PhD Student Position in Ghent, VIB-Ugent Center for Plant Systems Biology

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  • Published date: June 3, 2019
    • Ghent, Belgium

The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB) is a world-leading plant science institute located at the heart of a renowned Plant Biotechnology campus in Ghent, Belgium. Its mission is to unravel plant biological processes and translate this knowledge into value for society. The Systems Biology of Yield group (Prof. Dr. Dirk Inzé) is looking for a PhD student to study the molecular networks regulating leaf growth and cell cycle under drought stress conditions.

The successful candidate will perform research on the plant’s responses to drought stress, in collaboration with Dr. Marieke Dubois, senior scientist of the group. The project will combine phenotypic analysis with single-cell level transcriptomics and genetic validation. For further information, contact Dr. Marieke Dubois (

With the increasing world population, food resources become scarce and arable land area is decreasing. In addition, Belgium and Europe experience the direct consequences of climate change with unprecedented dry summers. When plants start to perceive drought stress, they reduce their growth in order to limit the evaporative surface and save energy. In very young leaves, the growth reduction under drought is achieved through the inhibition of cell division and expansion. Despite the importance of understanding the drought-induced growth inhibition, the molecular mechanisms underlying cell proliferation arrest remain largely elusive. The aim of the proposed project is to unravel the molecular signature that defines cell cycle arrest under in soil mild drought stress in Arabidopsis leaves.

Candidates must hold a Master degree in Plant Biotechnology, Molecular Biology or equivalent. They should preferably be familiar with (or have interest to learn) the basics in bioinformatics. The candidate must be a team player with a positive and enthusiastic personality, who can work independently as well. A good level of oral and written English is expected.

A 4-year position for a PhD, starting from automn 2019. The student will have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and be part of a highly collaborative and scientifically stimulating working environment. Various seminars and courses are provided to broaden your expertise and skills.

Submit your application through the online system or by email. Be sure it includes a detailed CV, the names and contact details of three references, and a 1-page motivation letter.

Selected candidates will be invited for an interview. Applications are welcome until the position is filled.

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