The Ph.D. candidate will focus on understanding how potato shoots and roots adaptively respond to simultaneous and dynamic abiotic stresses

Do you have a background in crop science, crop modeling, root biology, or a related field? Are you fascinated by how plants respond to environmental stresses to help maintain their growth and productivity? And do you like working both independently and in a multidisciplinary team? Then you could be the ideal Ph.D. candidate to join our team!

The Ph.D. candidate will focus on understanding how potato shoots and roots adaptively respond to simultaneous and dynamic abiotic stresses. Empirical and modeling experiments will study how to mitigate crop yield losses to drought and salinity stress.

The candidate will work on the following tasks:

  • Characterize adaptive plant (root and shoot) responses to salinity and drought stress through the identification of key traits associated with stress tolerance using growth chamber, greenhouse, and field experiments
  • Identify integrated plant phenotypes for enhanced plant performance in dynamic, simultaneous drought and salinity stress
  • Model-based design and evaluation of ideotypes of adaptive plant traits for stress tolerance

This 4-year Ph.D. position is part of a collaborative and interdisciplinary project in which Wageningen University collaborates with TU Delft and water boards. Five Ph.D. candidates will be employed for the project supported by a diverse team of academic staff members (ranging from crop physiology to integrated water management, planning, and governance). You should be motivated to function in an interdisciplinary research environment and to interact and collaborate with diverse partners. You are expected to communicate results with scientific peers as well as with partners and the general public.

This research is embedded within the Centre for Crop Systems Analysis. You will become a member of the Crop Physiology team, which is led by Prof. Paul Struik. You will be co-supervised by dr. Hannah Schneider.

You will also join the Ph.D. program of the PE&RC graduate school. This academic environment, in combination with the embedding in a large transdisciplinary project with strong ties with private partners, gives you all opportunities to develop new skills and kick-start your academic career.

We ask

You have:

  • a successfully completed MSc degree in plant sciences or a related field;
  • excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page;
  • experience with and/or strong interest in crop modeling;
  • strong collaborative skills.

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our  Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.443,- per month rising to € 3.122,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.
There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “ Best University ” in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Hannah Schneider, Assistant Professor, +31 317 482835 or by email

For more information about the procedure, please contact Ine van’t Land ( Marike Westra (

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 15 March 2022.
We hope to schedule the first job interviews on 1 April 2022. The preferred starting date for this position is 1 July 2022.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!Apply now

Leave a Reply