PhD position Insect Health and Immunology (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. With its 31,000 students and Nobel prize winning researchers, University of Groningen ranks among the top universities globally. It is situated in the vibrant capital of the northern Netherlands, Groningen.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the largest faculty within the University. We offer exclusive education and research in a wide range of science and engineering disciplines, from classical disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy and mechanical engineering, to interdisciplinary fields such as artificial intelligence, pharmacy and nanoscience. Our community has an open and informal character with students and staff from around the world.

Research environment
Research will be performed in the Microbial Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics groups at the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which comprises several, internationally recognized, research groups in the field of behavioural and neurosciences, ecology and evolutionary biology.

You will work within the context of a collaboration between the Microbial Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics groups in Groningen and the Laboratory of Entomology of the Wageningen University, within the framework of the NWA-funded research programme on Insects as Sustainable Feed. In this programme we take an interdisciplinary approach involving natural scientists, social scientists, NGO’s and regulatory organisations. You will be part of a larger team of PhDs, post-docs and staff and stakeholders all contributing to the same goal of assessing the value of insects as sustainable feed for a circular economy.

Job description

We are looking for a talented PhD candidate in the field of insect health and insect immunology.

You will:
- characterize the immunological defences in insects (black soldier fly, housefly) reared for feed and the underlying mechanisms.
- develop rearing methods and hygienic measures to prevent infections in insect mass rearing and develop diagnostic methods to routinely screen insect health under mass rearing conditions.

The research will be closely connected to that of a PhD student and postdoc at the University of Groningen and a postdoc at Wageningen University. The project is linked to those of other PhD students in the overall research programme.


- enthusiastic, proactive, you like to work in a multidisciplinary team and have excellent communication skills.
- a MSc degree in Biology, Animal Sciences or a relevant field.
- experience in insect biology and immunology, molecular biology of animal-pathogen interactions, bioinformatics and statistical analyses of complex datasets.
- curiosity driven and passionate about fundamental research in the context of working towards sustainable food and feed production.
- strongly motivated to obtain a PhD degree.
a team player, willing to work with a diverse group of researchers, technicians and project stakeholders.
- strong communication skills and are proficient in the English language.

Our PhD students are encouraged to supervise MSc thesis students when such opportunities arise and you will be involved in some teaching activities.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- gross salary per month € 2,325 in the first year rising to € 2,972 (PhD salary scale) per month in the fourth year
- a full-time position (1.0 FTE, 40 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus

The candidate will be based at the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences at the University of Groningen.

Job Application

You may apply for this position until 15 October 23.59 pm / before 16 October 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website). Please add the relevant vacancy number as indicated above in your application and include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information of three academic referees.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), https://nvp- and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Joana Falcao Salles

Bregje Wertheim

Leo Beukeboom

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219473

Digital application form