PhD scholarship in microbial biotechnology and bioprospecting

Technical University of Denmark


February 13, 2022


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PhD scholarship in microbial biotechnology and bioprospecting

DTU Bioengineering

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Friday 14 Jan 22

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Apply no later than 13 February 2022 Apply for the job at DTU Bioengineering by completing the following form.

If you are highly ambitious and passionate about science, and if you want to pursue a PhD degree at the interface between biotechnology, molecular microbial ecology, and engineering, we are offering a fully funded 3-year PhD scholarship in the Molecular Microbial Ecology (MME) group at the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering).

The ability to grow and manipulate microorganisms is the foundation of microbial biotechnology, yet we have only exploited a miniscule fraction of the microbial diversity on Earth as the vast majority of microorganisms in nature are unctulturable through conventional methodology. This cultivation barrier is a significant impediment to current bioprospecting efforts and its circumvention is essential in order to ensure a continuous supply of sustainable bio-based solutions to current and future challenges.

The scholarship is part of a project (EXPAND) funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which aims at improving the culturability of microorganisms from nature through sophisticated microfluidic and fluorescence labelling methodologies. With this PhD scholarship, you will have the opportunity to break new ground in the pursuit for novel bacterial strains and the molecules they produce through the development and implementation of forefront technologies.

Responsibilities and qualifications The main objective of the PhD project will be to obtain yet-to-be-cultured representatives of specific bacterial functional groups from environmental microbiomes. As a means to that end, you will develop state-of-the-art in situ fluorescence labelling methodology for tagging living bacterial cells in environmental samples. You will verify the specificity and applicability of the approach you develop using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry analyses. Furthermore, you will implement your labelling protocol in combination with a microfluidic droplet sorting setup, ultimately obtaining novel bacterial taxa with specific, predetermined functional traits.

The ideal candidate:

  • Is a passionate scientist with an intrinsic motivation to do excellent science
  • Has documented experimental skills within molecular microbiology or microbial ecology
  • Preferably has experience with FISH methodology and flow cytometry
  • Is excited about miniaturization and automation
  • Has strong technical, organizational, and writing skills
  • The project involves collaboration with other scientists in academia and in industry. It is essential that you have good communication skills in English and you are interested in many aspects of science and its applications. You should be able to work independently and contribute to a positive and inspirational work atmosphere.

    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, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.

    Assessment The assessment of the applications will be made by Associate Professor Mikkel Bentzon-Tilia.

    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.

    You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

    Expected starting date: April 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter.

    Further information Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Mikkel Bentzon- Tilia,

    You can read more about DTU Bioengineering at www.

    If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

    Application procedure Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 13 February 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
  • 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) is an international leader in the areas of biotechnology and biomedicine. Our engineering approach to all aspects of biotechnology and biomedicine positions us as a valuable player with unique competences in a growing bio-based economy and with health systems transforming towards personalized medicine. We have a clear focus on the needs in the life science industry and point towards innovation, new businesses, and scientific services for the benefit of society. The department has extensive collaborations with national and international research units and industry. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 300 employees, of which 2/3 are scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus.

    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 12,900 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.

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