Tailored opportunities: PhD position in sustainable plant protection at Leiden University

PhD candidate, Sustainable Plant Protection

Key responsibilities
Within the programme of the Dutch Science Agenda “Self Defense: Mimicking natural deterrent strategies in plants using adhesive spheres and volatiles” the PhD will be responsible for the  development and testing of bioassays with trichome mimics (adhesive spheres) for their efficacy in

reducing thrips damage on plants. The candidate will do so in close collaboration with PhD’s from WUR and RUG that will be responsible for the development of the mimics. Once optimal spheres have been developed

defense compounds and repellant volatiles will be included in the trichome mimics. Some of the research activities will take place in collaboration with Aeres University of Applied Sciences. The final goal of the programme is to develop a marketable product for sustainable plant protection against insect herbivores.

Selection criteria

  • Relevant biological background with basic understanding of chemistry;
  • Theoretical knowledge and practical experience with plant herbivore interactions;
  • A proven interest in plant horticulture;
  • Good team player willing to take the goals set by the programme as a lead for his work;
  • Innovative and Out of the Box thinker;
  • Excellent communication skills involving science, education, private companies and society;
  • Excellent English oral and writing skills;
  • Basic Dutch oral and writing skills.

Our organisation
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

For more information, see the website of the Faculty of Science.

Terms and conditions 
We offer a  full-time 1 year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2.395,-  to € 3.061,-  gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to Peter Klinkhamer, email p.g.l.klinkhamer@biology.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Sylvia Maas, email jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl.

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Sylvia Maas, email jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

Only applications received no later than November 10th can be considered.

  • CV;
  • List of courses and grading of the bachelor and master programme;
  • Pdf file of the bachelor- and master thesis;
  • Two references;
  • Statement of interest in the project and a statement about why you are an excellent candidate.    

Tailored Opportunities: Frontieri’s CSR, Competitive Partially Funded Scholarship Opportunity for Ethiopian PhD Candidates in all public Universities


Frontieri consult PLC, one of the leading consulting firms in Ethiopia. Frontieri highly believes, quality research output by researchers is important for an informed decision-making and to be able to identify major intervention areas. In the course of our engagement in research endeavors over the past 12 years and serving wide-ranging clients. We have learnt that there are many promising PhD candidates who despite having completed courses, are constrained by lack of adequate funding to undertake high quality research projects for the partial fulfillment of their PhD studies. In view of this understanding our unwavering commitment to support quality research output and to fulfill our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), we have designed and launched a yearly Partially Funded Scholarship Program in 2019. Frontieri takes a great pleasure to announce its second national PhD partially funded scholarship opportunity The Partially Funded Scholarship initiative aims to support Ethiopian PhD students by breaking down barriers, opening doors, and offering access to financial aid and technical assistance.


The applicant shall be an Ethiopian doctoral candidates currently enrolled in one of the public Universities in Ethiopia

The applicant should clearly demonstrate scholastic and professional excellence and a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their local communities.

The applicant shall have proven professional achievements;

The applicant should have relevance, feasible and quality concept note;

The applicant’s research experience should be relevant to Frontieri’s research priorities i.e. Economics including Development Economics and Agricultural Economics; Agriculture; Rural Development; Sociology; Human Nutrition and Development Studies; and;

Expected contribution/impact of the proposed research in tackling societal problem(s) at the grassroots level.

Female applicants are highly encouraged to apply.

When? Submission deadline for application will be on or before 28 February 2021


Nomination letter from the President, Academic/ research VP or their equivalents that shows the has already completed course work and ready for pursuing his/her research, and he/she does not have other source of funding.  

Scholarship application letter; Curriculum Vitae (CV); Registration slip for the current semester; Student copies (Master’s and PhD)

One or two recommendation letters signed by advisors and

A concept note containing a brief description of the background/ problem , rationale, objectives, a clear breakdown of and the data source and  methodology, tentative budget summary, and timeline  (maximum of 10 pages, 1.5 spacing and times new roman).

The application shall come through the public universities where they are studying in.

