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  • Writer's pictureOmran Aburayya

Paid PhD position at Utrecht University: Exploring microbial potential for PFAS transformations/Scholarship in microbiology

Updated: May 14

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The Faculty of Science at Utrecht University, Netherlands is inviting students pursuing PhD. studies in microbiology to apply for this position.

Position and Project Summary:

In this PhD position you aim to advance our understanding of microbial tolerance to, and potential degradation of, PFAS chemicals. Using this knowledge, you will explore the extent to which microbial approaches may help in the development of integrated decontamination approaches in the field.

More specifically, this PhD project focuses on the following key questions: 

  • What impact does PFAS contamination have on soil-borne microbial communities?

  • Does repeated PFAS exposure select for enrichments of PFAS-tolerant microbes?

  • Can enriched microbial communities transform and/or degrade PFAS components, and what are the most affected chemicals?

  • What are the environmental conditions that best lead to, and support, PFAS transformations?

  • Can microbial activities in the field be steered toward more efficient PFAS remediation?


The ideal candidate has a strong alignment with the following interests and skills:

  • a Master's degree in a relevant discipline, such as environmental sciences, microbiology, soil sciences, or a related field;

  • a demonstrable ability to work with a range of approaches, including microbiological, molecular and chemical techniques.

  • experience with and an affinity for the design of laboratory experiments as well as field measurements.

  • experience with statistical approaches, for instance within R, and bioinformatic experience would be an advantage.

  • the ability to work independently, but also within the interdisciplinary project team.

  • excellent writing and verbal communication skills in English.

Employment Terms:

  • A position for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment at the end of the first year. You will be supported to fulfil all the requirements for the doctorate degree within this four-year period;

  • a fulltime working week and a gross monthly salary between € 2.770,- and € 3.539,- in the case of full-time employment (salary scale P under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU); 

  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus. 

  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU. 

For more info and to apply, click on this Official LINK


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