PhD on Functional extracellular polymeric substances of anaerobic granules: extraction, characterization and genomics Delft University of Technology, Faculty Applied Sciences Netherlands

PhD on Functional extracellular polymeric substances of anaerobic granules: extraction, characterization and genomics

Department/faculty: Faculty Applied Sciences

Level: University Graduate

Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly

Contract: 4 years

Salary: 2266 - 2897 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Applied Sciences


The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

Innovation is crucial to fulfil the potential of industrial biotechnology for sustainable production of fuels, chemicals, materials, food and feed. Similarly, scientific and technological advances in environmental biotechnology are needed to enable novel approaches to water purification, and ‘waste-to-product’ processes thus contributing to a circular economy. Increased fundamental knowledge encompassing enzymes, microorganisms and processes are essential for progress in this field. The Department of Biotechnology ( covers this research area and, based on new insights, selects, designs and tests new biobased catalysts, micro-organisms, and processes.    


Job description
This PhD project is part of the Gravitation Research Program SIAM - Soehngen Institute of Anaerobic Microbiology ( It will be developed at the Environmental Biotechnology Section, Department of Biotechnology at Delft University of Technology (TUD) and at Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

The aim of this PhD project is to study the production of functional extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) by anaerobic granular sludge and to get comprehensive information on the chemical structures of EPS and on the microorganisms and microbial pathways involved in their production. In addition, we want to understand how reactor operational condition can influence the production and properties of EPS. The project will be carried out both in TUD and WUR. Research at TUD will focus on EPS analysis, while research at WUR will focus on reactor operation and microbial pathways.


The candidate needs to hold (or is about to obtain) a MSc degree in chemical engineering, chemistry or biotechnology. The candidate must have some experience and practical skills in instrumental analysis and reactor operation. Previous experience in biopolymer analysis is an advantage. It is essential that the candidate is able to demonstrate competence in these areas, as judged by publications (or papers in press) in high quality peer reviewed journals or a MSc Thesis on a relevant topic. Very good spoken and written English is mandatory. 


Conditions of employment
TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Yuemei Lin, Assistant Professor, phone: +31 (0)15 27 89887, e-mail: or Dr. Diana Z. Sousa, Associate Professor, phone: +31 (0)317 483 107, e-mail:

To apply, please send a CV, list of at least two references and motivation letter by February 15th, 2019 to quoting vacancy number TNWBT18-085. Note that applications sent to other e-mail addresses will not be taken under consideration.

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