A PhD fellowship in synthetic biology available at the DynaMo Center of Excellence

A PhD fellowship is available at the DynaMo Center (dynamo.ku.dk), a Center of Excellence within plant biology funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. The Center is located at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The position starts May 1 2020 or at a later date decided upon mutual agreement.

We are currently looking for a PhD student within synthetic biology. The project aims at producing  health-promoting plant natural products in microbial host organisms. The project addresses fundamental challenges in synthetic biology related to engineering heterologous plant pathways into microbial hosts. We will apply advanced synthetic biology technologies in pathway and transport engineering as well as ‘omics-based analyses to enable high-level production of natural products in microbial hosts.

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at DynaMo Center are to:

  • Manage and carry out your research project
  • Take relevant PhD courses (30 ECTS)
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Participate in conferences
  • Stay at an international research institution for a prolonged period of time
  • Teach and disseminate your research

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
Special attention will be given to applicants with the following professional and personal qualifications:

  • Documented laboratory work within molecular biology and synthetic biology
  • Documented experience working with microorganisms – preferably yeasts (this is not a requirement).
  • A strong motivation
  • Well-developed collaborative skills

Enthusiastic and talented candidates wishing to be trained in forefront technologies in a creative and dynamic research environment are cordially invited to apply. In DynaMo, we have a vibrant research environment with excellent opportunities for young scientists to advance their competences in multiple directions.

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Biotechnology, Biochemistry or Biology with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 328.355 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,360). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Employment period is 3 years.

Place of work
The main place of work will be at the DynaMo Center, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen at Frederiksberg Campus, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. International travel in relation to conferences, meetings and experiments will be part of the position.

Application Procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

The application must include the following documents:

  • Cover letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the PhD project
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 2 professional referees
  • Documentation of English language qualifications, if non-EU and non-native English speaker

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The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is March 18, 2020, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor Professsor Barbara Ann Halkier, email bah@plen.ku.dk, phone (+45) 35 33 33 42

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at https://www.science.ku.dk/phd.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

Deadline: 18 March 2020
Unit: Faculty of Science
Campus: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Wednesday March 18th, 2020