PhD scholarship in Predictive Dairy Microbiology

Updated: 21 days ago

DTU Food invites applications for a three-year PhD position within the research group of Food Microbiology and Hygiene. To improve food safety and reduce waste, the group develops and applies methods for detection, quantification and prediction of microorganisms and microbial responses in food. An important research area is the development of predictive food microbiology models and software. Predictive food microbiology models are increasingly applied by industry and authorities to reduce the time and cost of product development and evaluation of food safety. To be used in this way extensive and validated mathematical models that include the effect of various product characteristics and storage conditions are required. This PhD project will focus on dairy products and ingredients and on the development and validation of extensive models for growth and sporulation of Bacillus cereus .  

Responsibilities and qualifications
The PhD project will study occurrence, growth and sporulation of B. cereus to develop mathematical models and a tool for reliable prediction of responses. The project is supported by the Danish Dairy Research Foundation and includes collaboration between DTU Food, Arla Innovation Centre and Arla Foods Ingredients.  

  • Your research will include isolation of psychro- and thermo-tolerant B. cereus from dairy products/ingredients and characterization of strains using MALDI-TOF and sequencing.
  • You will use automated growth analyzers to describe how psychro- and thermo-tolerant B. cereus isolates respond to inhibitory conditions in dairy products and ingredients.
  • You will be responsible for development and evaluation of growth and sporulation models for B. cereus . This includes a quantitative comparison of predicted responses and those observed in dairy products and ingredients.

We are looking for a candidate with experience in food microbiology and with the ability to perform experimental studies of microbial kinetics in food and model systems. You should have an interest in both fundamental and applied aspects of microbial food safety including quantitative microbial ecology and predictive modelling. Candidates should preferably have some experience with spore forming bacteria. Good communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team are required.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .

The assessment of the applicants will be performed by Professor Paw Dalgaard and research group leader and Professor Lisbeth Truelstrup Hansen.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The expected start is 1 January 2022 at a salary of about 3700 – 4500 euros/month (net pay) depending on experience.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Paw Dalgaard, +45 45252566/+45 25675220,

You can read more about the National Food Institute at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 July 2021 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Food performs research and disseminates sustainable and value-adding solutions in the area of food and health for the benefit of society and industry.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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