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PhD student in Molecular Biotechnology

Leiden University, the Faculty of Science and Institute of Biology are looking for a PhD student in Molecular Biotechnology (1.0 FTE)

5 maanden geleden


Einsteinweg, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Vast contract


Tuberculosis is one of the deadliest infectious diseases worldwide, and there is still no effective treatment. It remains unclear how the causative bacterium is able to survive in our body for extended periods of time. There is increasing evidence suggesting that (transient) loss of the bacterial cell wall could play a major role in this respect. Given that cell wall components are recognized by our immune system, wall-deficiency would allow the pathogenic bacterium to remain invisible. Also, such wall-deficient cells would not be susceptible to the antibiotics commonly used to combat this deadly disease. In this PhD project funded by NWO, we will investigate the role that cell wall-deficient cells play in this deadly disease. Your key tasks include:

  • Developing advanced genetic and cytological techniques to investigate the molecular mechanisms allowing pathogenic mycobacteria to shed their cell wall;
  • Studying the physiology of wall-deficient cells in pathogenic mycobacteria;
  • Investigating structural changes in the cell wall organization of pathogenic mycobacteria during infection.


  • Proficient in spoken and written English and excellent communication skills;
  • A MSc degree with specialization in molecular (micro)biology with an excellent grade list;
  • A team player, but also able to work independently;
  • You take initiative and have a strong interest in academic research and education;
  • You preferably have experience in working with Mycobacterium.


The appointment will be for the duration of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation. The salary will be set on € 2.325,- per month in the first year up to € 2.972,- (based on a fulltime appointment) according to the PhD-scale and terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten).

An appointment with Leiden University includes a pension build-up and facilitates other benefits such as an annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%. 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.

Additional information

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

For more information about the IBL, please visit https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/biology. Enquiries about this position can be made to Dr. Dennis Claessen via email: d.claessen@biology.leidenuniv.nl.