Post-Doctoral Researcher – Urban Microalgae Protein

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: Permanent

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100%, Singapore, fixed-term

The ETH Sustainable Food Processing Group uses a combination of innovative sustainability assessment and emerging food system approaches to target fundamental challenges in food science and society such as food security.


Project background

Singapore targets increasing its domestic, independent food supply under urbanized constraints by 30% until 2030. The project aims to enable Singapore's independent, domestic, resilient, and urban food/protein supply by consumer relevant bright yellow heterotrophic microalgae biomass:

  • Establish a state-of-the-art urban single-cell protein production platform using food processing side-streams to leverage supply-chain sustainability and mitigate costs employing circular economy concepts.
  • Innovate supply-chain eco-efficiency by improving microalgae production efficiency and final product affordability through pulsed electric field (PEF) processing.
  • Build an R&D platform for concrete food concept development of meat alternatives harnessing extrusion and 3D-printing for large-scale and decentralised food supply.
  • Understand the Singaporean consumers’ preferences and needs related to innovative microalgae-based food products. The project delivers affordable, palatable, and nutritious microalgae-based food products to the market. It strengthens Singapore’s food security, provides strategic and economic benefits through stimulating economic productivity, and leverages global competitiveness on the meat alternative market.

  • Job description

    As a Postdoctoral Researcher you will be responsible for research that aims to develop, test, and validate a state-of-the-art urban single-cell protein production platform. This work will be performed at SEC in Singapore in collaboration with our research partners at National University of Singapore (NUS) and A*STAR-SIFBI.

    Your tasks will include:

    • Establish a state-of-the-art urban single-cell protein production platform
    • Designing and performing experiments to establish and validate a PEF-based biorefinery
    • Build an R&D and food innovation platform to enable food concept development
    • Communicating research outcomes, e.g. at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals, as well as public outreach
    • Acting at the interface between science, technology, and industry when supervising and mentoring other researchers (e.g., Ph.D. students) and collaborating with project partners
    • With your know-how, energy, structured problem solving and leadership skills, you will lead this international, cross-functional project to effectively achieve all project objectives
    • You will ensure success of this international project through the alignment of stakeholders, your detail-orientation, effective project management and communication at all levels
    • You will oversee budgets, designate resources, monitor progress, and keep stakeholders and collaboration partners informed throughout the entire project

    Your profile

    You should have excellent academic qualifications, writing skills, strong self-motivation and ability to work in fast-paced interdisciplinary environment.

    You must have a Master and Dr./Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) in Food Science, Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or a closely-related area.

    TYou will also have:

    • Minimum 5 peer-reviewed publications on relevant topics, such as microalgae research, microalgae proteins, and/or PEF of microalgae
    • Experience with writing (successfully awarded) international project grants
    • Internationally renowned awards in relevant fields
    • Scientific curiosity and motivation to perform scientifically rigorous experimental work
    • Expertise in up- and downstream microalgae (photo-, hetero-, mixotroph) processing and PEF (preferably nanosecond and microsecond)
    • Experience in working with and developing downstream protein processing approaches
    • Experience with (online-) flow cytometric measurements, extrusion, and food prototyping
    • Experience with R, Python or similar programming language, bioinformatics (i.e., experience with omics and phenotypic fingerprinting)
    • Ability to work independently in a multi-national context
    • Good “people skills” when interacting with colleagues and collaboration partners
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, German is an advantage
    • Demonstrated proficiency in stakeholder management, cross-functional collaboration implementation, and multi-national project management and coordination
    • Ability to collaborate with food industry
    • Experience with lecture setups and teaching
    • Strong problem solving, analytical skills, excellent presentation skills
    • Strong track in dissemination and public outreach via oral presentations at relevant international conferences, workshops, and symposia

    A five-page research proposal outlining the current challenges, important literature and possible approaches to tackle challenges associated with eco-efficient urban microalgae protein production and PEF-based biorefinery is required to consider the application.


    Singapore-ETH Centre

    The Singapore-ETH Centre provides a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment to researchers working on diverse themes focussed on sustainable and liveable cities, resilient urban systems, and patient-centric healthcare. The centre is home to a community of over 100 doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial researchers working in three main programmes: Future Cities Laboratory, Future Resilient Systems, and Future Health Technologies.

    Working, teaching and research at Singapore-ETH Centre
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