PhD in computational mass spectrometry for food safety

Wageningen University
March 11, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.511
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Job description

Do you want to use your programming skills to identify toxicity risks in food and feed? Do you get enthusiastic when you can find unexpected insights in big data sets? And do you want to generate these data with high-end mass spectrometry instruments? We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate in computational mass spectrometry for food safety!

What will you be doing? The PhD project "Integration of computational mass spectrometry and risk-based datamining in food safety analysis" covers:

  • Setting up a pipeline to structurally annotate high-resolution mass spectrometry data
  • Designing a toxicity prediction tool based on chemical structure databases
  • Developing a toxicity-based data mining workflow based on both spectral and structure input
  • Applying the entire workflow to a real-life analytical data set for food safety
  • High-resolution mass spectrometry generates extensive data sets contain much more information than we can currently extract from them. Complementary to looking for single chemical compounds, identifying patterns in the mass spectra that can be associated with chemical risks might give additional insights about potential hazards in our food and feed. To do so, you will set up a computational mass spectrometry workflow to find yet unknown food safety hazards in high-resolution mass spectrometry data. In addition, using toxicity prediction tools and sample meta-data, you will filter the most relevant food toxicants from 1000s of annotated compounds. For the PhD-project, different new exciting high end mass spectrometers are available which you will use to obtain part of the input data.

    The PhD project is a collaboration between Wageningen Food Safety Research and Wageningen University Computational Metabolomics Group, which is part of the Chair of Bioinformatics.


  • You have a successfully completed MSc in (bio)informatics, metabolomics, (bio)analytical chemistry or related area
  • Complementary to or as a part of your MSc, you have a strong interest and demonstrable skills in programming (in Python), (computational) metabolomics, and/or analytical chemistry, preferably high-resolution mass spectrometry
  • You have excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • You like to work in a multidisciplinary setting
  • You work in a critical, accurate and efficient way
  • Fulfillment of all admission criteria to start a PhD in Wageningen
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.


    Conditions of employment

    Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 4%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
  • In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.511,- per month rising to € 3.209,- in the fourth year for a full-time working week of 36 hours, in accordance with the CLA Wageningen Research (scale P0). You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

    Coming from abroad Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family. Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.


    Employer Wageningen University & Research

    Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University & Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR's Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines. Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus! We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


    Additional information

    For more information about this position, please contact Susann Ludwig, Team leader at Wageningen Food Safety Research; [email protected] For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips, Recruiter, by e-mail; [email protected] or by phone: +31 317 480 571

    Do you want to apply? You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter, using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. This vacancy will be listed up to and including the 22nd of February 2023. Don't wait with your application, because we will start the interview process earlier if we receive suitable applications. T

    Equal opportunities Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

    From this employer

    Recent blogs

    Recent news