Postdoc position in lipids and gut microbiota interactions in the small intestine

Research / Academic

Are you passionate about the health effects of lipids in the gastrointestinal tract and ways to produce them in a sustainable manner? Do you want to work at the interface of biotechnology and research gut microbiota? Then this postdoc position may be the next step in your scientific career!

The division of Human Nutrition and Health (HNH) and Bioprocess Engineering (BPE) groups joined expertise with Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (WFBR) in a collaborative project focusing on fatty acids, from their production in microalgae to their fate and effects in advanced intestinal organoid models. For this prestigious postdoctoral fellowship supported by the graduate school VLAG , we are looking for an exceptional, motivated, and results-driven postdoctoral fellow who is able to combine anaerobic digestion involving complex microbial communities, microalgal product extraction and purification, and working with 3D intestinal organoids mirroring the gastrointestinal tract architecture.

What will you do?
You will lead an innovative project exploring the ways in which complex microbial communities collected from the human small intestine can convert lipid fractions produced by microalgae and the consequences this has for intestinal physiology. Intestinal organoids will be exposed to lipids, extracts, and their microbial metabolites in order to determine the cellular responses. You will not only be performing lab experiments yourself, but will also manage a small team of students, interns, and visiting scientists. In addition, we expect you to be able to regularly report on the results and progress of the project and to take the initiative to expand it by writing follow-up applications. The initial project implementation period is 36 months.

Who are you?
You are passionate about unraveling the effects of novel sources of lipids, such as from microalgal culture, on the gut microbiota community dynamics and the digestive tract. You have a very strong background in anaerobic culture of complex microbial consortia, lipid isolation and purification, and analytical techniques (Lipidomics). Experience with human organoids, gut microbiota, and computational modelling and pathway analysis is a plus. Moreover, you have solid research management experience, are proactive, and have a problem-solving attitude. You are both a team player as well as able to independently draft and execute your research project. You have very strong communication skills and you also are able to easily bridge the academic and private sectors. The research tasks at hand are very challenging so perseverance and a go-get-it attitude are a must.


What do you bring?

  • PhD in the field of microbiology, chemistry, or biology on a topic relevant to the project
  • In-depth knowledge regarding the metabolism of lipids in the human digestive system;
  • Excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

These capacities will further improve your chances:

  • Strong extraction, purification, and analytics background of metabolic compounds;
  • Knowledge of gut microbiota taxonomy and functionality;
  • Experience in using organoids systems;
  • Proven experience with project management
  • Proven grant acquisition record;
  • 1 year of postdoc experience in a relevant field.

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 of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 2.960,- and € 4.670,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10).

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. 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 17th 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. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. 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, and other issues.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week