Two postdoc positions in synthetic organic chemistry (modified…

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 18 Dec 2022

The Poulsen lab at the Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, is seeking candidates for two 2-year postdoctoral positions.

Position 1 is focused on synthesis of modified/constrained bioactive peptides related to the targeting of protein-protein interactions.

Position 2 is focused on synthesis of complex natural products with activity against drug-resistant bacteria. This also includes development of new synthetic methods, e.g. for C-C bond formation.

The positions are available from 1/3-2023 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Job description/research project/research area

Position 1:
This project aims to develop novel, first-in-class, peptide-based modulators of an extracellular protein-protein interaction related to a highly exciting new drug target. The project is performed as part of a collaboration between the Poulsen lab and another group at Aarhus University.

Position 2:
This project is embedded within the ERC-CoG project RECYPION, which is focused on development of novel antibiotics. Specifically, the project aims to develop highly concise synthetic sequences to generate unprecedented structural diversity related to members of the polyether antibiotics family of natural products. Compounds prepared as part of the project will undergo extensive biological assessment as part of RECYPION.

Your profile

Position 1:
The ideal candidate has a strong background in organic chemistry with a track-record for performing excellent research involving bioactive peptides. You are self-motivated, creative, have significant capacity of individual problem-solving and are excited to be involved in a project related to drug discovery.

Essential skills

  • PhD in organic chemistry/synthesis/medicinal chemistry
  • Strong experience with peptide synthesis, solution and solid-phase
  • Extensive experience with preparative and analytical HPLC and HPLC/MS
Desirable skills
  • Background in chemical biology and/or previous experience in drug development
  • Experience with advanced peptide chemistry (stapling or other techniques for constraining structure) or other related technologies
  • Ability to interact constructively with other team members with different scientific competences, e.g. within cellular biology.

Position 2:
The ideal candidate has a strong background in organic chemistry with a track-record for performing excellent research related to development of new synthetic methods (e.g. catalysis) and/or complex molecule synthesis. You are self-motivated, creative, have significant capacity for individual problem-solving but also function well in research teams.

Essential skills

  • PhD in organic chemistry/synthesis
  • Experience with development of new synthetic methodology
  • Extensive experience with all relevant analytical technologies (NMR, HPLC, LC-MS, IR)
Desirable skills
  • Ability to lead small research teams working on a common objective
  • Ability to interact constructively with other team members with different scientific competences, e.g. within cellular biology.

Who we are/ The department
The Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University ( ) is one of the leading European chemistry departments with a broad research programs. It has a permanent staff of ~30 full and associate professors, a support-staff of ~30 people, ~150 PhD-students and postdocs and around 400 students.

The Poulsen lab is an international research group primarily focused on bioactive compounds, with a particular affection for natural products. Work in the group spans complex molecule synthesis, development of new synthetic methodology, chemical biology including bioconjugation and chemical genetics. The group has state-of-the art lab facilities for both synthesis and cellular biology, including equipment for automation. See more information on the laboratory homepage:

The place of work is Langelandsgade 140, 8000 Aarhus C, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. It is a priority that the successful candidate has a personality supporting positive team work. Working in Denmark offers opportunities for a good work-life balance. English is widely spoken, though Danish is the main language of campus. English is the working language.

Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city, and forms the center of the western parts of the country on the Jutland peninsula. Recently, Aarhus has attracted international attention as a travel destination due to its unique combination of a thriving food-scene, high-quality museums, a surrounding beautiful nature, a very lively city due to the “young population”, many cultural events including music festivals etc. See e.g. the recent recommendation by CNN ( ). Aarhus is easily reached through local international airports in Jutland within 1 hour of Aarhus, or through either Copenhagen or Hamburg Airports, both situated about a 3-hour train-journey from Aarhus.

Aarhus University is consistently ranked as a top-100 university in the World and it houses both an engineering and a medical school, as well as the traditional sciences, social sciences, environmental and agricultural sciences and arts.
For further information please contact: Prof. Thomas B. Poulsen, , +45 6114 1844.

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Natural Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation .

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities .

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here . Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here .

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here .

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

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