PhD Candidate: Envirogenetics of carotenoid composition and taste in fresh vegetables

Maastricht University
December 15, 2022
Offerd Salary:€2.541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term employmen
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Job Ref.:N/A
Job description

Plant carotenoids are important pigments that act as antioxidants in the human body upon consumption of fresh vegetables. The PhD project is focused on the control of plant carotenoid production as an effect of varietal (genetic), growing and postharvest (environmental) factors. The project includes studies on spinach, tomato and carrot as leafy, fruity and rooty crops, respectively. The crops will be grown under various environmental conditions in both climate rooms, greenhouses, and field. Post-harvest storage conditions as well as resulting taste differences are also part of the research. The working environment is highly divers and you will be exposed to multiple disciplines in both the academic as the commercial world. Integration of these different disciplines is key to be successful in this project.

As PhD candidate you will take care of your own research project in an independent manner, although supervision by experienced researchers is available within the group. You will:

  • Read literature
  • Develop a research plan
  • Carry out experiments in multiple scenarios: phytotrons, greenhouses, field conditions, and laboratory
  • Coach M.Sc. and B.Sc. students
  • Integrate and interpret multiple type of data as well as write scientific publications
  • You will participate in international conferences where you will present your work and represent the department
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    We seek a colleague who is passionate about plants and research. You must have a flexible mindset since you will start in a new institute of UM at the Venlo Brightlands campus and there is a close interaction between academics and industry

    Our ideal candidate has:

  • A finalized MSc. Degree in Plant Science, Agronomy, Horticulture, Biology or anther relevant field.
  • Experience with plants
  • A flexible mind set
  • Resourceful
  • Pioneering mind set
  • Experience with data acquisition and statistical analysis would be valuable
  • English language fluency
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    Conditions of employment
  • We offer a 4 year full-time fixed-term employment contract as PhD candidate. The position is available immediate and starting date would be in mutual agreement;
  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education;
  • The salary will be set in salary scale of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (from €2.541,- to €3.247 gross per month depending on experience and qualifications, based on a full-time appointment). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% year-end allowance;
  • The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website www. > About UM > Working at UM.
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, optional model for designing a personalised benefits package and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad.
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    Employer Maastricht University

    Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. For more information, visit www.

    Faculty of Science and Engineering The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is home to several outstanding departments and institutions covering education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as the liberal arts and sciences.



    Research at the Plant Envirogenetics Department of Maastricht University focusses on the optimization of nutritive value (e.g. vitamins and antioxidants) at the consumer level by integrating the genetics, the plant production, and the post-harvest handling in commercial settings of vegetable crops.

    The Endowed Chair Plant Envirogentics resides within the Faculty of Science & Engineering

    https: // www. engineering

    Maastricht University participates in the four regional Brightlands campuses: local tech ecosystems where fundamental and applied research, state-of-the-art facilities, industry partners and students meet. The current vacancy is related to the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo. In addition, the university itself offers no shortage of inspiring collaborators through our international network and the five other faculties of UM.


    Additional information

    We are happy to answer any questions you have about the position or our department. You can direct your questions to: Prof. dr. ir. Jan van den Berg ( and Dr. Carmen M. Padilla Díaz, Assistant Professor (

    To apply at this vacancy, press the button ‘apply now' to see the application procedure.

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