Vacancy: Scientist metabolic pathways

Are you interested to source the biochemical diversity of the plant kingdom as a contribution to a sustainable green economy and for the production of high value chemicals?

Our partner Wageningen University & Research is looking for an experienced scientist with a proven interest in metabolic pathways, preferably in plants. The scientist will implement new methodologies and unravel metabolic pathways leading to the production of (commercially) valuable plant compounds as well as capturing the value of this knowledge by producing such compounds in plants or microbial production hosts. You will acquire, initiate and maintain collaborative projects, through subsidy channels as well as via bi-lateral funding, with industries and/or other research organizations. You will complement a highly motivated, enthusiastic and skilled team of about six scientists and technicians to strengthen research and acquisition in this area and collaborate with University Departments within and outside Wageningen as well as with (international) industries.

This team is embedded in the cluster Applied Metabolic Systems, which is focused on gaining a better understanding at the molecular and genetic level of metabolic processes which lead to the huge biochemical diversity in plants, and the effect of plant metabolites on humans and animals. It houses state-of-the-art facilities, comprising LC/MS and GC/MS for metabolomics and proteomics, and a bionano-receptor platform. The Cluster Applied Metabolic Systems has a total of about 25 staff members, PhDs, Postdocs and guest-workers. It operates market-driven, both in (inter)national consortia as well as in bilateral partnerships with industry and has an excellent scientific track record and patent portfolio.

Explore the biochemical diversity of plants to meet the needs of society.
Applied Metabolic Systems is part of Bioscience, one of the business units of the Wageningen Research foundation of the Plant Sciences Group. Wageningen Research together with Wageningen University forms Wageningen University & Research. At Bioscience, we study at the molecular level the regulation of metabolic and developmental processes of plants to meet the needs of our growing society. We are developing tools that allow to tap on barely revealed genetic resources. Wageningen UR is an internationally renowned research institute in the fields of life sciences and sustainable production.


  • a PhD degree;
  • expertise in (at least several of) the areas of:
    • Metabolic engineering
    • Relationship between chemical structures and enzymatic conversions
    • Enzymology
    • Evolutionary genetics applied to metabolic pathways
    • Synthetic biology;
  • a keen interest in translating scientific knowledge into applied research;
  • excellent communication and networking skills;
  • an open and professional working attitude;
  • team player mentality with experience in working in a multidisciplinary team;
  • excellent command of English, both written and spoken.

The position

A meaningful position with for a maximum of 36 hours per week initially for a period of one year with a possible extension to obtain a permanent position. A competitive salary, depending on your relevant experience scale 11 or 12 from a minimum of € 3.255,- to a maximum of € 5.748,- based on a 36 hours working week, in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for the Wageningen Research.

In addition:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of-year bonus of 3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 171 vacation hours (based on full time employment);
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan and the possibility to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that a good balance between work and private life is possible;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented.

Click here to respond

For more information about this function, please contact Dirk Bosch, Group leader Applied Metabolic Systems (telephone +31 317 480 933, e-mail:
For more information about the procedure, please contact

This vacancy is open until January 20, 2020.
For this position you can only apply on line:

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CHIC project: Breeding Chicory Roots for Health Products.

Don’t miss our new leaflet where we explain the main objective of CHIC project: To breed chicory roots to bring health products to the society!

Download the new leaflet.

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CHIC project at the science programme FUTURIS

On Monday, 14th October 2019, the science programme FUTURIS, from the Euronews channel, made a documentary about the CHIC project.

They made several interviews to some of our partners and they also explained the benefits of implementing new plant breeding techniques, in chicory breeding, to convert it into a multipurpose crop and to obtain high value products for consumers’ health benefits.  

On the other hand, our project coordinator, Dirk Bosch had a special interview in the Euronews Bonus Section. He provided detailed information about why we selected chicory as a promising and a strong crop to be converted into a multipurpose one.  

The documentary has been translated into 12 languages and we want to thank the FUTURIS team for guiding us during the filming process and for bringing such a nice result.

Enjoy the documentary!


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CHIC at the European Researchers’ Night in Indjija (Serbia)

IBISS, partner in CHIC Project worked on organizing the presentation regarding the results of our CHIC Project, though team member Jovana Petrovic directly participated in this manifestation.

On September 27th 2019, Jovana Petrovic from University of Belgrade, Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković, National Institute of Republic of Serbia presented knowledge gained so far on health-beneficial effects of Cichorium intybus and its possibilities to be used on every day basis.

People seemed very keen to get to know with facts how this plant that grows on meadows nearby, could exert useful effects as a tonic, coffee substitute and prebiotic.

Since this manifestation is dedicated to popularization of science making it interesting to children of school age, retired people and overall families with children, this Researchers’ Night was a unique opportunity for people to get familiar with new breakthroughs in research that they could directly benefit on.

