PhD student in Development of advanced co-cultivation systems for an improved fermentation performance of complex substrates

Monday 06 Jul 20

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DTU Biosustain at the Technical University of Denmark invites applications for a position as a PhD student in Development of advanced co-cultivation systems for an improved fermentation performance of complex substrates.

The position is part of the FBM Initiative, which is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The FBM Initiative is a collaboration between DTU Chemical Engineering, DTU Bioengineering, and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. It offers research-based education in Fermentation Based Biomanufacturing for Master- and PhD- students, and professionals. This position will be hosted at DTU Biosustain and is one of seven PhD student positions available for the FBM PhD program this year.

This position will be placed in the Biomass Conversion and Bioprocess Technology (BCBT) group at DTU Biosustain. The BCBT group works on the development of new, efficient and sustainable process technologies that can accelerate the development of a bio-economy. The group´s research relates chemical engineering and biotechnology tools including aspects such as biomass pretreatment, fermentation, evolutionary engineering and co-cultivation of microbial strains, downstream process and technoeconomic assessment. More information about the group is available at

Responsibilities and tasks

  • This project aims to develop a new fermentation strategy using co-cultivation of microrganisms for an improved conversion of carbon sources from complex substrates. The PhD student will be expected to be develop research activities such as adaptive laboratory evolution and metabolic engineering of microbial strains, fermentation, microbial physiology and process optimization.
  • The PhD student will be expected to familiarize her/himself with relevant background literature and disseminate the acquired knowledge to other group members through seminars and/or study groups.
  • The PhD student will be expected to write scientific papers and present her/his results at national/international scientific conferences;
  • The PhD student will be expected to act in the supervision of MSc and BSc students.


  • Candidates should have a Master's degree in Biotechnology or similar area (Biological Engineering, Biochemistry, etc.,)
  • A strong interest in bioprocesses using renewable feedstock (lignocellulosic biomass) as carbon source.
  • Laboratory experience with fermentation and cell factory engineering
  • Efficient team worker and critical approach to formulating and testing hypotheses
  • Excellent communication skills, fluent written and spoken English
  • Talent for scientific writing
  • Ability to work independently and meet the deadlines
  • The ideal candidate is proud to deliver consistent results and is a fast learner

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 programs at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study program, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by the Group Leader, Dr. Solange I. Mussatto and approved by an internal PhD assessment committee.

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.

You can read more about
career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information about this position may be obtained from Dr. Solange I. Mussatto (Head of the BCBT group), e-mail:

You can read more about the BCBT group at

Please submit your online application no later than 7 August 2020 (23:59 local 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)
  • 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 Fermentation Based Biomanufacturing (FBM) Initiative was founded as a response to the biotech industry’s increasing demand for specialized expertise in the fermentation area. Cutting-edge research, covering all aspects from fundamental physiology of production organisms/cell factories, synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, to scale-up process technology and downstream processing, provides the basis for the specialized FBM Education. The educational activities are developed in close dialogue with industry partners.
The FBM Initiative at DTU educates top-level candidates at MSc and PhD level, and provides research-based expertise for the biotechnological, chemical, and pharmaceutical fermentation based biomanufacturing industry.

DTU Biosustain is an International Research Center at the Technical University of Denmark. The center conducts interdisciplinary research with the purpose of developing new knowledge and technologies that can support a more sustainable production of bio-chemicals using microbial production hosts. The Center’s activities are a balanced mix of basic and translational research, complemented by an emphasis on business development to facilitate commercialization of new cell factories and process technologies. 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

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 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.