Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Research & Science
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      January 07,2022
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    PhD position in Plant Development and Molecular Biology

    We are looking for an enthusiastic, communicative, and highly motivated colleague with experience in molecular plant sciences to do a PhD in our group. You will be working on an NWO funded project that seeks to map the site of ethylene action (META), in protecting the Arabidopsis root meristem from hypoxic injury. This project builds on our previous work, characterizing the positive effect of ethylene on root meristem hypoxia tolerance. We now seek to identify the specific cell types and related mechanisms that are essential for this process. To do so, META will use a combination of physiological, genetics and computational modelling approaches working closely with the Plant Systems Physiology group at Radboud University. You will be directly supervised by Dr. Rashmi Sasidharan and will collaborate intensively with Prof. J. Xu, Dr. V. Mironova and a PhD student also working on META and focusing more on the computational modeling approaches.

    Your project will involve generating cell-type specific tools including conditional mutants and various reporter lines. Our goal is to identify root cell-types essential for ethylene action. We aim to identify mechanisms underlying collaborative action of cell-types towards meristem protection during hypoxia stress and the potential involvement of molecules such as ROS and auxin. The molecular genetic tools will also be used towards microscopy-based high-resolution growth analyses. This will be the basis for building 3D computer models for visualizing and testing cell type specific effects. Your project will require extensive molecular cloning, genetics, and high-resolution microscopy techniques. In addition, you will be tasked with developing and executing experiments, data analysis and presentation and writing manuscripts. You will also get the opportunity to gain teaching experience.


    We are looking for a driven, creative and collaborative candidate with a keen interest to learn and the motivation to work in an ambitious and international research environment.

    Essential requirements for the position are:

    • a MSc in the area of molecular plant biology;
    • expertise in molecular and genetics techniques;
    • excellent command of both written and spoken English;
    • the ability to think critically and creatively;
    • you are organized and efficient.

    We would like you to have:

    • experience in Arabidopsis research;
    • basic bioinformatic skills (e.g. basics of R);
    • experience in root development, stress signalling;
    • affiliation with plant-environment interactions.

    • an exciting project that will investigate a relatively unexplored but highly relevant research area;
    • a full-time position for four years;
    • a full-time gross salary starting at €2,443 in year 1 and increasing to €3,122 in year 4 (scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
    • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
    • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

    In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

    More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

    Over de organisatie

    You will be working with Rashmi Sasidharan’s research team, embedded within the Plant Ecophysiology group. We are a very diverse and international research group embedded within the Institute of Environmental Biology. You can expect to work in an inclusive, collaborative and motivating environment with a very creative, ambitious and international team of PhD students, post-docs, tenured staff and research assistants. You will have access to world class research facilities and will benefit from our extensive national/international ongoing collaborations (including those with industry), facilitating network building, essential to future jobs.

    At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes which work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

    Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts researchers, professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

    Aanvullende informatie

    If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact:
    Dr. Rashmi Sasidharan, via

    Do you have a question about the application procedure? Then please send an email to

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