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Postdoc in anaerobic microbiology and microbial physiology

Are you an enthusiastic postdoc-level researcher who wants to work on the field of anaerobic microbiology of subsurface environments? Do you have experience …

2 maanden geleden


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


Are you an enthusiastic postdoc-level researcher who wants to work on the field of anaerobic microbiology of subsurface environments? Do you have experience with microbial cultivation and physiology of anaerobic microbes? Then we are looking for you!

Wind and solar energy are central in developing a more sustainable society. However, wind and sun fluctuate during the day and throughout the seasons. We must find ways to store the excess of electricity generated in wind/light peaks. Electricity can be transformed to energy carriers, such as hydrogen. Underground H2 storage could be a viable option to store energy, making use of currently empty (depleted) natural-gas/oil reservoirs. The risks of underground H2 storage include its conversion by microorganisms, depleting the energy carrier and also possibly contaminating the gas (e.g. by the activity of sulfate-reducing microbes that produce H2S, a highly corrosive gas). Your work will be studying microbial conversions of H2 under relevant environmental conditions for H2 underground storage (high pressure, high temperature). Tasks will include the development of microbial enrichments, their characterization in terms of microbial diversity and activities, kinetic studies, and evaluation of competitions between different metabolic groups of microorganisms (acetogens, methanogen, sulfate reducers).

This position is part of the Horizon 2020 project HyUsPRe - Hydrogen Underground storage in Porous Reservoirs. The multidisciplinary team of this project, with 15 partners (9 of which are industrial partners), includes expertise in geochemistry, microbiology, modelling, transport processes, economics, etc. The overall aim is to research the feasibility and potential of implementing large-scale storage of renewable H2 in porous reservoirs in Europe and to undertake a techno-economic assessment of how the underground storage of renewable H2 could facilitate to achieve a zero-emissions energy system in Europe by 2050.


We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • A PhD in microbiology, biotechnology, or other relevant field;
  • experience with (anaerobic) microbial cultivation techniques;
  • experience with bioreactor operation;
  • knowledge of microbial physiology;
  • a good track record or writing or contributing to scientific articles;
  • fluency in English (both spoken and written);
  • good communication and presentation capabilities as evidenced by contributions to scientific conferences;
  • the ability to work in international and multidisciplinary research teams.
The following is an advantage:
  • Experience on bioinformatics, (meta)genome and )meta)transcriptome/proteome analyses;
  • experience with bioreactor operation.
Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate their experience with concrete examples from their work in and outside academia.


Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
In addition we offer a challenging position for 2 years with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of € 2.790,- to a maximum of € 4.402,- for a full working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10).

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the Best University in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
You are going to work at a hub for the life sciences in Europe, at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

Additional information

For more information about this function, please contact Diana Sousa, Professor, by e-mail: diana.sousa@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Joes van Meurs, HR Advisor, by email: Joes.vanmeurs@wur.nl.

General information about The Laboratory of Microbiology can be found on https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Chair-groups/Agrotechnology-and-Food-Sciences/Laboratory-of-Microbiology.htm

You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter, using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including August 27th 2021. The first job interviews will take place in the first week of September.

Equal opportunities employer
WUR employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who encourage and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusive webpage. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.