Research Assistant in Plant-Microbe and Microbe-Microbe Interactions

Updated: 22 days ago
Deadline: 08 Jun 2022

A 1-year Research Assistant in Plant-Microbe and Microbe-Microbe Interactions is available in the Microbial Interactions Research Group based at the Section for Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology and located at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The position commences 1st July 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Further information on the Department is linked at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/ .

Description of scientific environment

The research focus at the Department is centered on plants, microorganisms, animals and the environment as a basis for sustainable production of food and other biological products. Research and teaching cover natural resources, agriculture, biotechnology and synthetic biology from the molecular level to the ecosystem scale.

The Research Assistant will be based in the Microbial Interactions Group under the supervision of Associate Professor Mette Haubjerg Nicolaisen. The position will be mainly associated to the INTERACT project (www.interact.ku.dk) funded by the Novo Nordisk foundation. The overall aim of the project is to decode the intimate microbial interactions in the rhizobiome and reveal their influence on plant growth and performance.

Project description
To fully exploit the potential of plant-microbe interactions, currently being proposed as a fundamental part of the green solutions for sustainable agricultural production, a much deeper understanding of the complex and often transient interactions in the rhizosphere environment is needed. Our goal is to detangle these interactions down to the molecular level and understand them in an ecologically relevant scenario.

We are seeking a highly motivated Research Assistant with a strong background in plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions who is enthusiastic about the opportunity to develop his/her skills in an international research environment, where different disciplines work closely together to obtain a holistic understanding of microbe-plant interactions in the soil environment.

Job description
The selected candidate is expected to:

  • Contribute to the INTERACT research program and ongoing projects relating to plant-microbe/microbe-microbe interactions
  • Construction of bioreporter strains, site-directed gene knockouts, promoter studies, DNA sequencing and analysis
  • Application of reporter assays for transcriptional profiling of bacterial plant beneficial traits during interactions with other microbes and/or plants

Qualification requirements

  • A relevant Master’s degree within either Microbiology, Biology, Biochemistry or Biotechnology
  • Good English language skill
  • A strong motivation for the area of research
  • Excellent written and spoken English

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
Special importance will be attached to applicants having the following professional and personal qualifications:

  • Documented experience in plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions
  • A strong background within molecular microbiology, preferentially within promotor studies, mutagenesis, DNA sequencing and analysis.
  • A strong background in genome analysis and protein modeling
  • A strong motivation for learning basic research skills
  • Experience linking microbial ecology and plant performance
  • Well-developed collaborative skills

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.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover letting detailing your motivation and background for applying for the position in question
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diploma and transcript of records (Bachelor and Master)
  • Other relevant information e.g. list of publications
  • Documentation of English language qualifications, if non-EU and non-native English speaker

The deadline for applications is 8 June 2022 at 23:59 CET. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.

For more specific questions about the position please contact Associate Professor Mette Haubjerg Nicolaisen, email meni@plen.ku.dk, phone (+45) 35 33 26 49.

Further information on the Department is linked at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/.

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


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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