Eligible candidates are requested to submit scholarship application to their academic departments or colleges following the instructions and or guidelines set by each public university.

Each public university is humbly required to submit names of three most promising doctoral candidates through career@frontieri.com.

The president, academic vice president and/or research vice president should sign the Nomination letter from the university

Submission deadline for application will be on or before 28 February 2021

If you have queries with regard to this partially-funded scholarship opportunity, please reach us through career@frontieri.com. Or telephone number +251 11 647 81 29, +251 11 647 9517


Financial assistance of up to Birr 100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand birr);

Arrangement of free office space and provision of stationery materials;

Equipment and other supports needed for field data collection; and Other technical assistance as deemed necessary

Thank you Tesemash Tefera for you sharing this opportunity. Thank you Frointieri consult PLC for the commitment for fulfill the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Appreciated!

Tailored Opportunities: PhD student position on Monitoring and process-based modelling of grassland dynamics at the University of Bonn, Germany


 Research project Digital Agricultural Knowledge and Information Sys-tem (DAKIS) contributes to the vision for spatially and functionally diversified agricultural systems.The Crop Science group at the University of Bonn contributes to DAKIS by supporting the set-up of the sensor infrastructure at the test sites located in the federal states of Branden-burg and Bavaria, the ground- and aircraft-based monitoring and by spatially and temporally explicit modeling of grassland systems under explicit consideration of ecosystems services and biodiversity.


Have MSc degree in Crop science, botany, plant ecology, geo-ecology, remote sensing, geodesy or related sciences with a background in grass/forage sciences, biodiversity, remote sensing and/or expertise in using simulation models.

 Practical experience in mapping vegetation communities and in grassland management is desirable.

A strong interest in developing process-based, numerical models at the soil-plant interface are an advantage.

 Applications of handicapped persons will be favored when all other qualifications are equal.

 Female candidates are encouraged to submit their applications.


The deadline for this application is October 15, 2020, Earliest starting date will be January 2021


Application CV including diploma certificates/transcripts, list of publication, statement of research interests and achievements, address of two references to the following address.

Dr. Thomas Gaiser , C/o Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation  University of Bonn, D-53115 Bonn, Germany , Email: tgaiser@uni-bonn.de

For more information, please visit this link:


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Tailored opportunities: PhD position in biotechnology at Ghent University

Current biomass use comes at a high cost, either in terms of land use (sugar/starch crops) or energy and chemical use (2nd generation biomass). On the other hand, bio-waste is massively produced in urban or rural context but almost not valorised, or solely in low-value applications, in part due to its heterogenous nature. The H2020 BBI CAFIPLA project tackles both issues by developing an integrated biomass valorisation strategy that combines the carboxylic acid and fibre recovery platform (CAP/FRP). Ghent University is one of the partners of this H2020 BBI project, and will contribute to the project by investigating: i) the production of medium-chain carboxylic acids from biowaste by chain elongation; and ii) the characterization of waste fermentation microbiomes using single-cell techniques, and the development of novel process monitoring and steering approaches for process mornitoring.

Type of employment

  • PhD candidate researcher: Full-time, fixed-term appointment for initially 1 year, yearly renewable after positive evaluation up to 2.5 years. Intended starting date: November 2020 (or as soon as possible).
  • A competitive salary including benefits is offered, salary levels account for years of professional experience.
  • Ghent University is an equal opportunity employer.


– CMET The Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET) formally LabMET; www.CMET.UGent.be) is part of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, a top 100 university in most rankings. CMET has over 40 years of experience in the study of applied microbial processes and microbial ecology in the contexts of waste(water) treatment, bioremediation, bioproduction, bioelectrochemistry and resource recovery. It is one of the top performing centres worldwide in its field and links excellent basic science with application, leading to high level peer-reviewed outputs besides commercial outcomes including 7 spin-off companies over time. Reactor and process developments go from millilitre scale to full scale industrial. Prof. Ramon Ganigué and Prof. Nico Boon will be the promotors of this PhD project. CMET is a very multidisciplinary team and has a very international atmosphere.

