The group of Dr Sonja Billerbeck ( has an open position for a one-year postdoctoral project, with the opportunity to apply for further funding for additional three years.

In the Billerbeck lab, we use a combination of synthetic biology, genome engineering, protein engineering, and environmental microbiology to access, understand and engineer the yeast toxicome – antifungal compounds secreted by yeast – for applications in human health, industrial biotechnology and to answer fundamental questions on yeast (pathogen) biology.

This postdoctoral project is an exciting opportunity to work closely with industry (a major brewing company) and set the ground for developing the yeast toxicome into food preservatives. This position also entails helping in the preparation of a grant proposal to apply for further private-public funding.
The position is ideal for a recent PhD who wants to explore working close to industry.

The Billerbeck lab is embedded within the Department of Molecular Microbiology (MolMic) at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB – MolMic also encompassing the Labs of Profs. Arnold Driessen, Dirk-Jan Scheffers and Tessa Quax. MolMic is a group of ~ 30 enthusiastic microbiologists and together we study and engineer the functional diversity of microbes on a molecular level. We work with the whole microbial tree of life, from Archaea (Quax, Driessen), to Bacteria (Scheffers, Driessen), to yeast (Billerbeck, Driessen) and filamentous fungi (Driessen). Methodologically we use molecular biology and protein biochemistry, fluorescent microscopy, genetic and genome-engineering, next-generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, and other biophysical techniques.


The successful applicant has:

• a PhD in the field of molecular life sciences (e.g. microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, etc.)
• a creative, open and resilient mind and good English skills
• excellent interpersonal skills combined with an ability to work efficiently both independently and in a team
• Keen interest in grant writing and building industry relations.


The University of Groningen (UG) is a highly international and renowned centre of higher education located in the north of the Netherlands. Groningen is a vibrant and international student city (1 in 4 of the ~220k inhabitants is a student, and 1 in 4 students is international) located ~2 h northeast of Amsterdam and the UG ranks among the world’s top institutes. English is ubiquitously spoken in the Netherlands, and the university provides free language courses.

The Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), one of the larger institutes of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), provides an excellent environment for top-notch research in the field of biomolecular sciences. The GBB contains twelve vibrant Departments with strong roots in biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, cell biology, computational biology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, and systems biology.

Conditions of employment

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

• a salary from a minimum of € 3,557 gross per month up to a maximum of € 4,670 gross per month (salary scale 10) based on a full-time position and dependent on qualification and work experience
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees.

The successful candidates will first be offered a temporary position of one year. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient funding.

Additional information about the conditions of employment:

The starting date is January 2023


Please send us a complete application with the below-mentioned supporting documents as a single PDF:

• cover letter with background and motivation to apply for this position
• curriculum vitae, including Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees, work and research experience, and a publication list
• detailed (max. 500 words) description of previous research experience
• contact details of at least two academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position.

You may apply for this position until 14 November 11:59pm / before 15 November 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:…)rsity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission’s European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

Additional information


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