PhD scholarship in molecular biology

Wednesday 24 Aug 22

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Apply no later than 5 October 2022
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Senior researcher Carsten Jers advertises a PhD position in the Bacterial Signal Transduction group at the DTU Biosustain. The research group, headed by Professor Ivan Mijakovic, consists of a multidisciplinary team of researchers working on a broad range of topics incl. bacterial post-translational modifications, development of cell factories and nanotechnology.

The advertised position is in the context of a research project funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark to develop an enzymatic bioconversion process (food ingredient) and a key task is to develop bacterial strains that display the relevant enzyme on its surface. In the project we collaborate with an English start-up company.

This PhD position will provide a great opportunity to conduct research in metabolic engineering in collaboration with other researchers in our group and an international partner with the opportunity for international research stays and visits.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The PhD student will work on the development of an enzymatic bioconversion process. This will initially entail the design and construction of Bacillus subtilis strains that display a particular enzyme on the surface. These strains will subsequently be evaluated to establish whether the enzyme is displayed in an active form using various analytical methodologies (e.g. mass spectrometry and HPLC). The candidate will conduct the experimental work.

While the main project is to some extent defined, it is expected that the selected candidate studies the relevant literature and evaluate and, if relevant, modify the strategy. Further, it is possible and encouraged that the candidate defines additional research goals pertaining to cell factory development to be pursued during the PhD studies.

Thus, we are looking for a researcher with the following competences:

  • A Master’s degree in biotechnology, molecular biology (or related).
  • Hands-on experience with bacterial cell culturing and molecular biology assays (vector and strain construction).
  • Fluency in spoken and written English

Practical or theoretical experience with metabolic engineering is desired. Hands-on experience with B. subtilis would be a plus but is not required.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Carsten Jers.

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 appointment terms
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. The period of employment is 3 years.

The starting date is January 1st 2023 (or according to mutual agreement).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Carsten Jers (

You can read more about the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 5 October 2022 (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:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter). Include herein, a description of why you wish to get a PhD degree.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

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. Learn more at

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 13,400 students and 5,800 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.