PhD Student in Biology

Ghent University Department of Biology


PhD Student

Last application date -Mar 15, 2020 23:59
Department -WE11 - Department of Biology
Employment category -Doctoral fellow
Contract -Limited duration
Degree -You hold a Master’s degree in Sciences: Biology, Bioscience Engineering, or Bioinformatics. Holders of a PhD degree cannot apply.
Occupancy rate -100%
Vacancy Type -Research staff

Job description

The Laboratory of Protistology and Aquatic Ecology (Ghent University) invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship for 1 year and extended with another 3 years (after positive evaluation) for research into functional genomics of Antarctic and High Arctic lakes and soils. The student will use shotgun metagenomics libraries to study functional genes involved in carbon and nutrient cycling in lakes and soils situated at different latitudes, altitudes and characterized by varying environmental conditions.

We offer an intellectually challenging environment, high-quality training to develop hard and soft skills, opportunities to participate in sampling campaigns to polar regions and international scientific conferences, and a competitive salary including a bicycle commuting reimbursement. Ghent University is among the top global universities according to several international rankings. Furthermore, Ghent is a charming medieval Flemish town, filled with canals, and full of energy, history, and culture.

The job duties include:

  •  DNA extraction and the development of DNA libraries for high-throughput sequencing.
  •  Bioinformatics and statistical analysis and the interpretation of metagenomics datasets.
  •  Write scientific publications and contribute to project proposal writing.
  •  Supervise bachelor and MSc students during projects and practical courses.

Profile of the candidate

  • You obtained excellent grades in your bachelor and MSc degree (i.e., you belong to the top 10% of your cohort).
  • You have practical experience in the application of DNA markers in environmental samples and bioinformatics analysis of high-throughput sequencing datasets. You have excellent programming skills in bash or another scripting language, and R.
  • You have good communication and writing skills and have an excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.
  • You are self-critical, you work with rigor and attention for detail, and you work accurately in the wet lab.
  • You combine being a team player with a strong sense of autonomy and responsibility.
  • You are willing to participate in sampling campaigns and apply for additional funding when eligible.


What we can offer you:

We offer you a PhD scholarship of 1 year, which can be extended with another three years after positive evaluation. Your appointment will start by 1/05/2020 at the earliest.

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. All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as 37 days of paid leave, a wide range of training and education opportunities, bicycle commuting reimbursement, etc. A complete overview of all our fringe benefits can be found on our website.

How to apply

How to apply

All applications must be received no later than 15/03/2020 at 23:59 (CET) 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


Attention: Late applications are not accepted. As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

For more information about this vacancy please contact Prof. Elie Verleyen (, +32 (0) 9 264 96 29) or Prof. Wim Vyverman (, +32 (0) 9 264 85 01).


In your application, please refer to


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