PhD: Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology

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Job description

In the frame of the project entitled “Climate change and effect on pollination services” the Laboratory of Microbiology (research group of Professor P. Vandamme – wants to recruit a new PhD student. Social pollinators such as honey bees and bumblebees have a relatively simply microbiome consisting of a limited number of ‘core bacteria’ . To what extent this also applies to solitary bee species is subject of on-going research.

The successful candidate will join an interuniversity consortium and will continue the mapping of several bee microbiomes. He/she will by means of comparative genomics studies examine whether or not the gut microbiota of bumblebees, honey bees and solitary bees contribute to the host’s potential to adapt to and / or resist pathogens, pesticides and plant metabolites. For the moment funding is already available for a period of three years and additional funding has been applied for.

The candidate should preferably start early April 2021 but the starting date can be postponed until the end of the current academic year.

Job profile

Job profile:

  • You hold a master’s degree in Life Sciences (e.g. Biochemistry & Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Bioscience Engineering, Biology, Microbiology), or a discipline that is declared admissible by the selection committee, or an equivalent degree.
  • You can also apply in case you will obtain this degree before the start of the appointment.
  • You have a strong interest in bioinformatics and microbiology.
  • You had theoretical and practical training in microbology.
  • Previous experience in bioinformatics has a strong added value.
  • You are an active team player with a strong sense of autonomy.
  • You are fluent in Dutch or English

What do we offer you?

  • You will be hired by Ghent University and your principal physical working place will be the Campus Ledeganck in Ghent.
  • We offer an initial contract of 1 year, which will be extended up to a maximum of 4 years after positive evaluation. For more about PhD studies at Ghent University, please see and
  • You will receive a PhD scholarship according to the general conditions at Ghent University. The tax free scholarship includes full social security coverage.
  • You will work in a dynamic, international research group. A complete overview of all our fringe benefits can be found on the UGent website.

How to apply

All applications must be received no later than February 15, 2021, at with the following documents attached as one file:

  • application letter
  • curriculum vitae
  • a transcript of the required degree
  • names and contact details of at least two reference persons
  • an English language certificate if a non-Dutch speaking person applies

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.

For more information about this vacancy please contact Professor Peter Vandamme (


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