PhD: Fair access and benefit sharing of genetic biodiversity

PhD: Fair access and benefit sharing of genetic biodiversity
  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for a PhD candidate for a project on the fair sharing of access to and benefits from the use of digital genetic resources. Biodiversity is valuable in and of itself but also as a source of genetic wealth that can provide input for innovative and sustainable biotechnologies. However this genetic wealth has become the object of a long lasting global dispute on how to fairly distribute access and benefits (ABS) relating to genetic resources. The increasing use of Digital Sequence Information (DSI) has intensified this conflict, caused by a clash between values such as Open Science and economic justice.

Current proposals to deal with this conflict consist of multilateral platforms for the sharing and co-creation of knowledge, capacity building and dialogue. However it is unclear how this can be realistically implemented. This main question of this project is: “How to organize fair access and benefit sharing around the use of DSI in current biotechnological innovation ecosystems?” This project aims to answer this question while explicitly taking into account the protection of biodiversity, which was the original motivation behind setting up ABS.

This project is part of a department wide programme on Zero Emissions Biotechnology that covers several aspects of developing novel and sustainable biotechnologies.


  • a Masters degree in philosophy, science and technology studies, anthropology, political economy or a related field
  • affinity with biotechnology
  • affinity with ethics
  • qualitative research skills
  • willingness to spend time abroad
  • interested to collaborate with industry and academic biotechnology researchers


The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The Section Biotechnology and Society (BTS) performs leading research on understanding societal and sustainability aspects and translating this into responsible innovation and communication of biotechnology for sustainable development. The group is uniquely positioned in the Department of Biotechnology and leading in (inter)national programs with academic partners, industry and government.


TU Delft offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week and the option of assembling a customised compensation and benefits package. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Meer informatie

For more information about this position, please contact dr. Lotte Asveld (Associate Professor), phone: +31 (0)15-27 86691, e-mail: To apply, please provide a PDF consisting of application letter, CV (with three professional references), and a list of courses in your Masters Degree. Please e-mail your application by 11-09-2022 to Anka Montanus, First interviews are planned on Friday 16 sept. When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWBT15-XXX.