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PhD Candidate, Structure-function of molecular players in plant photoprotection

Plants down-regulate photosynthesis in full sunlight to prevent photodamage, wasting a significant part of the absorbed light energy. A better understanding …

2 maanden geleden


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


Plants down-regulate photosynthesis in full sunlight to prevent photodamage, wasting a significant part of the absorbed light energy. A better understanding of this process could be used to re-engineer plants that convert more sunlight into biomass. This project aims to understand the structure and function of membrane proteins that are molecular players in the down-regulation process and act as pH sensors in the photosynthetic membrane. You will recombinantly produce the target proteins and refold those in detergent, lipid nanodiscs or liposomes using methods developed in the Pandit lab. Structural characterization at various pH conditions will be performed using solid-state NMR spectroscopy complemented with FTIR and/or using specifically attached paramagnetic or fluorescent probes.


  • Master’s degree in Chemistry, Biophysics or Life Sciences;
  • Good to excellent proficiency in English;
  • Ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Some experience with biomolecular NMR spectroscopy or another biophysical spectroscopic technique is required;
  • Experience with solid-state NMR or with membrane proteins is a plus;
  • The PhD research needs to start before December 2018.


We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from €2,222 to €2,840 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for 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. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. 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 Leiden University Graduate School of Science: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/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 by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

Enquiries can be made to Dr. Anjali Pandit, email a.pandit@lic.leidenuniv.nl.If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact secretary Mrs. Liesbeth van der Velden, email veldenevander@chem.leidenuniv.nl, telephone +31 71 527 4539.

To apply for this vacancy, please send no later than 7 July 2018 an email to the secretary of the Biophysical Organic Chemistry group, Mrs. Liesbeth van der Velden at veldenevander@chem.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you include in your application the vacancy number and the following additional documents:

  • A cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position/research topic;
  • A recent CV;
  • The letters of recommendation by 1 or 2 former supervisors;
  • The transcripts of your MSc studies.