Interdisciplinary PhD positions in host-microbe biology: Netherlands

We are looking for two talented and enthusiastic biologists, biochemists, physicists or mathematicians who are interested in applying quantitative and system-level approaches towards understanding host-microbe interactions. The PhD candidates for this project will be working at the Intestinal Microbiology group led by Dr. Jonas Cremer and which is part of the GBB Department of Molecular Immunology and Microbiology. Gut bacteria, their growth and their interactions within the human host are studied via a highly interdisciplinary approach that includes methods for state-of-the-art anaerobic cultivation, omics techniques, and extensive computer simulations. Recent papers include: Arnoldini et al. (2018); DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2018.1448741, Cremer et al. (2017); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619598114, and Cremer et al. (2016); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1601306113.

Successful applicants will follow quantitative considerations to study the involved (micro)biological processes occurring in the intestine.

The PhD projects will focus on:
• the interactions between primary (carbon consuming) fermenters and cross-feeding strains present in the intestine
• the dynamical aspects of gut microbiota growth and its daily variation depending on diet intake and gut activity
• the swimming physiology of different gut bacteria.

PhD candidates will receive excellent training through cutting-edge research projects, advanced courses and training opportunities, complemented by workshops on generic research, transferable skills and teaching. As a PhD candidate, you are committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed within 4 years. PhD candidates are expected to contribute 10% of their overall workload to teaching.


The ideal candidates are interested in doing both, wet-lab experiments and modelling approaches, share an enthusiasm to investigate biology by numbers, and can provide the following qualifications:

  • a MSc degree with specialization in molecular (micro)biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, physics, mathematics, or computer sciences is required
  • excellent command of the English language
  • ability to work independently and in a team
  • experience with simulations/coding or wet-lab experiments is an advantage.


You may apply for this position until 28 February 23:59h / before 1 March 2019 Dutch local time by means of the online application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications for the position should include (as a single PDF file):

• cover letter with background and motivation to apply for this position
• curriculum vitae, including details of bachelor and master degrees, labwork and/or computational/modelling experience and a publication list, if applicable
• detailed (1-2 pages) description of previous research experience, such as the bachelor/master research projects
• contact details of 2 academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position

Interviews are scheduled to take place in March 2019 in Groningen.

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