PhD Food Microbiology - Environmental survival of pathogens

We are looking for an ambitious PhD student with a great interest in the ecophysiology of foodborne pathogens. This project, funded by VLAG Graduate School, aims to assess the ecophysiological behaviour of Campylobacter in the ...

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Bornsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


We are looking for an ambitious PhD student with a great interest in the ecophysiology of foodborne pathogens. This project, funded by VLAG Graduate School, aims to assess the ecophysiological behaviour of Campylobacter in the environment to elucidate how persistence of this pathogen outside animal reservoirs contributes to transmission to the human host and its pathogenicity. Campylobacter is a notorious pathogen that significantly contributes to the food-associated disease burden worldwide. This project will identify specific genomic and phenotypic features that affect environmental-mediated transmission, population structure and virulence of Campylobacter. This project uses a systems biology approach to unravel Campylobacter's metabolic repertoires and molecular adaptation mechanisms with a focus on CRISPR-Cas systems, and will combine this with pathogenicity testing to unravel to which extent environmental persistence is linked to levels of host association and human epidemiology. This project is a collaboration between the Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University and the Centre for Infectious Disease Control at RIVM.


We are looking for an ambitious, enthusiastic team player and motivated scientist with:

  • an excellent academic (MSc) record in (food) microbiology, (food) biotechnology, or molecular microbiology
  • experience in functional genomics is considered an advantage
  • creative researcher, being independent yet at the same time being a team player
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • willingness to be involved in teaching activities


We offer you a position in The Laboratory of Food Microbiology which consists of a dynamic international group of food microbiologists; state of the art infrastructure to conduct your research; close national and international collaboration with other researchers, and last but not least, an excellent program to further develop your scientific education leading to a PhD degree, which include dedicated courses, training as well as conferences. Part of the experimental work of this project will be done at the Centre for Infectious Disease Control at RIVM in Bilthoven.

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after a successful Go-No Go evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2.222,- in the first year rising up to €2.840,- per month in the fourth year.

We offer a competitive salary and a pension of the ABP Pension Fund.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Heidy den Besten (Associate Professor), telephone number +31 317483213 .
For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mevr. Marjolijn Steffens, HRM advisor, telephone number +31 317 489882 .
You can apply online at the career site of Wageningen UR until 30th September 2017.


The Laboratory of Food Microbiology at the Wageningen University studies both positive (fermentation) and negative aspects (spoilage, disease) of micro-organisms in association with food and food products. The knowledge derived from our studies improves the safety and quality of food from primary production to consumption. The Laboratory of Food Microbiology is part of the Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group of Wageningen University and Research.

The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research where fundamental and applied sciences complement each other. As an important European player, we carry out top-level research and work alongside authoritative partners within the international business world as well as the government on "Healthy food in a biobased society". We have a crucial role in innovations within the market. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are what define us. In short, we are an interesting, international employer of stature.

Wageningen University and Research
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.


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