HOURS PER WEEK: 38 to 40FACULTY: Faculty of ScienceDEPARTMENT: Department of Biology, Plant-Microbe InteractionsAPPLICATION DEADLINE: 18 September 2023



Job description

As Research Technician you will join the Plant-Microbe Interactions 

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 (PMI) group within the Department of Biology and support our collegial research team in the field of plant-microbiome interactions. You will work on the NWO-TTW-funded project “SPOTM: Sequence-based POTato Microbiome tools for microbiome-optimized potatoes” and the NWO-Spinoza-funded research programme “Bidirectional signalling along the microbiome-root-shoot axis: Towards future microbiome-assisted agriculture”. You will be responsible for the partly robotized plant microbiome DNA isolation and analysis pipeline, and for the development, maintenance and utilization of large microbial culture collections. Ideally, you have expertise in molecular (plant) microbiology.

The discovery that beneficial root microbiota enhance plant growth, nutrition and immunity have fostered bio-based approaches to reduce the use of agrochemicals in crop systems. However, the dream of microbiome-assisted agriculture as a genuine sustainable contribution to global food security will require a deep understanding of the biological principles underlying plant-microbiome interactions. Therefore, the Utrecht PMI team studies molecular mechanisms by which plants orchestrate interactions with beneficial microbes in the plant microbiome. Our research goals are being achieved by using Arabidopsis as a model as well as a economically relevant crop species, such as potato. We use state-of-the-art techniques and methods in molecular microbiology, plant biotechnology, as well as biochemistry, genomics, and bioinformatic analysis of microbiome data. With our strong ties to the recently opened Netherlands Plant-Ecophenotyping Centre (NPEC 

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), frontier plant-microbe interactions phenotyping is at our disposal.

Within the PMI team, we nurture the spirit of collegiality. To further build our team, we consider it important that you have strongly developed social skills and have a positive can do mentality.

If you feel that you this role suits you well, we welcome you to apply.


For this vacancy, bring your enthusiasm, passion and the following essential requirements:

  • a degree (HBO) in life sciences. Plant sciences or related field;
  • expertise in molecular microbiology techniques;
  • excellent command external link of English;
  • good communication and organization skills;
  • proactive and collegial.

Nice to haves are:

  • experience in host-microbiome research;
  • experience with DNA-related work;
  • experience with plant-related research;
  • affinity with robotic high-throughput technologies;
  • basic knowledge of bioinformatics.


We offer our new Research Technician:

  • a 1.0 FTE position for 1 year, with possibility to extend to 3 years;
  • a full-time gross salary between €2693 and €4103 in scale 7 or 8 Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (cao);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions 

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, including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development 

external link, (partly paid) parental leave, sports external link and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University 

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, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes 

external link. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow external link.

At the Faculty of Science 

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, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us on our media channels 

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You will be working in the Plant-Microbe Interactions group at UU (https://www.uu.nl/en/research/plant-microbe-interactions 

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Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact Dr. Roeland Berendsen at  R.L.Berendsen@uu.nl or Prof. Corné Pieterse at  C.M.J.Pieterse@uu.nl).
Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl 

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Are you an international applicant? Our International Service Desk 

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 can answer your questions about living in the Netherlands as international staff 

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Everyone deserves to feel at home 

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 at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the “Apply now” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation clearly outlining why this position interests you, your motivation for joining our team and what makes you a suitable candidate
  • your Curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references;
  • a copy of your HBO diploma, or a letter from your educational organization stating when your degree will be issued.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

*Note to recruitment agencies: Please refrain from contacting us regarding this job posting.

The application deadline is 18 September 2023.


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