Do you want to contribute to green transition by developing novel strategies to obtain healthy food ingredients, and meanwhile obtain a PhD degree in an international environment? Then this may be interesting for you. Department of Food Science, Section of Food Design and Consumer Behavior, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Food Science with a focus on evaluating the role of seaweeds in transformative trajectories of Danish food production systems towards sustainability. The expected start date is 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project: This PhD project is part of two research and innovation projects, Climate Feed (Algae based climate feed additive for methane reduction in dairy cows) and SeaSus-protein (Biorefined seaweed – Sustainable protein source for functional foods), and focus on the investigation of climate friendly seaweed value chains and associated emission-reducing effects.

The PhD project is expected to contribute to creating climate-resilient Danish food systems by providing science-based decision support for policy and business stakeholders on how to optimize sustainable food production systems. The PhD will contribute to

  • Evaluation of the environmental performance of seaweed-based food products
  • Quantifying the cumulative carbon footprints of value chains utilizing different seaweeds and valorization pathways
  • Assessing the ecosystem services of seaweed biomass production via harvesting algal blooms, aquaculture, and wild harvest


The principal supervisors are Dr. Xueqian Zhang,, Lektor Karsten Olsen,, Lektor Vibeke Orlien, and Prof. Marianne Thomsen, from Department of Food Science, UCPH. The PhD student will interact with the project partners (e.g. Naturmælk, Vilofoss, Dansk Tang, DryingMate, Ocean Rainforest, Nordisk Tang and PureAlgae) during the project.

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. environmental science, environmental engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, food chemistry, or food technology. For information of eligibility of completed programmes

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

The project does not cover the costs of visa and travel, in case the student has to relocate to Denmark.

General responsibilities

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution.
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for one or more of the following qualifications:

  • A MSc degree in environmental science, environmental engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, food science, food technology, or a related discipline
  • Practical experience in one or more of the following fields is an advantage
    • Material Flow Analysis (MFA)
    • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
    • prior experience in life cycle costing or cost-benefit analysis
  • Excellent English communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • High ambitions
  • Team player

Key selection criteria:

  • Professional and educational qualifications relevant for the position
  • Relevant work experience
  • English language skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Level of enthusiasm and motivation

Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. Letter of motivation (max 1 page, Font Size 12, Spacing 1.5). Explain why you are the suitable candidate for the position by using examples of your experience and achievements. Also describe what you want to learn or achieve in this project as a PhD student.  
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. It is mandatory to mention the title of the MSc thesis project and to include a short abstract of the thesis as an Appendix in the CV (max 200 words).
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if available)
  5. Reference letters (if available). Reference letters can be in any format (max 1 page, and max two referees). If the reference letter could not be obtained, please list the referee details in the CV.

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is 15 August 2022, 23:59 GMT+1.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment.

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in August 2022.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Professor Marianne Thomsen,  The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Marianne Thomsen


Apply now

Application deadline: 15-08-2022

Employment start: 01-10-2022

Working hours: Full time

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