Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a 3-year PhD position operating at the interface between Plant Nutrition and Bio-Nanotechnology, financed by NovoNordiskFonden. The start date is expected to be 1 April 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.
In the project we want to study the processes controlling transport of plant nutrient contained in nanoparticles (NPs) across stomata, to enable us to produce the next generation crop fertilizers, which are more efficient, sustainable and climate friendly than the current ones. We want to improve our understanding of how NP transport is regulated by leaf surface anatomy, pore chemistry and microclimate. The overall purpose is to be able to manipulate the transport processes and optimize them using the physicochemical properties of selected NPs. In the project, we will have a strong focus on state-of-the-art bioimaging techniques, including LA-ICP-MS, TEM-EDXS and various forms of confocal microscopy to study NP transport.
Tasks specific to the position
- Synthesis and characterization of biocompatible NPs with smart properties to deliver essential plant nutrients to crops
- Study stomata at the micro- and nanoscale, as a significant barriers for NP uptake in leaves
- Identify procedures to activate the stomatal pathway to improve NP uptake
- Draft scientific papers related to your research project
- Interdisciplinary collaboration with other research group members and external partners
- Participate in scientific meetings and conferences to present your research
- Plan outreach activities to promote your scientific research to a wider audience
- Contribute to teaching activities, as part of your own academic career training
- Participate in PhD courses and complete your PhD thesis
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for candidates with a solid plant science, biochemistry and/or environmental chemistry background. We are looking for a highly motivated and conscientious MSc candidate, with a strong interest in cross-disciplinary science. Applicants for the position should ideally meet the following specific requirements:
- A MSc degree documenting excellence in Plant Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Nanotechnology or Biotechnology
- Documented skills in general and analytical chemistry
- Interest in chemical synthesis
- Excellence in written and oral English
Our research group – what do we offer?
The successful candidate will be working in a large cross-disciplinary research project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. In the project, a group of chemists, physicists, materials scientists, plant scientists and agronomists from University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark and McGill University in Canada will develop a novel generation of biocompatible and sustainable NP-based fertilizers with superior abilities to deliver mineral nutrients to crops in a timely and more resource efficient manner. To achieve this very ambitious goal we need to understand the pathways for NP uptake and how they interact with plant cells at the mechanistic level. This knowledge will allow us to tailor NPs with smart properties to enhance nutrient uptake and utilization in metabolism.
Our research ambitions are high and we strive to publish our work in leading journals. The research environment is vibrant, friendly, collaborative and international, consisting of scientists and students with diverse cultural and academic backgrounds. Our research group consists of +15 motivated scientists at different stages in their career, which enables sparring on how to shape a successful academic career.
The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences is located in central Copenhagen at the Frederiksberg Campus. Copenhagen ranks among the most livable cities of the world and has several times been voted the number one capital in annual quality of life surveys.
Principal supervisor is Professor Søren Husted, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
The PhD program
Qualifications needed for the regular program
To be eligible for the regular PhD program, you must have completed a degree program, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Environmental science, Plant sciences or Agronomy. For information of eligibility of completed programs, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.
Terms of employment in the regular program
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.
Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.
Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.
- Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
- Your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project
- Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
- Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
- Publication list (if available)
- Reference letters (if available)
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 15 February 2023, 23:59 GMT +1.
We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.
Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in week 9-10 (March 2023)
The further process
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.
The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.
General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.
Deadline: 2023-02-15 at 23:59
Unit: Faculty of Science
Post expires on Wednesday February 15th, 2023