Are you interested in how microorganisms can be used to produce industrially
relevant chemicals from abundant plant biomass? In this PhD project, we will
study how different types of bacteria use enzymes and other proteins encoded
by large gene clusters to deconstruct plant polysaccharides, and how they
convert these nutrients into useful products. The bacteria we study are able
to thrive in highly competitive environments, much thanks to their efficient
carbohydrate utilization systems. The project will be performed together with
experienced researchers from different universities and is a great opportunity
for both developing collaborative skills and doing cutting-edge research.
Information about the project and the division
The project is focused on studying new methods to engineer bacteria,
primarily anaerobic species from the gut environment, to steer their abilities
to deconstruct complex plant polysaccharides. We have developed these methods
over the last years, and in this project, they will be used and optimized to
both explore how broadly the methods can be used and which abilities we can
give our chosen bacterial strains. In addition to engineering the range of
nutrients accessible to the bacteria, also the products they can produce
during growth have been investigated. Within the project, biochemical
characterization of individual enzymes may also be an activity. The long-term
goal of the project is to develop a bacterial bioprocess in which the
carbohydrates found in waste biomass are converted into industrially relevant
molecules that are today made from fossil sources.
The project will mainly focus on molecular biology and genetics but may also
involve biochemistry and enzyme characterization. The project is funded by the
Swedish Research Council Formas and includes collaboration with researchers
from the University of Michigan, US.
The Division of Industrial Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary and highly
international group of researchers established in 2008, currently composed of
around 45 members. The research in the division revolves around microbiology
and fermentation, enzymology, and molecular biology, with a general focus of
using renewable raw materials for the sustainable production of fuels,
chemicals and materials. A large variety of scientific instruments are
available in our shared laboratory facilities, and in addition several core
facilities are available at the university and its close vicinity. The
Department of Biology and Biological Engineering (BIO) includes three
additional research divisions, and collaboration between these is encouraged.
As a PhD student, you will be responsible for the daily management of your
research project, including planning, performing experiments and critically
analyzing your results. The work includes cloning, genetic modification of
non-conventional bacteria, anaerobic cultivation, analysis of metabolites, and
possibly also protein production and purification, enzyme kinetics and
analysis of enzyme reaction products. You will be expected to communicate your
results in different settings, from meetings with supervisors and
collaborators, to presentations at the research division and at international
conferences. Additionally, you will be expected to develop your scientific
writing skills in articles for publication in scientific journals.
As a Chalmers PhD student, you will also be expected to teach on Chalmers'
undergraduate level courses or performing other departmental duties
corresponding up to 20 per cent of working hours, and attend courses both in
subjects directly related to your research and in general "soft" skills such
as project management, teaching, and writing. At the Division level, you will
take part in the general maintenance of instruments and will have the
opportunity to supervise MSc and BSc students.
You must hold a Master of Science or at least 240 higher education credits
in a relevant field (Molecular Biology, Microbial Genetics, Biochemistry,
Biomedical Sciences, Microbiology or similar). Basic
microbiological/biochemical laboratory experience and fluency in verbal and
written English are mandatory.
Demonstrated skills in molecular biology, genetics, protein production and
purification, enzymology, microbiological cultivation techniques, and/or
analytics are meritorious.
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of
We offer Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the
coastal city of Gothenburg.
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.
Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with
equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for
excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all
activities at Chalmers.
The application should be marked with Ref 20210615 and written in English. The
application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as
CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and
positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.
Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family
name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g.
education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus
• Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other
certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.
Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form.
The files may be compressed (zipped).
Application deadline: 31 January, 2022
For questions, please contact:
Associate Professor, Johan Larsbrink, Industrial Biotechnology
Phone: +46 31 7723839
Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement
publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection
with this position.
Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in
engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences,
natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry
and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas
of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication
Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an
active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a
foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces.
Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and
improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829,
completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: