PhD position in Molecular Microbiology, Infection mechanisms of archaeal viruses

Department

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Organisation

University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global center of knowledge.

A PhD position starting immediately is available in the laboratory of Dr Tessa E.F. Quax in the department of Molecular Microbiology of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Job description

The research group ‘Biology of Archaea and Viruses’ is studying infection mechanisms of archaeal viruses. Archaea are ubiquitous microorganisms that form a separate domain of life. Compared with bacteria and eukaryotes, relatively little is known about the cell biology and ecological roles of archaea. A prominent feature of archaea is the extraordinary diversity of their viruses. Archaeal viral particles have many unique shapes not encountered for bacterial and eukaryotic viruses. We focus on the infection strategies of archaeal viruses and study the molecular mechanisms underlying essential steps of the viral infection cycle, such as attachment, entry and release of the host cell. Since these processes take place at the cell surface, we are also actively studying the archaeal cell surface and surface appendages using the halophilic euryarchaeon Haloferax volcanii as a model. Studying the infection mechanisms of archaeal viruses can provide insight into the evolutionary history of viruses and help to understand adaptation to extreme environments. This particular project focusses on how archaeal viruses compete with each other for access to cellular resources.

We offer an excellent opportunity to engage into an exciting PhD project that combines microbiology, genetic, microscopy and biochemical tools in the context of a dynamic and enthusiastic work environment, with state-of-the-art equipment and various chances for national and international scientific collaborations.

We are looking for a PhD candidate for this project. Your responsibilities will include:

- application of several light and electron microscopy techniques to study the infection strategies of selected viruses
- combine several virology techniques to screen for archaeal viruses that block each other’s infection
- apply RNAseq to infected cells in order to map how infection impacts functioning of the archaeal cell.

Requirements

Your profile includes:

- a Master’s degree with top grades in biology, chemistry or biotechnology
- interest in the above indicated research fields
- very strong command of English
- previous experience with viruses of archaea/bacteria, electron/light microscopy or microbial genetics is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth and final year
- a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
- a holiday allowance of 8% of gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
- minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment.

The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

The preferred starting date is as soon as possible.

Job Application

Please send in a complete and convincing application with the below-mentioned supporting documents:

- letter of intent detailing why you are interested in this specific project and how your previous research qualifies you for the project (up to 1,500 words)
- Curriculum Vitae with list of publications (if applicable)
- short summary of your Master’s thesis (up to 1,000 words)
- suggestion of two referees with contact details.

You may apply for this position until 14 August 11:59pm / before 15 August 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Tessa. E.F. Quax
t.e.f.quax@rug.nl

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 222521

Digital application form