Postdoc in Novel Fermentation Science

Tuesday 24 Aug 21

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Food is a problem—one of the world’s biggest, most intractable, most global and local at once. Much is produced poorly, much is wasted, too much gets to some and far too little to others. Industrialised societies especially boast both a surfeit of choice and a dearth of diversity—with consequences for land, people, health, and flavour. The problem is both technical and social—how we design products, processes, and systems, and how people interact with, shape and are shaped by them. No one solution is enough. The most viable ones probably engage both approaches.

Fermentation offers opportunities to address these interconnected problems. We are looking for a scientist with experience in food science and/or microbiology and an interest in fermentation and food systems to join the Novel Fermentations Research Group, a new interdisciplinary group at DTU’s Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain). The postdoc will form part of the group’s core team of three, develop the group’s natural-scientific research capacities, and play a key role in getting the group’s larger research programme up and running.

Responsibilities and qualifications
As scientist of the Novel Fermentations Research Group you will:

  • Build up and manage the group’s natural-scientific and laboratory research activities
  • Plan, carry out, and lead scientific research based on the group’s novel food products and processes
  • Work closely with the group leader and R&D chef to develop new research questions, project proposals and grant applications
  • Develop research collaborations with scientific partners at the Center, DTU, other institutions in Denmark and around the world
  • Engage publics around novel fermentations, scientific research with them, and their potential in addressing global sustainability and food systems challenges

Candidates should have a PhD or equivalent in food science, food microbiology, or a related field, and have experience in at least one of genomics/metagenomics, metabolomics, and/or laboratory microbiology.

The ideal candidate will also be:

  • passionate about food and flavour
  • excited by the opportunity to work at the intersection of science, food culture, and culinary R&D in a cutting-edge research environment
  • knowledgeable about basic food science and food microbiology
  • knowledgeable about fermentation and have some experience making fermentations, traditional and novel
  • interested in and basically knowledgeable about food systems and sustainability issues
  • experienced in leading others in a laboratory or other context
  • able to work well independently as well as with others
  • comfortable in an interdisciplinary environment
  • curious about and excited by unfamiliar knowledges
  • patient, charitable and playful

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

There will be ample opportunities for professional development as part of the position.

The position is limited and available until 31.12.2023.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
If you would like additional information about the position, please contact Group Leader Joshua Evans at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 1 October 2021 (Danish time).

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

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

The Novel Fermentations Research Group (NFRG)
Fermentation offers a promising way to address food systems’ enmeshed problems of waste, unequal access, undernutrition, lack of sovereignty, diminishing diversity, and blandness. The Novel Fermentations Research Group conducts cross-cutting open research, using culinary research & development as an engine for combined natural–social science. We develop products both for implementation in food systems and as design interventions that can help better understand the problems—encouraging thinking about edibility, food diversity, and flavour in more complex, just, ecologically resonant ways.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain)
Recent progress in our ability to read and write genomic code, combined with advances in automation, analytics and data science, has fundamentally changed the scope and ambition of harnessing the potential of biological systems. Big data approaches and analysis of biological systems are key research instruments at the Center. DTU Biosustain utilizes these advances for microbial cell factory design to foster sustainable lifestyles in relation to three application areas: Sustainable Chemicals, Natural Products, and Microbial Foods.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.