PhD Precision Nutrition

Research / Academic

Would you like to join our team and try to unravel why people respond differently to diet and how this affects their health? Do you have a passion for applying state-of-the art techniques to analyse dietary, -omics and sensor data?

General dietary guidelines aim to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes, vascular diseases and cancer, yet a “one-size-fits-all” strategy fails to take into account inter-individual differences in response to diet and meals. Before we can give people personalized dietary advice we need to achieve a better understanding of the underlying biological pathways. The goal of this project is therefore to investigate the underlying causes and potential mechanisms of the variation in response to diet on health outcomes using existing data from dietary intervention studies as well as cohort studies.

You are going to:

  • apply novel data science methods to existing data from both dietary interventions and cohort studies;
  • perform complex analyses such as integration of omics data and causal inference to understand underlying biological mechanisms;
  • use tools such as machine learning to predict the response to diet.

The project will be carried out at the Division of Human Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University. More information about our ongoing research can be found via the following link.


  • a completed MSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence or a related field;
  • experience with machine learning;
  • excellent skills in R. Experience with python/ matlab would be appreciated;
  • demonstrable affinity with nutrition research;
  • a critical scientific attitude with respect to data analyses and interpreting data;
  • a positive attitude and ability to work in a team;
  • good English writing and oral communication skills;

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Salary Benefits:

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2770,- per month rising to € 3539,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “ Best University ” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.
Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week