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  3. Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship at Utrecht University & Wageningen University: Bioinformatic Analysis of Metabolic Interactions in the Rhizosphere (1.0 FTE)

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Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship at Utrecht University & Wageningen University: Bioinformatic Analysis of Metabolic Interactions in the Rhizosphere (1.0 FTE)

Computational modelling of metabolic interactions in the rhizosphere.

2 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 3255 - € 4274 per maand


Plants are key to food security. Centuries of breeding has produced efficient and reliable crops, but little is known about the effects of domestication on the rhizobiome and the consequences for plant resilience to stress and disease. Ground-breaking experimental and computational approaches are opening up new possibilities to study the interactions between microbes and the plant. Are you a bioinformatician looking for a postdoctoral fellowship to study metabolic interactions in the rhizosphere? We offer a joint position between two state-of-the art bioinformatics research groups focused on metabolism and metagenomics, with a shared interest in the plant-associated microbiome.

In the role of Postdoctoral Fellow you will contribute to developing and applying innovative computational approaches for computationally modelling the rhizobiome. A major focus will be on integrating genomic, metagenomic, and metabolomic data to understand primary and secondary metabolic pathways and their role in mediating plant-microbe interactions. Together with other consortium members, our overall aim is to understand the role of these interactions in shaping the response of plants to stress, their evolution during domestication, and the microbial contributions to crop resilience in the face of a changing climate.

You will join an interdisciplinary and international team consisting of computational biologists and bioinformaticians at two universities (Utrecht Bioinformatics Center and Bioinformatics Wageningen) that are collaborating in MICROP, a government-funded research program in the Netherlands that includes world-leading research institutes and private partners. You will benefit from interactions with a community of PhD students and Postdocs who will jointly work on this topic, and from the rich datasets available in the consortium. There are many national and international collaborations with Researchers studying plant and microbial metabolism, biotechnology, and (meta)genomics.

TBB at UU: Many advances in biology are made possible by innovative computational analyses and models. Scientists in the Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics group TBB use bioinformatics, big data, and computational modelling to address fundamental questions in the Life Sciences. A selection of ongoing research lines includes metagenomics and viromics, host-microbiome modelling, root morphogenesis, and the principles of ecology and evolution.

Recent key publications:

  • Von Meijenfeldt et al. (2019) "Robust taxonomic classification of uncharted microbial sequences and bins with CAT and BAT", Genome Biology 20: 217. DOI: 10.1186/s13059-019-1817-x.
  • Garza et al. (2018), "Towards predicting the environmental metabolome from metagenomics with a mechanistic model", Nature Microbiology 3: 456-460. DOI: 10.1038/s41564-018-0124-8.
  • Speth et al. (2016), "Genome-based microbial ecology of anammox granules in a full-scale wastewater treatment system", Nature Communications 7: 11172. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11172.

BIF at WUR: The Bioinformatics group BIF at Wageningen University focuses on fundamental and applied bioinformatics research in the green Life Sciences. In particular, they develop and apply novel computational methods for the analysis and integration of -omics data. The group has a strong track record in genome analysis, algorithm development and tool construction.

Recent key publications:

  • Navarro-Muñoz et al. (2020) “A computational framework to explore large-scale biosynthetic diversity”, Nature Chemical Biology 16: 60-68. DOI: 10.1038/s41589-019-0400-9.
  • Carrion et al. (2019) “Pathogen-induced activation of disease-suppressive functions in the endophytic root microbiome”, Science 366: 606-612. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw9285.
  • Nguyen et al. (2018) “Indexing the Pseudomonas specialized metabolome enabled the discovery of poaeamide B and the bananamides”, Nature Microbiology 2: 16197. DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.197.


To excel in this role, you have:

  • an excellent scientific profile with a relevant focus;
  • experience turning big data into knowledge;
  • translated bioinformatics to experiments and vice versa;
  • strong communication skills;
  • a PhD-degree where computational analyses played a central role.


  • collaboration with a great team and a large scientific consortium;
  • necessary support on all aspects of the project;
  • a full-time position for 4 years, part-time appointment can be discussed;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,709 to €4,402;
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.
In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

Additional information

If you have any questions about this position, please contact:

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Then please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.