Department of Plant and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science at
University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Plant Physiology
commencing 01.12.2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.
Description of the scientific environment
The PhD position is part of a long-term project characterizing plant flavin-
containing monooxygenase enzymes lead by Assistant Professor Elizabeth
Neilson. Specifically this PhD project is financed by the Independent Danish
Research Council Research under a prestigious Sapere Aude Research Leader
The successful applicant will be based within Plant Ecophysiology Research
Group, and the Plant Biochemistry Section at the Department of Plant and
Environmental Sciences. The successful candidate will therefore be joining an
active, diverse and multi-disciplinary research environment seeking to
understand the molecular regulation, integration and evolution of plant
general and specialized pathways, with the ultimate vision to seek fundamental
knowledge for environmental, agricultural and biotechnological applications.
This section has state-of-the-art laboratory facilities (including a highly
equipped metabolomics platform) and in-depth experience in plant biology and
biotechnology. The candidate will also work together with the Metabolic and
Regulatory Networks Research Group at PLEN, as well as collaborators at the
University of Queensland in Australia.
Flavin-containing Monooxygenases (FMOs) are ancient enzymes present in all
kingdoms of life. As monooxygenases, FMOs typically catalyse the incorporation
of an oxygen atom from molecular oxygen into small molecules, altering the
molecules chemical properties such as solubility and bioactivity. Accordingly,
FMOs general possess huge potential as biocatalysts for a wide range of
biotechnological, medical and agricultural applications for more see
Thodberg and Neilson (2020) Catalysts 10: 329;
Within plants, FMOs encompass the critically important YUCCA gene family. This
family is conserved in all land plants and is responsible for auxin
biosynthesis. The PhD position will include research within difference aspects
of YUCCA evolution, localization, structure and function.
The overall aim of this PhD project is to identify and characterize the
function of plant YUCCAs, with a focus on YUCCA multifunctionality in the
cereal crops sorghum and barley. This overall aim will be achieved by 1)
investigating the evolutionary diversity and catalytic scope of different crop
YUCCAs, 2) determining their subcellular localization and 3) determining
their physiological role in planta.
Principal supervisor is Assistant Professor Elizabeth H Jakobsen
Neilson, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org. The
student will be co-supervised by Prof. Meike Burow (email@example.com).
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD
student at SCIENCE are:
Attend PhD courses
Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
Teach and disseminate your research
To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably
Work for the department
We are seeking a highly motivated and ambitious individual with good
interpersonal and communication skills. Highly desired candidates will have
skills and experience in plant ecophysiology (e.g. plant biotic and/or
abiotic stress), molecular biology and biochemistry. Experience in handling
field and glasshouse studies is highly advantageous. Experience in
localization studies, gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9), protein expression and
purification will also be considered a plus.
Applicants should hold an appropriate MSc degree in the field e.g. biology
and/or biotechnology. Previous publications (if any) and relevant work
experience will be included in assessment of your qualifications.
Fluency in spoken and written professional English is required.
Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry
of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on
Academics in the State.
The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750)
including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation
for salary supplement is possible.
The application, in English , must be submitted electronically by clicking
APPLY NOW below.
Cover Letter, detailing your motivation and background for applying for
the PhD project.
Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
1-3 reference letters (if any)
Reference letters must be uploaded by the applicant him/herself. The
recruiting person must NOT obtain reference letters which content is not known
to the applicant him/herself. This is against Danish law.
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus
welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal
The deadline for applications is Sunday 3 July 2022, 23:59 GMT+1.
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment
manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview
Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate
the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition
of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be
made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment
committee and the interview committee.
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the
applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then
be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD
school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at
https: // employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/ .
For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact Assistant
Professor Elizabeth Neilson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at
https: // www. science.ku.dk/phd.