Funded Postdoctoral Position in Agrobacterium-Plant Interactomics

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

20 Feb 2024


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Inge De Clercq Lab




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 ERC-funded lab of Prof. Inge De Clercq aims to understand how plant cells perceive environmental signals (e.g. from attack by pathogens) and translate this into appropriate defence responses. The lab of Dr. Laurens Pauwels focuses on improving genetic engineering of crops such as maize by studying plant regeneration and the interaction of plants with nature’s engineer, Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Please visit us at for more information.

We have secured FWO funding for a postdoctoral researcher as part of a larger collaborative project with the group of Prof. Barbara De Coninck at KU Leuven, who will host a PhD student. Together, you will study novel interactions between Agrobacterium effectors and plant proteins, utilizing the newest techniques in proteomics, such as proximity-dependent labeling. You will also functionally characterize novel plant host proteins in both Zea mays and Arabidopsis thaliana and study the importance of both effectors and host proteins in infection. The project aims at providing a deeper understanding of this intriguing natural interkingdom interaction and may lead to improvements in biotechnological applications.



  • You have a PhD in (plant) molecular biology with max. 2 years of postdoc experience
  • You are an expert in molecular biology and/or plant biotechnology
  • You have guided (master) students and/or technicians
  • You have excellent English communication skills

Desirable but not required 

  • Experience with proteomics, interactomics and/or confocal microscopy 
  • One or more first-author publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Key personal characteristics 

  • You are proactive in establishing contacts with experts to solve problems and to communicate with other members of the different team(s).
  • Strong sense of responsibility, maintaining   a clean working environment
  • Able to accurately compile and document experiments (using an ELN)
  • You have an affinity for molecular biology and protein-protein interactions.
  • You have a no-nonsense can-do attitude.
  • You build team interactions quickly. You feel great in a fun team and add to that spirit.
  • You communicate clearly, candidly, and respectfully.
  • You have an interest in sustainable food and agricultural systems.

We offer

  • A 2+2-year postdoc position
  • A multidisciplinary, highly stimulating and supporting international research environment at VIB and Ghent University   (UGent)
  • Access to state-of-the-art tools and infrastructure, including core facilities for proteomics
  • A collaborative project between two VIB-UGent groups and a group at KU Leuven
  • Various training opportunities are organized at VIB to broaden your expertise and skills (
  • Tentative start date: 1 April 2024

How to apply? 

Submit before 1 March 2024 your application through the VIB application tool. Be sure it includes:

  • A detailed CV
  • A 1-page letter of intent describing your motivation for this position, your research experiences and future goals.
  • The names and contact details of two references

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.