The presentation of the Project took place at Indjija, the intersection city between Belgrade and Novi Sad.

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Great success of CHIC project in the exhibition held by Fondazione Edmund Mach in the 2019 European Researchers’ Night Edition

On Friday 27th of September, 2019 Fondazione Edmund Mach (partner in H2020 CHIC project) made an exhibition of CHIC project.

University and school students, retired people and families could see in vitro cultures and protoplasts through the microscope and do some tasting of our nice CHIC products.


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Plant Gene Edit­ing panel dis­cus­sion

On 11 September 2019 Michiel de Both (KeyGene) visited the Vikki Plant Science Centre of the University of Helsinki (Finland), to give a seminar as an invited speaker in their seminar series in plant science. The seminar covered genome editing technology in crop plant breeding, as well as the CHIC program, and was attended by ~80 people.

Because of the strong concerns in the Finnish plant science community about the 2018 Court of Justice ruling, the institute organized a panel discussion to debate issues of regulation, IP and science policy related to genome editing.

The panel consisted of a representative of the Finnish seed company Boreal Plant Breeding Ltd., of the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, of Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey of CHIC partner institute VTT, of Michiel de Both on behalf of KeyGene and of Alan Schulman, the current president of the European Plant Science Organization EPSO.

Journalists and politicians present in the audience took part in the discussions, which concluded with the realization that any change in the European regulation must be instigated by the EU member states, supported by informing stakeholders and the general public of the importance of plant breeding and innovation for the European economy.


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CHIC at the European Researchers’ Night 2019

During the night of September 27th the Museum of Science in Trento (MuSe) will be part of the European Researchers’ Night 2019, and it will host the staff from Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) to talk about their research topics.

The event is free and open to all the people, from kids to elderlies, starting from 6PM and lasting until midnight. It will consist both of short talks and demo/hands-on sessions, where the public will be involved with different science topics and invited to ask any question related to the research activity.

For CHIC project, scientists will talk about New Plant Breeding Technologies and Cas9 delivery inside plant cells, showing in vitro material (plants, protoplasts at the microscope) and explaining the challenges faced while doing Genome Editing in industrial crops.

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Check our 1st piece of art in CHIC project!

We already have our 1st CHIC piece of art. The CHIC – animation created by artist Jakub Kaczmarek with ASSF/Art & Science Node.

We hope you enjoy it!

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A debate on the Future of Gene Editing: CRISPR Science, Society and Policy

During the 20th and 21st of June, the CRISPRcon conference was organised by Wageningen University and Research and the Keystone Policy Centre in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

The objective of the conference was to foster discussions about the future of CRISPR and related gene editing technologies across a variety of applications in agriculture, health, conservation and more. Researchers, industrial representatives, consumer organizations, organic farmers, traditional farmers, patients’ organizations, policy makers, EC representatives, environmental associations and students, took part in the conference.

The conference consisted of a mix of panel discussions, round tables (more than 30) on topics brought in by the audience and short lightning presentations on CRISPR applications. Students and farmers organised side-events to discuss about their perspectives. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, gave his view about the new gene editing techniques emphasizing the importance of the dialogue on this matter in Europe. An inspiring talk was given by geneticists, writer and BBC broadcaster Dr. Adam Rutherford who made a comparison about the genetic evolution and the evolution of hip-hop music.

It was interesting to see that many of the topics that were discussed at CRISPRcon are addressed by CHIC such as the importance of hearing diverse voices, regulation of process or product, traits that are beneficial for consumers, large scale (staple crop farming) versus small scale local farming, access to CRISPR technology (IP and patents), safety assessment, regulation and who decides.

Involvement of CHIC

Several CHIC partners contributed to the meeting. Katarina Cankar presented the CHIC project in her lightning presentation on “Breeding Healthier Crops: Dietary fibers and medicinal terpenes from chicory roots”. Other CHIC partners paticipated in round table discussions on “CRISPR Education and Outreach”, “Indigenous Perspectives on CRISPR technology”, “If we edit it, will you eat it?”, “Transparency approaches”and “Lets’s avoid a trench war on CRISPR food”.

Through this discussions we gained new insights and established many contacts with divers stakeholders and new link to research projects around the world that align well with CHIC.

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3rd CHIC General Assembly in Madrid

The 3rd CHIC General assembly was held in Madrid during the 27th and 28th of May, 2019.

During this meeting the 1st results of the project were presented to the project partners. The new artists, to be engaged in the “Artists in Residence CHIC program”, presented themselves to the consortium as well as their most popular art pieces, which were beautiful pieces!!!

A productive workshop, to design the 1st CHIC game, was held and all partners gave great ideas to develop a very fun game for secondary school students. This game will be launched in 2020.

Finally, many thanks to Diego Orzaez for his great presentation on our sister H2020 project Newcotiana.

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