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PhD position: Sustainable control of the bacterial quality of goat milk through understanding of the milk microbiome (1.0 FTE)

Utrecht University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is looking for a PhD position: Sustainable control of the bacterial quality of goat milk through understanding of the milk microbiome. Are you interested? Then please read the ...

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Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 222 - € 2840 per maand


A low total bacterial count (TBC) is one of the major quality criteria of raw goat milk. We seek a PhD candidate for a collaborative project aiming to identify the determinants of high TBC and to understand mechanisms leading to excretion of high numbers of bacteria with milk. One of the mechanisms that has recently been hypothesized is the entero-mammary pathway (EMP), an active transfer of bacteria from the gut to the milk by mononuclear immune cells. Understanding and controlling the EMP through feed or other sustainable interventions will be central in this PhD project.

The candidate will be based at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University and will partly work at Wageningen BioVeterinary Research of Wageningen UR.


A suitable candidate should be able to communicate effectively with a variety of parties involved, and be able to work independently as well as in a team. The collaborations in this project require a candidate that is flexible, mobile (drivers license) and has an excellent work organization. As communication with Dutch goat farmers is essential, the candidate should be proficient in the Dutch language. The candidate should be capable of managing large data collections and overseeing complex field studies. Experience and affinity with working with animals, data management, bio-molecular techniques, immunology and/or epidemiology is preferred. The successful candidate has a MSc degree in Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Biomedical sciences, Biology, Life Sciences or similar.


Appointment is for a period of one year (full-time) with the perspective of prolongation with another three years. The appointment should lead to a dissertation. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,222 and €2,840 (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year.

Utrecht University offers excellent secondary benefits including a minimum of 29 leave days per year, collective insurance options, an excellent pension provision, and flexible employment conditions. For more information: Working at Utrecht University.

Additional information

For more information, please contact Dr. Gerrit Koop: g.koop@uu.nl

Please, do NOT send your application to this e-mail address.

Interviews will be held at March 9, 2018.


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 with a focus on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences, and Sustainability.

The faculty of Veterinary Medicine is the only institution that trains veterinarians and has a unique position in the Netherlands. Our researchers work together on innovative scientific research around three main themes: One Health, One Medicine, and Veterinary Biomedicine. The faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists, and technicians, and counts approximately 1.500 students.

Within the Public Private Partnership ‘One Health for Food’, the project ‘Sustainable control of the bacterial quality and the microbiome of dairy goat milk’ aims to develop novel strategies to control the bacterial quality of goat milk. The project is a joint effort of Wageningen BioVeterinary Research of Wageningen UR, Utrecht University and the Dutch dairy goat sector represented by the Platform Geitenhouderij and several other players within the sector.