, teaching;
  • experience with supervising students;
  • excellent communication skills. You can collaborate well with other biologists, bioinformatics and data-analysis experts;
  • fluency and excellent communication in English, both written and spoken (level C1); non-native Dutch speakers must be willing to obtain A2 level proficiency in the Dutch language. SILS expect its staff to acquire sufficient fluency in the Dutch language within three years of the start of the employment contract;
  • proven affinity with acquisition of funding would be an advantage.

Within the Faculty of Science, newly appointed assistant professors follow a didactic training trajectory, which upon completion results in a qualification for academic teaching (basiskwalificatie onderwijs, BKO) within two years.

Salary Benefits:

We offer an employment contract for 38 hours a week, for 18 months preferably starting on 1 September 2022 during which you should show your competence in science and teaching. After a positive assessment of your performance this will be converted into a permanent contract. 

Your salary, depending on your relevant work experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between €3.821 up to a maximum of € 5,230 (scale 11) gross per month for a full-time position as Assistant Professor level 2 or from € 4,629 up to a maximum of € 5.943 (scale 12) gross per month for a full-time position as Associate Professor level 1, in line with the CAO of the Dutch Universities. The assigned tasks will determine whether you will be appointed as an assistant professor level 1 or 2. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. A favorable tax agreement, the 30% ruling, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? More information can be found here.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Science Park 904