Vacancy: Research Associate – Fermentation

Those Vegan Cowboys are looking for a Research Associate for the Fermentation team, who will focus on microbial fermentation process development and optimization to produce recombinant proteins.

We are looking for an energetic, creative, and highly self-motivated individual who enjoys challenges in fermentation development. The team closely interacts with other disciplines within the company (e.g. Molecular Biology and Downstream Processing).


Job description:

  • Conduct fermentation research using shake flasks and bioreactors to improve the yield of several recombinant proteins produced with various yeast and fungal systems using 1L to 300L bioreactors.
  • Perform product recovery experiments using various unit operations.
  • Sample collection and analysis: Biomass determination and protein analysis using SDS-PAGE, Western blot and Bradford assay.
  • Communicate through team meeting presentations and written reports.
  • Maintain lab equipment and bioreactors.
  • Maintain Electronic lab notebooks, write reports and SOPs.


Your profile:

  • Master degree, or Bachelor and graduates with relevant working experience.
  • Experience with microbial fermentation; experience with fungal expression systems is a plus.
  • Hands-on experience with lab scale fermenter systems (DASGIP, Sartorius Bplus, Sartorius C-DCU fermenters).
  • Good practical and experimental skills.
  • Hands-on personality with a curious and pro-active mindset.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in team environment.
  • Problem-solving abilities and analytical skills.
  • Flexible within a dynamic environment, able to multi-task.
  • Communication and organizational skills (interpretation and documentation of data, report writing, planning).


Why join:

Working as a Vegan Cowboy family member (cheesy but true), means excellent career perspectives in a rapidly growing field, your very own cowboy name (which yes, will be used) and proud ownership of a share in the company through our personnel participation program.


Are you our new Fermentation team member?

Please drop us a note at

If you have any questions about these vacancies, please contact Belinda Hunziker by mail                                                    or phone + 32 (0)9 261 77 00.



About Those Vegan Cowboys:

Those Vegan Cowboys are developing new vegan food products with the same taste as traditional dairy products such as cheese. Our cowboys work in our NewMilkLab, within the grounds of Ghent University. Our researchers collaborate with scientists and players from the traditional dairy industry to develop milk proteins through microbial fermentation. In part not new: nowadays most of all hard cheeses are produced with vegan microbial rennet. Now, Those Vegan Cowboys want to make the casein and other dairy proteins vegan by microbial production.

Those Vegan Cowboys expect that it still will take several years to market products on a serious scale. CEO Jaap Korteweg: “We hope to present something tasty on a smaller scale earlier. The upscaling and traditional processing of high-quality dairy takes time. But if it succeeds, this project will make a very positive contribution to animal welfare, fair world food distribution, nature, the climate and biodiversity.” Animal husbandry currently occupies 70% of the current agricultural area. Korteweg: “If you use this area for vegetarian meat and dairy products, you only need half or less. Now, large areas of nature are being destroyed daily to feed the growing world population and animal livestock. With vegetarian meat and vegan dairy products, we can reverse this development and give large areas back to nature.”

Those Vegan Cowboys regard the development of a “stainless steel cow” as a logical development within the dairy industry which historically already evolved from hand milking, via the milking machine to the fully automatic milking robot of today. Korteweg: “In Ghent, a predecessor of the milking machine was already demonstrated at the agricultural exhibition in 1910. In 1992, a Dutchman, as first farmer in the world, milked all his cows with a milking robot. The modern dairy farm is no more than a factory where machines insert the grass and trucks take out the milk. The cow is an unnecessarily painful part of this industrial process. The Low Countries have a huge tradition of innovation in the dairy industry. For us, this project is no more than a logical next step.

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