A PhD scholarship (3-year employment) in Fisheries Technology will be available at DTU Aqua (National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark) with a preferred start in November 2023. 

The project will be carried out in the Section for Fisheries Technology at DTU Aqua in Hirtshals, Denmark. The Section for Fisheries Technology has over 25 years of experience in developing cutting-edge technology to understand and improve the environmental and economic performance of commercial fisheries, and providing advice to policy makers. We have strong collaborative networks within Fisheries Technology, both nationally and internationally.

Responsibilities and qualifications: Towed fishing gears, especially demersal trawls, typically have substantial interactions with the seafloor, which leads to increased fuel consumption and release of sequestered carbon from the seabed. Moreover, they are responsible for physical impacts that can shape the habitat and cause substantial mortalities of benthic organisms.

At a local level these can threaten the sustainability of a fishery, and globally they can contribute to climate change. Hence, to promote the environmental and economic sustainability of towed demersal fisheries, technical solutions that reduce the physical impacts of these gears must be developed.

A recent study has demonstrated that the turbulence in the wake of a beam towed close to the seabed can be used (instead of mechanical or electrical stimuli) to lift seabed dwelling species into the path of a trawl net with minimal physical interaction between the gear components and the seabed.

 This project aims at optimizing this design concept and catching performance, by combining gear modifications which alter the hydrodynamic characteristics of the flow with laboratory studies of fish behavior and experimental fishing trials. Moreover, the project will explore the extent to which this application of hydrodynamics can be used to design and develop low impact selective fishing gears in some of the important European mixed demersal trawl fisheries.

The specific content of the project will be formulated in cooperation with the successful candidate reflecting the candidates’ qualifications, under the outline defined by externally funded projects and ongoing activities. The candidate will join an active, international and cross-disciplinary research team. 

We are looking for a candidate with several of the following competences:

  • Research experience within the field of marine and aquatic sciences.
  • An interest in or prior experience in working with fishing gear selectivity data.
  • Experience in planning and conducting field work and laboratory behavioural studies.
  • Experience in statistical analysis/modelling.
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and orally.
  • Problem-solving skills and ability to conduct research independently.
  • Strong interest in participating in an inter-disciplinary and international research environment.
  • Willingness to contribute to a positive and inspirational working environment.

The candidate 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,

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. Starting date is 1 November 2023 (or according to mutual agreement). The position is a full-time position. 

The PhD student will be based at DTU Aqua in Hirtshals, Denmark, and will be integrated in the Section for Fisheries Technology, DTU Aqua. A certain amount of field work can be expected.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Head of Section Jordan Feekings (jpfe@aqua.dtu.dk), Professor Barry O’Neill (barone@aqua.dtu.dk), or Researcher Valentina Melli (vmel@aqua.dtu.dk).  For general information on the PhD application, please contact PhD Study Coordinator Susan Zumbach Johannesen (stub@aqua.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 application must be submitted no later than 15 August 2023 (23:59 Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply now”, 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 (in English) including official description of grading scale
  • Brief research proposal (1-2 pages) presenting ideas on how to address the research topics given in the short description of the PhD project above.
  • Recommendation letters from senior professionals are welcomed.

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

About the Section for Fisheries Technology at DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark
The Section for Fisheries Technology works with technological development of gear, techniques and methods that can contribute to promoting economic and environmental sustainability in the fishing industry, and which can support society’s need to regulate fishing

The Section is part of DTU Aqua (National Institute of Aquatic Resources). The purpose of the Institute is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation and management of living marine and freshwater resources. The Institute investigates the biology and population ecology of aquatic organisms, aquatic physical and chemical processes and ecosystem structure and dynamics, taking account of all relevant natural and anthropogenic drivers. DTU Aqua has about 300 employees.

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 mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society.

That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 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 Before 16/08/2023, 00:59

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