PhD-student Molecular Marine Biodiversity

Research / Academic

Within a research project on developing innovative biodiversity monitoring approaches of North Sea wind parks, we are looking for a PhD student that will work on the development of novel methods to monitor marine biodiversity using environmental DNA. The candidate is expected to develop novel methods to improve eDNA based biodiversity assessment building on the Nanopore sequencing platforms, with the aim to eventually develop automated on site sampling and sequencing approach, coupled to real time data analysis. To further improve biodiversity assessment based on eDNA, a part of the work will entail expanding reference databases with complete genome data, focussing on fish. You are expected to be able to generate these genomic datasets, assembly genomes and created a analysis pipeline that can be used to rapidly compare real time sequence data to this large and expanding whole genome reference database.


You are a enthusiastic scientist with an interest in Marine Ecology. You have knowledge of Marine Ecosystems and experience in molecular ecology approaches, with a focus on DNA metabarcoding and environmental DNA.
You also possess:

  • A successfully completed MSc degree in Biology with a specialization in Molecular Ecology
  • Experience with Nanopore DNA sequencing
  • Bioinformatics experience and the drive to unravel complex sequencing dataset to solve ecological puzzles.

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 € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- 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