Data Scientist/Bio-informatician Genomics and Plant Genetic Resources

We are looking for a Data Scientist / Genomics Bio-informatics researcher who can help us to discover the information in vast amounts of data.

We collect data on plant varieties and genetic resources utilizing various imaging and ~omics technologies, to explore the many aspects of the huge diversity hidden within.Your primary focus will be in assisting in the development of the infrastructure to visualize population structure in panels of whole genome sequencing datasets of genebank accessions, linking data from distributed resources according to the FAIR data principles, and perform statistical analysis (such as genomic selection and GWAS).


You will work in close cooperation with PhD students and researchers involved in national and international projects including the Horizon 2020 projects AGENT, G2P-SOL, and ELIXIR Accelerate. You will be part of an enthusiastic research group focusing on crop genomics and bioinformatics within Plant Breeding in close collaboration with the Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN) on establishing innovative approaches to genomics-driven genebank management and utilization.

We ask

We are looking for an ambitious scientist with a MSc and several years of working experience in this research area or a PhD with a degree in Computer Science, Computational Biology or a comparable background, preferably with affinity with plants. The successful candidate is highly motivated to develop a scientific career and can perform independent research, but values collaboration with PhD students and other researchers. The candidate is fluent in English and has good communication, scientific writing, and presentation skills. For this position in particular, the candidate should have several of the following qualifications:

  • Data-oriented personality
  • Experience with common data science toolkits, such as R and Python Pandas
  • Experience with data visualisation tools, such as D3.js and GGplot.
  • Experience in developing scalable tools to query and visualize large genomics datasets.
  • Experience in applying Semantic Web and Linked Data standards (RDF, SPARQL, and OWL) to real-world applications according to the FAIR data principles
  • Understanding of using API calls to exchange data (e.g., the Plant Breeding API; BrAPI)
  • Applied statistics skills, such as distributions, statistical testing, regression, and principal component analysis.

Wageningen University & Research is an international organisation. We expect our staff to have excellent command of the English language. This is an important factor in our selection process. Some job interviews will be in English. You will be informed beforehand should this be the case. This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

We offer

We offer you, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of €2790,- to a maximum of €4549,- Scale 10 for a full working week of 36 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Wageningen Research. The duration of the contract is initially for two years, with the possibility for extension.
In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural end-of-year bonus of 3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • a flexible model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • 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;
  • for a small fee, make use of the sports facilities on campus.

Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

More information

For more information about this function, please contact Richard Finkers, senior researcher in Plant Breeding, telephone +31317484165 or e-mail [email protected] or Theo van Hintum, Cluster leader Plant Genetic Resources in CGN, telephone +31317480913 or email [email protected].

For more information about the procedure, please contact: [email protected]

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including June 15, 2021.
The first job interviews will take place on 22 June 2021.

We are

Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.500 employees and 12.500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

Plant Breeding, Wageningen University & Research (https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Research-Institutes/plant-research/Plant-Breeding.htm) is a merged unit of Wageningen Research and Wageningen University with around 200 people including MSc and PhD students and guest workers. It is a highly international group with more than 30 nationalities organised in ten research groups. We conduct fundamental, strategic and applied research and provide teaching at all educational (BSc, MSc and PhD) levels. Our research focusses on the dissemination of the genetic basis of traits which are relevant in order to achieve a sustainable agri- and horticulture. We conduct this research often together or in partnership with breeding companies, local, regional and state governments.

The Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN)(https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Statutory-research-tasks/Centre-for-Genetic-Resources-the-Netherlands-1/Plant-Genetic-Resources.htm) manages the genebank for plant genetic resources, which stores over 23,000 varieties and wild populations. It ranges from commercial varieties, landraces and farmer varieties to wild varieties of crops from over 100 countries. Breeders can use the genebank to develop crops that are, for instance, resistant to certain diseases or pests or less susceptible to climate change. Managing a genebank is one of the ways that CGN contributes to the conservation and application of plant genetic diversity in an international context. This work involves European partnerships as well as worldwide cooperation within the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Equal opportunities
WUR is an equal opportunity employer. We are keen to receive applications from all sufficiently qualified people, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, functional impairment, religion/life philosophy, sexual orientation, or age.

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Apply now


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