Postdoctoral position-soil virome: Netherlands

The Department of Microbial Ecology of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) offers a two-year postdoctoral position: “The soil virome and its impact on microbial community composition”.

Project description:
Viruses play important ecological roles, including the regulation of host density and diversity in microbial communities. Recent advances have greatly improved our ability to understand the global virosphere as frontier science moves towards interpreting its impact on microbial ecology. A major open question is the impact of the virome relative to other factors, including the spatial structure of the environment and the functioning of higher order organisms. The project will address these questions in soil, one of the most diverse biomes on earth where the virome is still largely uncharacterized. We will design experiments to cover a range of soil spatial structure and plant-disease suppressiveness, and apply experimental evolution, innovative computational modelling, and global metagenomic surveys to investigate the impact of the virome.

The soil virome project is a close collaboration between evolutionary biologists, soil ecologists, and bioinformaticians, including a supervisory team consisting of Dr. Mark P. Zwart (NIOO), Dr. Paolina Garbeva (NIOO), Dr. Bas E. Dutilh (Utrecht University), and Prof. Dr. Jos Raaijmakers (NIOO).


  • PhD degree in virology, microbiology, soil ecology, or a closely related field
  • Demonstrable affinity with virology and/or soil ecology
  • Experience with bioinformatics (in particular metagenomics) and experimental work
  • Highly motivated candidate with creative, critical and conceptual thinking skills
  • Good communication skills in English (written and spoken)
  • Ability to work both independently and with different research groups

Conditions of employment: 

This is a temporary appointment, fulltime for a fixed term of 2 years.

Salary depends on training and work experience. The gross salary starts at € 3.111,- (scale 10.4) per month to the maximum gross monthly salary of a full-time appointment at € 4.048,- (scale 10.12) per month, Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten), excluding 8% holiday pay and a year-end bonus. We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits.

Additional information

Additional information is available upon request from Dr. Mark Zwart: Information on NIOO-KNAW can be found on the Internet:

Further details
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