Profile of the candidate


Background and experience

  • Scientific researcher: A Master degree in microbiology, environmental engineering, bioscience engineering or equivalent, completed before the start date of the position, with excellent grades.
  • Experience in the field of wastewater treatment, applied microbiology, microbial ecology, single-cell technologies or fermentations will be greatly appreciated.

Scientific knowledge and skills

  • Knowledge of bio-process engineering and microbiology.
  • Ability to rigorously design experiments and to perform experiments under well-controlled conditions.
  • Be experienced and interested in interdisciplinary research. This includes microbiology and chemistry.
  • Ability to work with analytics, such as HPLC & GC, as well as experience with microbial analyses. • Ability to rigorously design and perform experiments in a result-oriented and thorough manner.
  • Ability to perform in-depth and critical data analysis.
  • Ability to communicate through high-quality scientific channels, e.g. WoS publications (A1).

Personal knowledge and skills

  • A strong interest in inter/multi-disciplinary applied science.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with team members from different backgrounds and in different research areas.
  • Excellent skills for time management and the ability to meet objectives within strictly set deadlines.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English are strictly required (C1 level).
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and with minimum supervision. 
  • Outcome focused, hands-on mentality.
  • Willingness to travel internationally for project meetings and conferences.
  • Willingness to apply for scholarships to obtain additional funding.

How to apply


Submission and closing date

Applications must be sent via email to cmet.recruitment@UGent.be as pdf or word documents, with in the subject line mentioning “CAFIPLA_PhD”. Applications should contain all three files, either as individual documents or in a consolidated file. Incomplete applications (i.e. missing one of the three files) will be disregarded. Final closing date is October 28th 2020 (23h59 CET), but applications will be regularly reviewed prior to the deadline hence early application is recommended.

Application files

1. Cover Letter. The cover letter should include the position reference, your contact address and telephone number. It is an opportunity -in not more than one page- to introduce yourself and highlight the key reasons you should be considered for the role, taking into account the required skills.

2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae. A resume is a brief history of your employment and experience that covers the following areas:

• Educational qualifications and professional affiliations that detail the full title of the qualification, the year awarded and the title of the institution attended;

• Employment history in chronological order, starting with current position and specifying dates of employment, title of each position, name of employer, main duties or accountabilities and achievements;

• Research fields and current interests, publications (full list as attachment with three most significant marked with an asterisk, also indicating impact factors and Quartiles according to Web of Science), research grants awarded.

• The names and contact details (address, telephone, e-mail) of three referees, including if possible a senior person (preferably your supervisor, manager or head of organisational unit) closely associated with your current work. A referee must be able to comment on your work experience, skills and performance with respect to the selection criteria.

3. Selection Criteria. A statement addressing how each of the selection criteria has been met is required to assist the Selection Committee determine whether you have the relevant qualifications, knowledge/skills, experience and personal qualities.

Selection process

A Selection Committee will consider all applications and shortlist candidates for interview who appear to meet the selection criteria at the highest levels. They will be invited to attend an interview and the remaining unsuccessful applicants will be notified accordingly.

An invitation to attend an interview provides an opportunity to provide further information to the Selection Committee to substantiate your claims against the selection criteria or demonstrate your capabilities. Please note that for some positions interviews may be conducted by teleconference in the first instance.

The Selection Committee will subsequently seek referee reports, if not sought prior to interview, before making a decision to make an offer of appointment to the preferred candidate. The purpose of referee checks is to obtain, in confidence, factual information about your past work history, as well as opinions regarding the quality of your work, behaviour in the work place and suitability for the position. Referee reports may be sought orally, or for academic staff, in writing by post or e-mail.

If you are the preferred candidate, you will receive a written offer of appointment to the position. Do not take any action, such as resigning from your current position, before you receive a written offer of appointment.

More information regarding this position

Please contact Prof. Ramon Ganigue (Ramon.Ganigue@UGent.be) and Prof. Nico Boon (Nico.Boon@UGent.be).