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Assistant professor Data-analyst plant-microbiome interaction

Faculty of Science - Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

Assistant professor Data-analyst plant-microbiome interaction
Publicatiedatum 11 februari 2019
Sluitingsdatum 24 maart 2019
Opleidingsniveau Gepromoveerd
Functieomvang 38 hours per week
Salarisindicatie €3,637 to €4,978 gross per month
Vacaturenummer 19-091

The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is an institute that belongs to the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Its approximately 230 scientists and staff members work in 16 research groups that perform excellent research, centred on four themes:

1) Cell & Systems Biology

2) Neurosciences

3) Microbiology and

4) Green Life Sciences

The faculty has defined a Research Priority Area Systems Biology (RPA-SB) with a focus on modeling host-microbe interactions in different fields of biology.

The current vacancy is part of this RPA-SB. You will interact extensively with the other researchers in this RPA-SB and other plant, metabolomics and microbiome specialists in the Faculty of Science.

The mission of the 'Plant Hormone Biology' group is to understand the chemical communication of plants with other organisms in their environment. We study how plants produce and secrete signalling molecules, particularly underground, and how this affects the behaviour of other organisms in the soil. One of our topics is the discovery of new signalling relationships between plants and micro-organisms for which we use –omics approaches. The analysis of such datasets and the discovery of mechanistic relationships present a huge challenge for which we collaborate with the Biosystems Data Analysis group that develops data analysis and modeling methods for analyzing complex biological data, among others metabolomics and microbiome data, with a focus on data fusion.

Job description

Host-microbiome interaction is a field of increasing importance. Micro-organisms, often in interaction with their complex communities, contribute to host fitness and well-being. This is increasingly clear for humans and animals, and also in plants there are more and more indications that microbes and the microbiome play a substantial role in resilience of plants to environmental conditions and thus may play an important role in the quest for sustainable agriculture. We study how the host is affecting the microbiome and vice versa and want to use omics data to pinpoint unknown functional relationships between plants and (beneficial) microbes. You will develop new data analysis and computational tools to discover mechanistic relationships between, for example, transcriptomics, metabolomics and metagenomics data. This will be done in close interaction with biologists in the Plant Hormone Biology group as well as with others in SILS and IBED. Also you will be involved in teaching in this field.


You should:

  • have a PhD and several years of postdoctoral experience in the area of analysis and integration of different omics datasets, preferably metabolomics, transcriptomics as well as metagenomics data;
  • be able to communicate with bioinformatics and data analysis experts as well as (plant and/or microbe) biologists.
  • have a good understanding of state of the art data-analysis and modeling packages such as R, Matlab and COBRA;
  • have a clear affinity with education demonstrated by a University Teaching Qualification (BKO) or the willingness to enter into a programme leading to such.
  • be fluent in Dutch and English (SILS expects its staff to acquire sufficient fluency in the Dutch language within two years of the appointment).

Within the Faculty of Science, newly appointed Assistant professors , who do not yet have a BKO certificate, follow a didactic training that should result in a certificate for academic teaching.

Affinity with causal relationship analysis, systems biology modeling, plant metabolism and microbiome work are an advantage.

Further information

Enquiries about the position or any request for additional information may be directed to:


The vacancy is for a permanent position. According to standard university policies this implies that you will be offered a permanent contract, after an initial two year probation period during which you should show your competence in science and teaching.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary in the first year will be between €3,637 and €4,978 (salary scale 11), depending on CV and experience. The Collective Labour Agreement (Cao) of the Dutch Universities is applicable.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

Are you interested?
Applications may only be submitted online by clicking the link below.

Your application must include a CV (including contact details of two academic referees) and a letter of motivation. Please combine these documents in one single attachment and also mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

To enable us to process your application immediately, please quote vacancy number 19-091 and the position you are applying for.

The closing date is 24 March 2019. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Apply now