PhD Fellowship in Molecular Biology, KU Leuven, Belgium

Postdoctoral Fellow in Belgium

PhD Fellowship in Molecular Biology: Join the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (ILVO) in collaboration with KU Leuven in their mission to revolutionize crop protection through molecular phage biology. This exciting PhD fellowship opportunity focuses on developing sustainable solutions to combat Pseudomonas infections in pear and cherry crops, reducing reliance on conventional pesticides.

Designation: PhD Fellow

Research Area: Molecular Phage Biology for Crop Protection

Location: Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (ILVO), in collaboration with KU Leuven, Belgium


  1. Master’s degree in biology, bioengineering, life sciences, biotechnology, or equivalent.
  2. Foreign diploma holders must obtain equivalence recognition (NARIC Vlaanderen).
  3. Willingness to prepare and submit a research funding dossier (FWO).
  4. Proficiency in written and spoken English.
  5. Flexibility, adaptability, and a multidisciplinary mindset.
  6. Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  7. Strong scientific writing and communication skills.
  8. Preferred: Affinity for agricultural and horticultural sectors, knowledge of microbiology, experience with statistical analyses in R, and familiarity with bioinformatics tools. Good spoken knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

Job Description:

PhD Fellowship in Molecular Phage Biology for Sustainable Crop Protection

As a PhD Fellow, you will play a pivotal role in the research project focused on biocontrol of Pseudomonas infections in cherry crops using bacteriophages. Your responsibilities will include:

  1. Organizing sampling campaigns in cherry orchards and isolating bacteria and phages.
  2. Employing traditional microbiological methods and advanced molecular techniques for organism characterization.
  3. Collaborating on the development of phage products for biocontrol in the field.
  4. Exploring efficient methods for phage distribution in orchards, potentially utilizing insect vectors.
  5. Presenting research findings at national and international conferences.
  6. Supervising master’s and bachelor’s students during their thesis work.
  7. Conducting preparatory research and writing a research proposal for additional funding (FWO).

How to Apply: Interested candidates should submit the following documents in one PDF file to

  1. Motivation letter
  2. Curriculum vitae (CV)
  3. Copy of your diploma
  4. Summary of your study results

Candidates shortlisted based on CV screening will be invited for a selection interview on 3/10/2023 (date subject to change). Please provide a valid telephone number and email address for contact. Selection will be based on qualifications and skills, regardless of gender, origin, age, or disability.

Last Date for Application: Open until the position is filled


  • A 4-year PhD scholarship.
  • The scholarship is initially granted for 1 year and can be extended to 4 years with favorable evaluation.
  • The scholarship is tax-free but contributes to social security.
  • Net scholarship amount at ILVO: €2,528.01 net (€2,908.1 gross) for the first 2 years.
  • For the last 2 years, you will receive a PhD scholarship at KU Leuven.
  • Attractive working conditions, including flexible hours and hybrid work options.

For More Information, Contact: Prof. Dr. Rob Lavigne, Tel: +32 16 37 95 24, Email: Mr. Jeroen Wagemans, Tel: +32 16 37 46 22, Email:

Note: If you are unable to apply online, you can request the application form via



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