Doctoral student in Food hygiene (PA2024/1628)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 10 Jun 2024

Description of the workplace

This project is a collaboration between the Division of Food and Pharma, PLE and the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Clinical Sciences. The position is located at the Division of Food and Pharma, where research and education are conducted within science and technology, to meet issues of relevance to society.

You will be part of the research group Food hygiene, who is working with methods for identification of bacteria and elucidating the role of these bacteria in food and human health, with main research areas within gut health related to functional foods. The research conducted in the group has been pioneering in the development of probiotics and the group has a close collaboration with healthcare, industry and academia. Teaching at the department is linked to specializations and programs in food and pharmaceuticals. 

Subject description

The candidate will be admitted to the research subject Food and Formulation Engineering. This research subject covers experimental and theoretical studies based on science and engineering aiming to address issues of relevance to the food and pharmaceutical industries, including aspects of production and consumption of food in society. This project will focus on the research aspect of Food hygiene.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Food and its microbial content affect the gut microbiota and thus our health. This is a relatively new research area with knowledge gaps. As a PhD student in Food hygiene you will, with support from your supervisors, plan and perform experiments with the aim of expanding knowledge and understanding in the research area.

The work duties include:
  • Conduct human studies as well as in vitro studies using a simulated intestinal system.
  • Optimize starter cultures for fermentation of plant-based foods.
  • Evaluate health effects of plant-based foods, especially with respect to the gut and immune system.
  • Identify the microbiota in human samples and foods using PCR-based methods such as Sanger sequencing, Next Generation Sequencing and bioinformatics.
  • Quantify microorganisms via qPCR, flow cytometry and culturing.

Admission requirements 

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant: 

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Food and Formulation Engineering if the applicant has: 

  • at least 60 credits in the subject of the third-cycle programme, of which at least 30 credits are from second-cycle courses of relevance to the subject and 30 credits from a second-cycle degree project of relevance to the subject, or
  • an MSc in Engineering, a one-year Master’s degree or other comparable degree of relevance to the field.

Additional requirements:
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Knowledge of microbiology.
  • Practical experience in basic microbiological methods, such as culturing and isolation of bacteria.
  • Practical experience in PCR-based methods.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following: 

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

  • Other assessment criteria:
    • In-depth knowledge of microbiology.
    • Knowledge of probiotics, gut microbiota and immunology.
    • Experience in Next Generation Sequencing and bioinformatic data management.
    • Experience in flow cytometry.
    • Experience in food processes and analysis.

    Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

    We offer

    Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme.
    Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Work at Lund University. 

    Terms of employment 

    Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

    How to apply

    Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

    Welcome to apply!

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