PhD student at the VIB-PSB Root Development group – Chemical genetics/Nitrogen Use

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

08 Aug 2021


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Tom Beeckman Lab



09 Aug 2021

The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB) is a world-leading plant science institute, harboring more than 280 people that focus their activities toward cutting edge research in Plant Systems Biology. The cornerstone of PSB is curiosity-driven research on basic cellular mechanisms.

An ongoing project in the Root Development group (Tom Beeckman’s lab) focuses on the use of chemical genetics to identify pathways that contribute to Nitrogen Use Efficiency. We are currently looking for a PhD student to join this project. The successful candidate will perform a diverse set of (plant) experiments to validate and characterize the action and targets of different hits, and as such unravel new genetic programs that contribute to Nitrogen Use Efficiency. Both plant phenotyping as multiple molecular or biotechnological methods will be applied, e.g. the use of (Arabidopsis) marker/mutant lines, (confocal) microscopy, RNA-sequencing, EMS mutagenesis or protein pull-down. This project aims on the long term to result in new methods to improve Nitrogen Use Efficiency and as such combat climate change.


  • You hold a relevant Master's degree in the field of (plant) life sciences (e.g. biotechnology, biochemistry, bioengineering, molecular or functional biology, …).
  • You have a sound background in molecular biology.
  • You have hands-on experience with plant experiments and different molecular techniques (DNA/RNA/protein-extraction, PCR, cloning, …).
  • Experience with (confocal) microscopy is an asset.
  • You are eager and motivated to acquire a PhD in plant biotechnology.
  • You have good communication and writing skills (English)
  • You are able to work independently, as well as function as part of a team.

We offer

  • A position for 4 years.
  • Access to cutting-edge technologies (within the department and via the VIB core facilities), personal career assistance, and high-level training courses (e.g. (confocal) microscopy, transcriptomics, proteomics,…).

How to apply?

Apply online via Please make sure your application includes your CV, a cover letter describing your motivation and your qualifications, as well as contact information of 2 references.

Additional information can be given per e-mail request to Tom Beeckman ( and Hans Motte (

The position will be available from September 2021 onwards. Applications will be accepted until the vacancy has been filled.