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PHD candidate, in Microbial Evolution

The Faculty of Science and the Institute of Biology at Leiden University are looking for a PHD candidate, in Microbial Evolution (1.0 FTE).

10 maanden geleden


Begijnhof, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


This NWO funded project, run jointly by Daniel Rozen and Dennis Claessen, will study the origin of complex cells using a multidisciplinary approach that combines experimental evolution, synthetic biology and mathematical modelling. We will exploit a powerful experimental systemusing bacterial cells that proliferate without their cell wall, called L-forms, which can be fused to form polyploid cells containing chromosomes with complementary, essential functions. Such fusions give rise to synthetic mutualisms in a single cell with a division of labour, and which will allow us to elucidate the dynamics, stability and genetic underpinnings of transitions in complexity. Successful completion of the designated work will lead to a PhD.


  • The candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary research team with collaborators active in membrane chemistry and mathematical modelling;
  • We aim to appoint a highly creative and motivated candidate to actively participate and function in our collaborative group, which provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent group of supervisors and academic staff;
  • The candidate should have an MSc or equivalent experience in evolutionary biology, microbiology, synthetic biology, or related study with excellent final marks;
  • The candidate should have experience in molecular biology;
  • Experience with bioinformatics, programming and statistics is highly desirable;
  • The candidate is expected to think creatively and to work independently and as part of a collaborative group;
  • The candidate should have a strong and demonstrated command of spoken and written English and is expected to master the Dutch language sufficiently.


The appointment will be for 38 hours a week (starting in Spring 2018) for the duration of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation. The salary will be set on €2,222 per month in the first year up to €2,840 (PhD-scale Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

All our PhD students are embedded in the 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 is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

For more information and questions about the procedure, please contact Dr. Daniel Rozen, telephone +31 71 527 7990, email d.e.rozen@biology.leidenuniv.nl, or Dr. Dennis Claessen, telephone +31 71 527 5052, email d.claessen@biology.leidenuniv.nl

More vacancies and information via https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/vacancies.

Written applications, including a motivation letter, a CV and the names of 2 references should be sent, no later than 31 January 2018, by email to d.e.rozen@biology.leidenuniv.nl. When applying, please refer to vacancy number. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. If your MSc diploma and transcript are not in Dutch, English, French or German and you will be the selected candidate, you will be asked to deliver a certified translation.
Review of applications will begin on 31 January 2018 and continue until the position is filled.


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. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.
The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) is an internationally oriented institute for research and education in biology. We are part of the Faculty of Science at Leiden University. Our institute performs top-quality fundamental and strategic research that provides solutions for societal challenges, and generates industrial opportunities. The IBL represents the core of modern biological research in Leiden, and interacts closely with neighbouring institutes, including the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC), the Leiden Advanced Centre for Drug Research (LACDR), and the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/biology.