PhD scholarship in Sociomicrobiology of Secondary Metabolite production at the Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites, CeMiSt

Updated: about 1 month ago

We offer a PhD fellowship at Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) at the Technical University of Denmark. The PhD project is part of the Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites, CeMiSt and will be carried out in the Bacterial Interactions and Evolution Group headed by Professor Ákos. T. Kovács in the Section for Microbial and Chemical Ecology.

CeMiSt is a Center of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. The Center started in 2018 and will run for six years with an option for a four-year extension. The Center is based at the Technical University of Denmark and hosted by Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering). Three DTU departments and 10 senior faculty participate in the Center and >15 PhD students and postdocs are hired. The purpose of CeMiSt is to unravel the biological role of microbial secondary metabolites in natural microbiological communities. The Center is led by Professor Lone Gram.

We seek an enthusiastic and motivated candidate to study the sociomicrobiology of bacterial secondary metabolite production using molecular techniques in the research field of microbial ecology and evolution. You will be involved in a fun PhD project on microbial natural products, with strong international connections, a productive scientific environment, and a good work-life balance.The position will be available from June 1st, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your PhD project will contribute to our understanding how microbial secondary metabolite (SM) production impacts spatial distribution of microbes and vice versa. You will assay the fitness cost and benefits of SM production in Bacilli and other soil microorganisms at diverse spatial scale, from pure cultures to synthetic microcosms. In addition, you will exploit our bioimaging platform (microscopy and chemical imaging) to elucidate the role of SMs in microbial interactions.

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

We are looking for a candidate with a solid background in bacteriology and microbial ecology, combined with interest in understanding microbial interaction and development of microbial communities. Candidates should preferably have experience with molecular microbiology and fluorescence microscopy, while background on microbial secondary metabolites is advantageous. You should be an efficient team worker, have good communication skills, and have a critical approach to formulation and testing of hypotheses.

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 .

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 an 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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Ákos T. Kovács, tel.: +45 4525 2527,  

Please do not send applications to this e-mail address; follow the electronic application and submission procedure as explained below.

You can read more about DTU Bioengineering on and a DTU podcast introduces the Center that is also described at .

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

Please submit your online application no later than 4 April 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 in 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 )
  • In your application, indicate the names and contact details of at least two referees.

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.

The Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites aims to establish what effect microbial secondary metabolites have on other microorganisms in their natural environment. We have traditionally perceived them as ‘competition substances’, but in natural environments they are rarely produced in quantities of antibiotic effect. The Center’s hypothesis is that secondary metabolites constitute a network of signal molecules that directly affect gene expression, behaviour, and metabolism of the microorganisms and thus play a decisive role in the composition and function of microbiological communities. We will explore this in an interdisciplinary collaboration with the use of sequence-based, analytical-chemical, molecular, bioinformatic, and classic microbiological methods.

The Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) addresses challenges of societal and scientific importance within biotechnology, biomedicine, food technology and human health. The department is based on both basic and applied research and employs tools from biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, cellular biology, immunology, microbial ecology and physiology, bioinformatics and bio-engineering. Research is conducted within three main areas: Microbial ecology and physiology, Industrial biotechnology and cell factories, and Biomedicine and health. The department has extensive collaboration with national and international research units and industries. DTU Bioengineering has over 300 employees, of which 2/3 is scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus

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 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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