Assistant Professor in biotechnology for sustainable food security

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 09 Jun 2023

10 May 2023
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

Leading Researcher (R4)
Established Researcher (R3)

Application Deadline

9 Jun 2023 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Innovation is crucial to fulfil the potential of industrial biotechnology for sustainable production of fuels, chemicals, materials, food and feed. Similarly, scientific and technological advances in environmental biotechnology are needed to enable novel approaches to water purification, and ‘waste-to-product’ processes thus contributing to a circular economy. Increased fundamental knowledge on enzymes, microorganisms and processes is essential for progress in this field. The Department of Biotechnology covers all of these research areas and, based on progressive insights, selects, designs and tests new bio-based catalysts, micro-organisms, and processes. In the Department of Biotechnology, the section Biotechnology and Society (BTS) studies the techno-economic, environmental and social impact of biotech innovations contributing to circular inclusive designs of biobased value chains. We uniquely combine natural and social sciences in participatory methods for inclusive design and conceptualisation of manufacturing processes, supply chains and systems. Both qualitative and quantitative sustainability assessments are deployed to fully understand system dependencies and effects and develop sustainable designs for just innovation in context. Research in the Biotechnology and Society section covers three complementary lines: i) Bioprocess Systems Engineering for sustainable innovative biotechnology process design related to food security, ii) Integral Sustainability Assessment of novel production (bio)processes and supply chains, and iii) Inclusive Design & Co-creation of biotechnology processes and value chains. The research at BTS complements biotechnological developments and innovations by contributing to the design and the analysis of the three dimensions of sustainability (economics, environmental and social) while simultaneously addressing stakeholders values, needs, concerns and responsibilities. We are looking for an Assistant Professor to develop the research line “Biotechnology for Sustainable Food Security” using Bioprocess Systems Engineering to assess impacts and conceptualise sustainable designs. The new colleague will develop and apply leading edge research on sustainable food production chains for different contexts (urban, rural), including precision fermentation and microbial protein production, cell and tissue culture. The research will be based on the development, design and application of novel approaches for impact assessment using Bioprocess Systems Engineering tools, including ex-ante techno-economic analysis, environmental sustainability analysis and social assessment with reference to safety and food security. The research line complements and strengthens the research lines on Integral Sustainability Assessment of novel biotechnology processes and supply chains, and on Inclusive design for biotechnology value chains at BTS. This position is embedded in the TU Delft interdisciplinary Climate Safety and Security (CASS) Center. The candidate will play a crucial role in the flagship Food Security. The position also strengthens the National Growth Fund (NGF) research program on Cellular Agriculture led by the Department of Biotechnology ( ). The candidate is also invited to contribute to building a modelling infrastructure to provide important data on techno-economic viability and environmental and social impacts of biotechnology food production and related systems. The activities are closely linked to the other CASS flagships ‘Water Security’, ‘Energy Security’ and ‘Materials Security’ and to system analysis activities at other TU Delft faculties and institutes for e.g. circular designs (TPM, IDE), AI and modelling (EWI, TPM), process technology (Pro2Tech) and inclusive design (TPM). The candidate is expected to engage close

Specific Requirements

We encourage applications from outstanding motivated scientists working in any area related to Bioprocess System Engineering in biotechnology value chains and/or food sustainability with an interest in impact analysis. A background in biotechnology, industrial ecology, cellular agriculture or similar and a PhD in Impact Assessment or Bioprocess Systems Engineering or related fields is required. Furthermore, the candidate has: - proven experience working in interdisciplinary teams, - strong affinity to interdisciplinary research related to biotechnology, environmental technology and social sciences & humanities, - experience in food systems and or value chain design, - strong affinity for teaching, - knowledge of the Dutch language or the ability to acquire Dutch language skills for 1st year BSc classroom teaching, - excellent English language skills, - ambition and ability to develop world-leading research lines, - ambition and ability to acquire funding, both via competitive individual grants, public-private partnerships and direct industrial funding, - affinity to work in the interface of academic and industrial research.

Additional Information

We expect our new colleague to enthusiastically teach and develop courses in the BSc and MSc programmes Life Science and Technology (LST) and/or other relevant programmes on campus. In addition, you will supervise BSc, MSc, EngD, and PhD students during their research projects. Successful applicants can expect a competitive start-up package for their research program, which they should further expand by attracting external research funding. Support staff and more experienced colleagues are available at TU Delft to help assistant professors in building and strengthening their own research programs, to provide administrative support, and act as mentor in discussions on scientific and personal development. New assistant professors will enter the TU Delft Academic Career Track. Read more about this here:…

Selection process

In order to apply, please submit a detailed CV, letter of application, research statement (1A4) and education statement (1 A4) via the TU Delft vacancy portal. The research statement should at least include your plans and vision on developing an independent and world-leading research line. The education statement should include at least your vision and ambitions in teaching wihtin the TU Delft context. For more information about the application procedure, please contact Tim Vos, Department Manager Biotechnology ( )

Additional comments

For more information about this vacancy, please contact prof.dr. Patricia Osseweijer, section leader Biotechnology and Society ( ).

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

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Mekelweg 2
Postal Code

2628 CD

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