Topic: Microbial diversity in hadal sediments: The Danish Center for HADAL Research of Nordcee, Department of Biology at University of Southern Denmark seeks applicants for a three-year PhD position. The aim is to study the microbial diversity of seafloor sediments in the hadal zone – the deepest oceanic realm (6000 – 11,000 m of depth). Hadal sediments are hotspots of microbial diversity and biogeochemical activity despite their distance to the surface ocean and extreme hydrostatic pressures.

The incoming PhD student will be exploring the diversity of hadal microbial communities by addressing one or more fundamental questions such as: How unique are microbial communities of hadal trench systems? Who are the microbial key players mineralizing organic material in hadal sediments? What is the importance of viruses for shaping the structure and function of microbial communities in hadal sediments?

Such questions will be addressed in synergy with other students and researchers at the HADAL centre studying element cycling in deep sea and hadal sediments.

The PhD student will explore questions primarily using bioinformatic tools, but will also have the opportunity for laboratory, experimental and field work joining international research expeditions. The university provides access to a high-performance computation cluster (HPC) and state-of-the art facilities for molecular biological research.

A background in data science, bioinformatics, environmental microbiology, molecular biology, biogeochemistry, or a related field is preferred. Experience with metagenomics is advantageous, but not a requirement, as training on all required aspects of the project will be provided at the centre.

The ideal candidate has strong analytical skills, an aptitude for computational work, and the ability to work independently in coordination with an open and dynamic team.

The PhD student will join a vibrant, diverse, and international group of scientists in the HADAL centre, experience substantial independence in the development and execution of the project and will have the opportunity to collaborate with a strong network of scientists both within and outside of Denmark.

The HADAL centre is located within the Nordcee division which comprises around 50 employees, including academic, administrative and technical staff, and graduate students. The Department of Biology values diverse perspectives and identities, prioritizes the professional and personal growth and well-being of students and staff, and strives to sustainably carry out scientific research with close societal involvement.

The deadline to apply is the 15 April 2023, with intended but flexible start 1 August 2023. For questions or other inquiries, please contact Professor Ronnie N. Glud at  or Clemens Schauberger at

Application, salary etc.

Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Application must be in English and made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following:

• A research proposal/description of your approach to the above project (max one page excluding references)

• A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box “Application form”)

• Detailed CV, including personal contact information

• Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades

• At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail:  mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process. Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the homepage of the University.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link “Apply online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply. Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.


Deadline 2023-Apr-15

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