Postdoc position in mechanisms of electroactive microorganisms

The Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University, invites applications for a 2-year postdoc position offering applicants an exciting opportunity to join a new research project, funded by a Villum Young Investigator grant, to investigate the mechanisms of electroactive microorganisms.


Expected start date and duration of employment

This is a 2-year position available from 01/07/2023 or as soon possible thereafter.

Job description

Some microorganisms, called electrotrophs, have the extraordinary capacity to feed on electrons derived from steel and electrodes. Such microorganisms are of interest for bioelectrochemical applications (e.g. to convert electric energy into useful compounds, such as in microbial electrosynthesis), while electrotrophs also cause detrimental microbial corrosion. Electrotrophs belong to many different microbial groups. However, not all members of these groups are electrotrophic, and it remains unclear what determines whether a microbe is an electrotroph or not.
It this project, we will investigate the mechanism of electrotrophy. The main research hypothesis is that H2 acts as intermediate in electrotrophy; and that electrotrophs are microbes adapted to consume H2 at low H2 levels.

The postdoctoral researcher will investigate the H2 consumption characteristics of different anaerobic microbes, including methanogens and sulfate reducers. These characteristics will be compared with the capacity of these microbes to take up electrons from steel and cathodes, by experiments with bioelectrochemical reactor setups. Furthermore, we will investigate the molecular characteristics of hydrogenases involved in these processes.

Your profile

Applicants should hold a PhD in biotechnology, microbiology, electrochemistry or similar. The ideal candidate also has one or more of the following:

  • Keen interest in electromicrobiology and bioelectrochemistry
  • Previous research experience within the fields of bioelectrochemical systems, microbial induced corrosion, and/or microbial physiology
  • Practical experience with the cultivation of anaerobic microorganisms (i.e. methanogens, sulfate reducing bacteria), determination of microbial kinetics and/or molecular methods (i.e. enzyme assays, omics)
  • Good publication track-record
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Social and collaborative personality


Who we are

You will be working in the ‘Microbial Electrosynthesis’ research group, headed by Assistant Professor Jo Philips. This research group is part of the Section of Industrial Biotechnology at the Department of Biological and chemical Engineering at Aarhus University.

What we offer

  • dedicated supervision
  • an exciting interdisciplinary environment with international collaboration opportunities
  • a workplace characterised by professionalism, equality and a healthy work-life balance


Place of work and area of employment

The place of work is Hangøvej 2, 8200 Aarhus N, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.


Contact information

For further information, please contact:
Assistant Professor Jo Philips, +45 9352 1569,



Applications must be received no later than 20/04/2022.

Application procedure

Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference

If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range

Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Deadline: 2023-04-20 at 23:59
Unit: Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering – Industrial Biotechnology – Faculty: Technical Sciences
Phone: +4593521569

Read the job description at the university homepage or apply.

Post expires on Thursday April 20th, 2023