211-0114/21-2N Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Soil Fertility and Bio-based Fertilisation Strategies

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 17 Mar 2022

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Soil Fertility and Bio-based Fertilisation Strategies
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen invites applications for a Tenure-track Assistant Professor position within the area of “Soil Fertility and Bio-based Fertilisation Strategies”. The position is open from 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Research and teaching at PLEN covers topics within Agriculture, Biotechnology and Environment. The department is divided into nine sections dealing with a wide range of subjects. Focus is on plants, animals, soil and microorganisms – from molecules through organisms to populations and anthropogenic ecosystems. It is our vision to maintain and develop our position as one of the principle centres for plant science and the related areas based on excellent basic and applied research. The department hosts state-of-the art infrastructure, unique field research facilities and many opportunities for collaboration within the department. The tenure-track assistant professor will be affiliated to Section for Plant and Soil Sciences, located at the Frederiksberg campus, and is expected to collaborate within and contribute to the good working environment of the section.

Description of qualifications needed in terms of research and teaching.
The tenure-track Assistant Professor in Soil Fertility and Bio-based Fertilisation Strategies is expected to have a publication record in recognized journals within the described field of research. The tenure-track Assistant Professor will be expected to engage in research activities needed to address the global and local challenges of sustaining or increasing agricultural productivity while minimising consumption of resources and external nutrient supplies. This should be done in a sustainable way where the soil fertility and quality are maintained and emissions and negative impacts on the environment are minimised, i.e. bridging between agricultural and environmental sciences. Circular approaches and technologies to supply sufficient nutrients for crops, by recycling nutrient-rich societal waste or by-product streams into high-quality, bio-based fertilisers plays an important role to achieve this. Another important topic is how to utilise cover crops and green manures to manage nutrient availability in time and space for improved crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency. This will require fundamental understanding of how soil nutrient turnover processes (chemical as well as biological) are affected by different types of organic fertilisers or residues, and how this may affect the most optimal strategies for application and utilisation of such bio-based fertiliser products and cover crop residues, with minimal environmental impact. An orientation towards and motivation for engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration is an advantage.

Specifically the applicant for the tenure-track Assistant Professor in Soil Fertility and Bio-based Fertilisation Strategies should have strong qualifications in the following areas:

  • Soil fertility and nutrient biogeochemisty
  • Plant and soil fertility responses to environmental factors and management changes
  • Fertilisation and nutrient management strategies (conventional, bio-based and green manures/cover crops) from an agronomic and sustainability perspective
  • Soil-plant experimental approaches at both lab, greenhouse and field scale
  • Experience with isotope techniques will be an advantage
  • Data management and analysis

The tenure track assistant professor’s duties will primarily include i) research, including obligations with regard to publication/scientific communication and ii) research-based teaching with associated examination obligations within soil fertility, plant nutrition and circular fertilisation strategies; research and teaching are equally prioritized. Teaching at both BSc and MSc level is expected, on programmes in Natural Resources, Agriculture, Environmental Science as well as Landscape Architecture. The applicant should be interested in developing own teaching skills, e.g. by participation in didactic training and courses. The applicant should also be interested in contributing to new teaching initiatives, e.g. in urban agriculture, ecosystems and sustainable food systems. As PLEN BSc courses are taught in Danish the candidate should be committed to teach in Danish within 2-3 years. The tenure track assistant professor is expected to prioritize teaching as well as supervision and be willing to receive feedback from and collaborate with colleagues on teaching activities. To a limited extent, the position may also include other duties.

The tenure track assistant professor is expected to attract funding and be able to manage own research projects and must have an academic standing showing internationally competitive research, and/or have internationally recognized high potential to make a future impact. The tenure track assistant professor is expected to contribute to the departmental forums and seek collaboration within the section and across the department. In addition, experience with collaboration with external partners is valued.  Experiences from other research environments and mobility is prioritized e.g. sabbatical stay of shorter or longer duration.

Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, internationally competitive research, reflected by significant research impact through high research quality and/or many citations in recognized journals and/or books, as well as teaching qualifications and experience. The ability to attract external funding will be considered together with outreach qualifications. Participation in national and international scientific networks and mobility are prioritized. Teaching qualifications are not mandatory but documented teaching qualifications and teaching experience will be considered.

Six overall criteria apply for tenure track assistant professor appointments at the University of Copenhagen. The six criteria (research, teaching, societal impact, organisational contribution, external funding and leadership) are considered a framework for the overall assessment of candidates. Furthermore, each candidate must be assessed according to the specific requirements stated in the job advertisement. Please read more at https://jobportal.ku.dk/videnskabelige-stillinger/kriterier-for-videnskabelige-stillinger/dokumenter-til-meritering/5a_Criteria_for_recognising_merit_-Assistant_professors.pdf .

Further information on the Department is linked at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/ . Inquiries about the position can be made to Head of Department Svend Christensen (svc@plen.ku.dk or +45 51489421).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

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 Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The tenure-track programme
An assigned mentor will provide the tenure-track assistant professors with guidance related to career development, other academic topics and administrative procedures.

Performance of the tenure-track assistant professor will be followed via internal yearly evaluations and a mid-term and final international evaluation by an assessment committee. If the ‘final appraisal’ is positive the assistant professor will be promoted as associate professor. Performance and progression towards the criteria below will be evaluated with due consideration of differences between research fields.

Criteria for promotion

After a 6-year tenure-track period tenure-track assistant professors are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • A strong publication track record within the specific field of research, including a significant number of corresponding authorships and at least some publications in high-ranked journals based on work carried out during the tenure-track period
  • Strong external network of collaboration, including joint publications
  • A significant track record of successful external research funding
  • Establishment of a strong and internationally competitive research group demonstrating clear independence of former supervisors/mentors, or/and major contributions to the development of an existing research group demonstrating an ability to collaborate within the research group
  • Completed https://www.ind.ku.dk/english/course_overview/up/ and established a teaching portfolio via participation in teaching, including preparation and development of departmental courses
  • Successful supervision/co-supervision of MSc and PhD students

The applicationincluding all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae including:
    • Please describe and document international network and relations
    • Please describe and document internationally based activities
    • Positions held at universities/research institutions outside Denmark
    • Outreach activities, i.e. popular lectures or other activities in the media
    • Grants held, personal or in part. Career development grants.
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan - description of current and future research plans
  • If available, description and documentation of teaching and supervision experience and qualifications- please describe and document:
    • Experience with supervision of BSc and MSc students
    • Teaching experience
    • Formal pedagogical training
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of up to 5 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 17 March 2022 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.

You can read about the recruitment process athttps://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/ .

Interviews/trial lectures will be held on 18 August 2022.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0114/21-2N.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


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