We seek an enthusiastic and motivated candidate to reveal ecological interaction within plant microbiomes. You will be involved in a fun PhD project on examining and engineering synthetic microbial communities on the plant root, with strong international connections, a productive scientific environment, and a good work-life balance.

This INTERACT consortium-connected PhD project will be carried out in the Bacterial Interactions and Evolution Group headed by Professor Ákos T. Kovács at DTU Bioengineering.

INTERACT is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation via the Collaborative Crop Resiliency Program (CCRP). The overall aim of INTERACT is to decode microbial interactions in the complex soil matrix, in relation to soil biogeochemical status, water stress as well as pathogen attack, and establish the impact of these interactions on plant performance.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your PhD project will contribute to understanding the ecological factors behind root-associated microbial community assembly. Your first task will be to develop synthetic microbial communities and reveal the contribution of microbial interaction to plant resiliency. You will study wheat-associated microbial communities and dissect how community assembly is influenced by the members of the community and plant root exudates. In a collaboration, you are expected to use a microfluidic system for imaging microbial cell attachment on plant roots. Further, you will also collaborate with the consortium members of INTERACT.

We are looking for a candidate with a solid background in microbial ecology, specifically concentrating on bacterial interactions, preferably experience with molecular microbiology (genetic engineering of bacteria) and fluorescence microscopy. Background on microbial ecology and evolutionary theory is advantageous. You should be an efficient team worker, have good communication skills, and have a critical microbial ecology mindset for the engineering of synthetic communities.

You must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Ákos T. Kovács.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Ákos T. Kovács, tel.: +45 4525 2527, atkovacs @ dtu.dk

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online [via apply online below] application must be submitted no later than 15 June 2022 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma including official description of grading scale
  • In your application, indicate the names and contact details of at least two referees. 

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) addresses challenges of societal and scientific importance within biotechnology, biomedicine, food technology and human health. The department is based on both basic and applied research and employs tools from biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, cellular biology, immunology, microbial ecology and physiology, bioinformatics and bio-engineering. The department has extensive collaboration with national and international research units and industries. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 300 employees, of which 2/3 is scientific staff.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society.

That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 15 June 2022
Apply for the job at DTU Bioengineering by completing the following form.

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