211-0362/21-2E Associate Professor in Functional Properties of Plant Nutrients

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 12 Dec 2021

Associate Professor in Functional Properties of Plant Nutrients
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 an Associate Professor position within the area of “Functional properties of plant nutrients”. The position is open from 1 June 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 centers 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 Associate Professor will be affiliated to the 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 Associate Professor candidate is expected to have a publication record in recognized journals within the field of research ”Functional properties of plant nutrients”. The Associate Professor candidate should be able to deepen our research into the functional role of the fourteen essential mineral elements, but focus should also increasingly be given to the role of the beneficial elements (e.g. silicon), which plays an important role in general plant stress alleviation and in tolerance to pathogens and drought. The candidate must be able to work from the molecular to the whole plant level and strengthen our research on the interactions between plant nutrition and ecophysiology, with special emphasis on the effects of global warming (e.g. temperature, water and irradiation. The Associate Professor candidate must have strong collaborative skills and should be able to demonstrate overview of the cross-disciplinary scientific fields associated with plant nutrition (agronomy, plant science, molecular biology, biochemistry and analytical chemistry). An orientation towards and motivation for engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration, both within academia but also with partners in agricultural sector, private industry and authorities will be an advantage.

Specifically the applicants should have strong qualifications in the following areas:

  • Excellent competences in plant science and specialized in plant nutrition, with in depth knowledge on the functional roles of the essential mineral elements in plant metabolism
  • Comprehensive understanding of the interactions between plant nutrition, climate and plant growth
  • Experience and demonstrated ability to work with plant nutrition at the interface between plant and soil sciences, from the molecular to the whole plant level
  • Excellent competences in multi-element analysis (e.g. ICP-MS), hyphenated techniques (e.g. LC-ICP-MS) and/or bioimaging techniques (LA-ICP-MS, confocal and electron microscopy)

The Associate 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 functional properties of plant nutrients; research and teaching are equally prioritized. Teaching at both BSc and MSc level programmes in Natural Resources, Agriculture, Biotechnology and Landscape Architecture is expected. The applicant should have solid teaching experience and be interested in developing own teaching skills, e.g. by participation in didactic training and courses; earlier formal teaching training is an advantage (if the applicant does not possess such, formal teaching training must be completed within the first year and a half of appointment).

As PLEN BSc courses are taught in Danish the candidate should be committed to teach in Danish within 2-3 years. The Associate professor is expected to prioritize teaching and educational development 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 Associate 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 Associate 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 in the agricultural sector, private industry and authorities 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 and teaching experience will be considered and experience with teaching at university level and formal didactic training will be highly prioritized. The assessment includes a teaching portfolio that documents teaching experience and reflections on teaching skills and an ongoing development of pedagogical and didactic skills. Applicants who have not conducted a formal education for teaching at the University level are expected to finalize this within the first year and a half of their employment.

Six overall criteria apply for Associate professor appointments at the University of Copenhagen. The six criteria (research, teaching, societal impact, organizational 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/5b_Criteria_for_recognising_merit_-Associate_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 application including 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
  • Description and documentation of teaching experience and qualifications according to university guidelines
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of up to 5 particularly relevant papers


The deadline for applications is 12 December 2021, 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.

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

Interviews/trial lectures will be held on 6 April 2022.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0362/21-2E.


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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