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PhD Flowering time control in tulip (1.0 FTE)

Utrecht University's Faculty of Science is looking for a PhD Flowering time control in tulip (1.0 FTE). Are you interested? Then please read the full profile and apply.

10 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Within the project we are looking for two PhD students:

  • One PhD student will be appointed at Wageningen University & Research (WUR).
  • One PhD student will be appointed at Utrecht University (UU).

The project will be carried out in close collaboration with the breeding company Dümmen Orange.

The PhD students will study be flowering time control in tulip on the “NWO-green” project: “Life Cycle Shortening: The key towards sustainable tulip production”.

Tulip is an important ornamental and iconic flower for the Netherlands, but unfortunately, its breeding is obstructively slow. In plants, reproductive competence is acquired with the transition to adult vegetative development, a process known as vegetative phase change (VPC). Upon perception of floral-inductive signals plants then undergo reproductive phase change (RPC) and flower. In tulip, it takes five till seven years until seeds have grown into a flowering bulb that can be used for a next (back) cross, forming a major hindrance to the development of new cultivars. Therefore, the main goal of this project is to acquire fundamental knowledge on tulip VPC and RPC, enabling ‘life cycle shortening’ and ‘flowering-on-demand’ during breeding and initial propagation of tulips.

The PhD student stationed at UU will study VPC and the PhD student at WUR will investigate the RPC in tulip. Regulatory networks controlling VPC in tulip including meristem competence and source-sink interactions, will be analyzed and unraveled at a molecular (gene expression) and physiological level (sugar availability, signalling, and use). For the RPC, the focus will be on the important PEBP-family of proteins, including FLOWERING LOCUS T (‘Florigen’). How the battle for resources between different organs and meristems is fought at the molecular level, and how this is controlling phase transitions during the tulip life cycle will be the integrating and common research theme of this program. Approaches that will be taken include transcriptome and metabolome analyses, and transient and stable gene inactivation using e.g. CRISPR-Cas9 technology.


We are looking for highly motivated candidate with an MSc degree in Plant (molecular) Biology, who have affinity for plant development, plant physiology and bioinformatics and a strong interest in developing new technologies in a recalcitrant plant species. The candidate should be fluent in written and spoken English, and be able to communicate and work with both academic and industrial partners.


The candidate is offered a full-time position for initially for one year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on an extension for an additional three years. Gross salary per month €2,222 (P-scale Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) in the first year rising to €2,840 (P-scale) per month in the fourth year for a fulltime appointment. The candidate will be based at the Laboratory for Molecular Biology.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). The research group will provide the candidate with necessary support on all aspects of the project. More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

Additionele informatie

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

For the PhD position at Utrecht University (UU): Marcel Proveniers (M.Proveniers@uu.nl ; +31 30 253 31 11)

For the PhD position at Wageningen University & Research (WUR): Richard Immink (Richard.Immink@wur.nl; tel +31 6 13 16 84 07).


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old center and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht city has been consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the Netherlands.

The Faculty of Science consists of six departments: Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Information and Computing Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Mathematics. The Faculty is home to 5,600 students and nearly 1,500 staff and is internationally renowned for the quality of its research. The Faculty's academic programmes reflect developments in today's society. Read the overall impression 2016 of the Faculty of Science.

The Molecular Plant Physiology group (www.uu.nl/en/research/molecular-plant-physiology) is an internationally recognized plant research group embedded within the Institute of Environmental Biology at Utrecht University, one of Europe’s leading research universities. The group is a highly dynamic and competitive research group with multiple national and international collaborations. The group carries out fundamental research, but with an eye on the potential for knowledge implementation. A multidisciplinary approach is followed, including cell/molecular biology and various high throughput –omics technologies. Successful candidates can expect to work with a highly ambitious, creative and international team of PhD students, post-docs, tenured staff and research assistants.