Professor in Microbiome Engineering

University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science


Professor in Microbiome Engineering

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Science
Educational level:  PhD
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  30.04.2023
Vacancy number:  11267

Are you an enthusiastic scholar with an international reputation, with a thematic profile on microbiome engineering and a strong commitment to research, teaching and management?


The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) is looking for a Full Professor in Microbiome Engineering who will be instrumental in driving the growing emphasis on this topic within the Microbiology research theme of SILS. In this research theme experts are active in molecular (micro)biology, microbial cell & systems biology, host-microbe communication, microbial physiology, omics technologies applied to microbes and live-imaging of single cell microbes. 


Your focus will be on devising molecular strategies to investigate the contribution of individual microbial species, or their functions, to the functioning of microbial communities. This can apply to genetically accessible as well as less accessible microorganisms in consortia relevant to human health, sustainable agriculture  and nutrition.


Context of the chair

The chair will have a central position in the microbiome research of SILS and will be embedded in its Microbiology Theme. Within the Microbiology Theme, the molecular mechanisms involved in food preservation, infections, antibiotic resistance, host-microbiome interactions, as well as the stability of microbial (fermentation)consortia are being studied. The Theme works in collaborative projects on microbial consortia relevant to humans, animals, plants and new ways to employ microbes in biotechnology and therapeutic applications. The labs in the Microbiology Theme collaborate with groups at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, the faculty of Dentistry, the Centre for Urban Mental Health and the Brain Plasticitygroup within SILS to study the gut and oral microbiome in health and disease in human cohorts as well as in animal disease models. 


In addition, we collaborate within the framework of the UvA Research Priority area ‘Host-Microbiome Interactions’ with the Biosystems Data Analysis and Plant Hormone Biology groups of SILS and in the Holomicrobiome Initiative, a Dutch public-private partnership with both academic groups outside the UvA as well as national and international non-academic groups and industries studying and modelling human, plant, animal and environmental microbiomes. The Amsterdam Science Park environment provides a vibrant atmosphere that also enables interaction with industry. 


As our new professor you have a recognizable research profile in molecular genetics and physiology of microorganisms central to the microbiota of relevance to human health and well-being.You will provide (inter)national visibility and inspiring leadership to SILS research in the important area of microbiome engineering by setting up and coordinating a research group in this area, supervising PhD candidates and consolidating collaborations with other research groups and research institutes. You are able to create a safe team science environment and to motivate others to develop innovative research, to contribute actively to public outreach and you have proven skills in raising relevant research funds. 


You and your group members will teach and take responsibility for an educational portfolio that includes molecular biology lectures and molecular techniques practicals of the BSc programs in Biology, Psychobiology and Biomedical Sciences, as well as the MSc Biomedical Sciences. We expect you to actively contribute to development of curricula, and helping us in making them more inclusive and diverse.


You will teach and supervise students in English, and work towards proficiency in Dutch (level B2) if currently not fluent. Mastering the Dutch language is important for the day to day business of our university. English and Dutch are the current languages of instruction in the BSc and MSc curricula. Working with students from all over the world means that you have excellent skills in building and safeguarding a welcoming, inclusive teaching environment. 


You have a proven ability in leading a research team and proven experience in managerial roles. We are looking for a leader who can both support and motivate colleagues, create a nurturing environment that allows other researchers to thrive and who is able and willing to take on responsibilities at institute and/or faculty level. 

Your tasks and responsibilities

  • conducting independent research in microbiome/microbe function and engineering, including but not limited to the development of novel genetic engineering toolboxes for non-model microorganisms, bacteriophages as delivery system, genetic circuit and sensor building in live eukaryotic cells, and their applications in human and plant health;
  • actively pursuing external funding for research, notably funding from national as European research councils, and contributing to and developing national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation; 
  • developing, coordinating and teaching courses in both Dutch and English, in the Bachelor and Master programs and actively contributing to the development and improvement of the broader teaching programmes in the department;
  • supervising Bachelor and Master theses and tutoring students; co-supervising PhD theses;
  • taking part in committees and working groups and take on responsibilities at institute and/or faculty level.


What do you have to offer?

You promote team science and create a safe working environment for a diverse community of researchers. Communication skills are important, as well as a keen eye for new developments and valorisation opportunities. You are a leader that connects and collaborates within the Institute, the Faculty and the (inter-) national research community.


Your experience and profile
You have/are

  • a PhD in microbiology, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, or related fields;
  • an international profile and demonstrated experience in acquiring external funding;
  • demonstrated experience in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and the management of courses;
  • a track record in successfully supervising PhD candidates;
  • the willingness to contribute to valorisation efforts and to foster collaborations with other local and (inter) national groups, disciplines, academic institutes and industry;
  • professional command of English and the willingness to master the Dutch language;
  • in possession of the University Teaching Qualification (BKO), or the willingness to obtain this within two years after the start of the employment.

Our offer

The position concerns permanent full-time employment of 38 hours per week. The preferred starting date is to be discussed. For this position the University Job Classification profile “Full Professor” applies. The starting salary depends on past education and relevant work experience, with a minimum salary of €6.099 and a maximum salary of €8.881 gross per month, based on a 38-hour working week (in keeping with scale HL2, as per the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary employee benefits, including a generous holiday scheme and year-end bonus. Because we value your continued personal development and professionalisation, we also offer excellent opportunities for study and development.
Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here


What else can we offer you
A stimulating work environment with a variety of tasks and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. Working at the UvA means working in a critical, independent, innovative and international climate, characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with multiple stake-holders in Amsterdam and across the world. 

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.


The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. 


The Swammerdam Institute of Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science’s largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 17 research groups that perform excellent research centred on four Themes: Cell & Sytems Biology, Neurosciences, Microbiology and
Green Life Sciences.
Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

           T: +31 205257663


Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 30 April 2023. 


Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

•    a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
•    a letter of motivation and your vision on developments in the field of microbiome research that you would like to tackle;
•    a teaching portfolio;
•    a list of publications and obtained grants;
•    the names and email addresses of three references who can provide letters of recommendation.


Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The first interviews will be held in the course of May 2023.



The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application. 


No agencies please.

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