PhD scholarship in physical biochemistry

fredag 06 nov 20

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Frist 31. december 2020
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A 3-year PhD fellowship is available at the interface of organic chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics at the Department of Chemistry, DTU from February 1, 2021 or soon thereafter. The fellowship is funded by a Green Transition grant from Independent Research Fund Denmark and will be carried out under the supervision of Associate Professor Sebastian Meier.

The purpose of the project is to develop and use simple experimental approaches for monitoring intracellular chemistry in microbial cell factories. You will characterize the bottlenecks in whole-cell catalysis (especially by yeasts) under atypical conditions. In this manner, you will discover functions of whole-cell catalysts under non-evolved conditions.

Responsibilities and tasks
Most biotechnological applications employ well-established microorganisms in a market of several hundreds of billion USD. Nevertheless, the rapid and cost-effective development of sustainable industrial processes is arguably at an early stage of development. The control and optimization of intracellular processes will greatly benefit of methods that make these processes efficiently and unambiguously observable. Your main task will be to employ and develop NMR spectroscopic analysis methods. With these methods, conditions that favour the formation of diverse bio-sourced compounds by whole-cell-catalysts will be systematically deciphered. Experimental observations of intracellular processes will be complemented by computational modelling to obtain a detailed description of biochemical function and malleability in whole cell catalysis. The interdisciplinary nature of the project makes it a prerequisite that you have a broad interest in the application of physical methods for the study of chemical function in biological systems. Profound curiosity within the areas of biotechnology, mathematical analysis of biological processes or analytical chemistry will be an advantage. These qualifications will help you contribute to unique insights into intracellular bottlenecks in wild and engineered microbial cell factories and into their reaction scope in the non-growing state.

Candidates should 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.

You will have a degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, physics, biophysics or applied mathematics and a strong interest in interdisciplinary approaches.

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 the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Sebastian Meier (DTU).

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 may be obtained from Associate Professor Sebastian Meier, tel.: +45 61 77 9272, e-mail:

You can read more about the Department of Chemistry at

Please submit your online application no later than 31 December 2020 (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)
  • 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.

Applications and enclosures 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.

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 12,000 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.