PhD Fellowship/Scholarship in identifying extracellular biopolymers from different types of wastewater treatment plants and describing pathways to valorization

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 19 Sep 2022

Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Biological and Chemical Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 January 2023 or later. 


Identifying extracellular biopolymers from different types of wastewater treatment plants and describing pathways to valorization

Research area and project description:

For the position, you will use your expertise in macromolecular/biopolymer/analytical chemistry, and biopolymer or downstream processing, to extract, recover, preprocess, perform chemical and biophysical analyses on, and explore possibilities for valorization of, extracellular biopolymers from biosolid wastes that represent the types of biosolids produced from wastewater treatment plants. Your results will be integrated into metagenomic, and resource valorization and recovery platforms, to identify ways to control wastewater treatment plants for optimized biopolymer production, how to formulate extracellular biopolymers into valuable materials, and integrate biopolymer products into value chains.

You will be part of the REcovery of extracellular polymers from wastewater Treatment residuals as a New circular bioeconomy (REThiNk) project, which is funded under Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge 2022 – Recycling for a Sustainable Society. REThiNk aims to develop knowledge and technology to convert one of the world’s largest biowaste products (i.e. activated sludge from wastewater treatment plants) into high value biomaterials.

You will contribute to an interdisciplinary team comprising experts in wastewater engineering and microbiology, biopolymer science, downstream processing and characterization, and resource recovery, led by world leaders in their fields at Aalborg University, TU Delft and Aarhus University 

Project description (½-4 pages). This document should describe your ideas and research plans for this specific project. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicant must have a relevant Masters’ degree in analytical, organic or macromolecular chemistry, biochemistry, biological- or chemical engineering. 

The applicant should preferably have expertise or hands-on experience with at least one of the following: 

  • Chemical and/or biochemical analytical techniques, such as NMR 
  • Chemical and/or biochemical purification methods, such as chromatography 
  • Chemical, biochemical and/or biopolymer structural and functional characterization  
  • Resource recovery 
  • Downstream biopolymer processing or biorefineries 
  • Biopolymers 
  • Excellence in both written and spoken English  

The project can be modified according to the expertise of the candidate. 

You will be working in the research group “Microbial biointerfaces in water engineering” as part of the Dept. of Biological & Chemical Engineering. As a group member you will be expected to be a team player, where you contribute to student co-supervision, teaching and day-to-day work of the group.  

Place of employment and place of work:

The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Universtitetsbyen 36, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University, 8000, Aarhus.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact: Thomas Seviour,  

How to apply:

Please follow this link to submit your application. 

Application deadline is 19 September 2022 23:59 CEST. 

Preferred starting date is 1 January 2023.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide . 

Please note: 

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview. 
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.  

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