Research technician Plant Physiology

Faculty of Science
Department of Biology
Hours per week: 
32 to 40
Application deadline: 

Are you fascinated to learn how plants deal with climate change and other environmental stresses and intrigued how plants sense, signal, and respond to changes in their environment? Then this position could be perfect for you. Join our multi-disciplinary team working towards the common goal of understanding the mechanisms of plant stress resilience in crop plants. This position offers the opportunity to expand your network of academic and industry connections in the area of green life sciences. Be part of the new, interdisciplinary research institute CropXR!

Your job

CropXR has the ambitious goal of generating knowledge towards the creation of eXtra Resilient (XR), sustainable, climate-adaptive crops. This decade long national programme connects researchers from four different Dutch universities and various stakeholders. We combine artificial intelligence, plant science, simulation modelling to develop ‘smart breeding and cultivation’ methods to accelerate breeding for complex resilience traits in different crops. The project involves scientific research, data collection and sharing, education and practical applications in agriculture and plant breeding.

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented technician to join a project within CropXR’s core research programme. You will perform experiments on two commercially important species: lettuce and potato. The project will focus on optimising stress protocols (heat, drought) and generating phenotypic and physiological data for these two species. This will form crucial experimental input for downstream mathematical modelling of stress responses in these species. You will have the opportunity to interact with PhD candidates, postdocs and scientists involved in different aspects of this work programme but also the extended CropXR team. The position will be based in a dynamic and collaborative research environment working under the supervision of Professor Rashmi Sasidharan and Professor Guido van den Ackerveken.

Key responsibilities:

  • design and optimise growth and stress imposition protocols;
  • generate and analyse phenomics data with input of data analysts;
  • assist in sampling and processing of samples for transcriptomics;
  • work proactively and collaborate with other technicians, scientists within this work module;
  • analyse and interpret datasets, and present research findings in Crop XR consortium meetings.

Your qualities

We are looking for a curious, committed and passionate new colleague with a keen interest in plant adaption to environmental stress. We would like you to meet the following criteria:

  • a bachelor (HBO/applied sciences) or MSc degree in plant biology, biotechnology, genetics or a related field;
  • experience working with plants and a solid understanding of plant physiology;
  • basic data analyses and statistical skills;
  • demonstrated organisational, analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • strong written and oral communication skills in English;
  • the ability to work independently and well as collaboratively.

Our offer

We offer:

  • a temporary job for initially 12 months with an extension for 24 months following a positive evaluation (0.8 - 1.0 FTE);
  • a gross monthly salary between €2,693 and €3,636 in the case of full-time employment (salary scale 7 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. 

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.

About us

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

As our newest member you will be part of the department of Biology. Research within this department is organised in two institutes: the Institute of Biodynamics and Biocomplexity (IBB) and the Institute of Environmental Biology (IEB). The department of Biology coordinates the teaching of the Bachelor’s programme in Biology, as well as Master’s programmes and PhD courses that are offered through the Graduate School of Life Sciences. You will be working in the vibrant research groups of Plant Stress Resilience and Translational Plant Biology.

More information

For more information, please contact Professor Rashmi Sasidharan at or Professor Guido van den Ackerveken at

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to

Apply now

As Utrecht University, we want to be a home for everyone. We value staff with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and identities, including cultural, religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish and contribute.

If you are enthusiastic about this position, just apply via the 'Apply now' button! Please enclose:

  • a letter of motivation explaining your research interests and motivation to apply for this position;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • contact details for two referees.

Are you interested in this vacancy? Then don't wait to apply. If possible, we will invite suitable candidates for an interview right away. When we have found a match, we will close the vacancy.

Due to Dutch legislation, we must recruit for this position within the EU. If you are not an EU citizen (including Norway and Switzerland), please do not apply for this vacancy.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.
Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 10 August 2024.