PhD scholarship in Metabolic Engineering

Center for Biosustainability
Wednesday 19 Apr 17

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Apply no later than 3 May 2017
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Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD fellowship on metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. The start date is the 1st of July 2017. The project will be carried out at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

Responsibilities and tasks
Synthetic biology enables us to create novel cell factories for the production of fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks. Secretion of products presents many advantages for the fermentation process, such as reductions in product feedback inhibition and degradation, increased cell fitness, and simplified product recovery. This PhD project will address the challenge of engineering the efflux of small molecules in synthetic yeast cell factories.

The candidate must have a Master's degree in engineering/biology/biotechnology or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the Master's degree. Solid knowledge of molecular biology techniques, genetics, bioinformatics and biochemistry is required.

Further qualifications:

  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated research tasks, and also to be a part of the large research team
  • Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills
  • Proficiency with sterile microbiology work and molecular biology techniques (PCR, cloning, DNA sequence analysis, agarose gel electrophoresis, transformation, cultivations)
  • Computer proficiency, including a working knowledge of DNA analysis software
  • Strong analytical skills and excellent judgment ability
  • Excellent communication skills, fluent written and oral English
  • Well-organized, efficient, result-oriented, have excellent record keeping abilities.

Previous experience with yeast genetic engineering is a plus.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide or contact PhD programme office.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and terms of employment
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The workplace will be Kemitorvet 220, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Dr. Irina Borodina, tel: +45 4525 8020, e-mail: or Dr. Behrooz Darbani, tel: +45 9351 1660, e-mail:

You can read more about the research group at

Please submit your online application no later than the 3 May 2017.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability is an international research center at the Technical University of Denmark funded by a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The center conducts research in metabolic engineering of cell factories, in silico systems biology, metagenomics and plant biochemistry with the purpose of developing new processes and technologies that can support a more sustainable bio-based production of valuable chemicals in the future. The Center brings together some of the world's leading researchers in the field and will possess the advanced equipment and facilities required for achieving its ambitious research goals. Impact on society by innovation has a high priority and the Center collaborates worldwide with biotech companies and chemical industries to facilitate the dissemination and exploitation of its results. Additional information can be found at

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,300 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.