A three-year PhD fellowship in microbiology

Updated: 17 days ago
Deadline: 18 Sep 2022

Section for Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences invites applicants for a 3-year PhD fellowship in bacteriophage-host interactions. The project is part of the research project “Circumventing Social Drivers of Bacterial Defenses”, which is financed by a Sapere Aude grant from The Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Start date is (expected to be) 01.01.2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
By 2050, the death toll by previously preventable or easily curable bacterial infections will surpass that of cancer deaths, unless we prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance and develop new therapies. Using bacteriophages (phages) to kill pathogenic bacteria is one option, however, the bacteria often fight back. This project will uncover and develop methods to circumvent phage defenses in the notorious pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The PhD candidate will be trained in both lab techniques and personal skills including fundamental bacteriophage techniques, cloning, virulence assays, qRT-PCR, western blotting, sequencing, scientific writing and communication, and self- and project management. Moreover, the candidate will learn advanced microscopy techniques and develop an international interdisciplinary network during an exchange to UC Irvine, USA.

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for candidates driven by their passion for science and with a desire to learn and contribute to our collaborative lab community. Prior experience with microbiology, cloning, virulence assays, molecular biology techniques, and bacteriophage biology are advantages. Applicants can have a background in Biology, Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, or similar areas. We are actively working towards building a more inclusive and diverse academia and encourage all interested candidates to apply.

Our group and research- and what do we offer?
The project is led by Assistant Professor Nina Molin Høyland-Kroghsbo, who is a part of the Microbial Interactions group. The PhD candidate will be co-supervised by Mette Nicolaisen, who heads the group. The group focuses on understanding the intimate microbial interactions in their natural environments and exploiting these interactions for biotechnological solutions. The Microbial interactions group currently includes 2 PhD students, 2 research assistants, 3 postdocs, 2 Assistant Professors, as well as several MSc students and guests, and represents 6 different nationalities. The group is a part of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Frederiksberg/Copenhagen.

We offer creative and stimulating working conditions, guidance, and mentoring in a dynamic and international research environment with a strong network of national and international collaborators. Our research facilities include state-of-the-art GMO1 and GMO2 laboratories.

The principal supervisor isAssistant Professor Nina Molin Høyland-Kroghsbo, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, nmhk@plen.ku.dk, Direct Phone: 51804111.

The PhD programme

Depending of your level of education, you can undertake the PhD programme as:

A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Getting into a position on the regular PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Biologi, Mikrobiologi, Bioteknologi, Biokemi and similar programs. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database .

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks the PhD programme

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision 
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at UC Irvine, USA
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in phage-bacterial interactions
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Relevant publications/preprints are an advantage
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Good language skills

Application and Assessment Procedure

 Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page), including your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project
  • Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Reference letters (if available)

The deadline for applications is 18.09.2022, 23:59 GMT +2.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/ .

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in week 43/October 24-28th.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/ .

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

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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