PhD student in Microbiology, Bioplastic degradation in biogas digesters

Updated: 2 months ago

The Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU, Uppsala approximately 110 employees and together with two other departments formsan inspiring research environment at the BioCenter at the Ultuna campus in Uppsala. Here you will find expertise in plant biology, mycology, plant pathology, microbiology, food science, calculation-based genetics, chemistry and biotechnology and competitive infrastructure such as plant- growing facilities, advanced microscopy and molecular biology, x-ray and NMR. The department conducts research, teaching and environmental monitoring in the field of inorganic, physical and organic chemistry, biochemistry, natural productchemistry, food science and microbiology. Visit us at  

Development of high-performance biogas systems for increased bioplastic degradation.

Research subject: Biology 


We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral student in the subject area anaerobic microbiology and biotechnology. The project focuses on increasing knowledge and find solutions to increase the degradation of biodegradable plastic in biogas digesters and contribute to a more fundamental understanding of the involved microbial mechanisms. The result will contribute to development of process strategies that minimize the risk of biodegradable plastic spreading upon land application of sludge.

The work will include operation of lab-scale biogas digesters, physico-chemical monitoring of biodegradable plastics and molecular analyses (including whole-genome and transcriptomic sequencing) and data analyses. 

This project is part of a MSCA Doctoral Network program, INCLUE, that entails an intersectoral consortium of academic and non-academic partners from 7 countries. In this research program, doctoral candidates will focus on sustainable and circular solutions to treat wastewater treatment sludge containing a wide variety of (in)organic pollutants, enabling the application of this untapped resource for renewable chemicals, materials, fuels and fertilisers. For further details visit

The PhD student will join the dynamic research group Anaerobic Microbial Biotechnology (AMB) at SLU in Uppsala under supervision of Dr. Maria Westerholm (

The project includes two secondments at Tekniska Verken biogas plant in Linköping, Sweden (4 months) and at the lab in INRAE in Narbonne, Frankrike (4 months).


Please consider the mobility rule before submitting your application: In order to be approved for MSCA financing the applicant, at the time for the application, should not have resided in Sweden more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Moreover, the applicant must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Place of work:

Uppsala, Sweden 

Form of employment:

Employment as a PhD student 4 years 



Starting date:

According to agreement 


We welcome your application through the apply button no later than 2023-09-17 (applications through email can not be included in the process). Furthermore, the application also needs to be submitted at  

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if she or he has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English. 

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen, we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photography.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at  

Academic union representatives:  

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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