Postdoc in automation of microbial screening and strain discovery for Plant Protection

Thursday 22 Apr 21

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Apply no later than 17 May 2021
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We seek a highly motivated Postdoc to push the boundaries for screening technologies to develop microorganisms as plant protection solutions for agriculture. The postdoc position is available at DTU Bioengineering - Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine at the Technical University of Denmark. 

The project
The position is part of the Smarter AgroBiological Screening (SABS) project, which will develop new biological antifungal agents for crop protection, to enable the reduction of chemical fungicides usage. The project is an industry-university collaboration involving a large team at DTU bioengineering, to build-up a set of high-throughput automated assays to screen DTU's vast collection of microorganisms and advance the most promising strains towards in-planta testing. Artificial intelligence methodologies will be used to find predictive patterns in the collected data and enable most effective selection and optimization process.  

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will be part of an interdisciplinary team of highly skilled Scientists with the common goal of finding new microbial biofungicide candidates by developing novel and efficient screening and phenotyping workflows. Your overall focus will be to develop and implement an integrated automated high throughput microbial screening platform, and workflows for characterizing the physiology, genomics, and metabolomics of microbial strains.

Your primary tasks will be to:

  • Lead the development of automated laboratory workflows for functional screening and characterization, e.g. physiology, genomics, metabolomics.
  • Drive the development of a liquid anti-fungal screen.
  • Implement a genome characterization pipeline (culture to processed genome).
  • Drive the integration of several screening procedures into a functional screening platform.
  • Participate in strain characterization and development activities.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). The PhD should preferably be in the fields of biotechnology, bioengineering or similar. We are specifically looking for a Scientist with a strong motivation for and experience with developing automated laboratory workflows for functional screening and characterization of microbial strain libraries (bacteria and fungi).  You are highly motivated by working in an interdisciplinary team, where you will be the automation expert and hence drive the development of automated solutions. You are technical minded/skilled and ready to expand your competencies to include a diverse set of robotics platforms. You thrive in projects with partners from both academia and industry.

You must have:

  • A solid experience with the use of automation and HTP technologies, including the development of workflows for one or more of the following robotics platforms: FlowbotONE, Opentron, Tecan Fluent, QPixII, Rotor HDA, or Hamilton MicroSTAR (all available to the project).
  • A strong background in experimental microbiology/microbial biotechnology/molecular biology – preferably experience with antifungal activity and/or plant-microbe interaction.
  • Good communication skills in written and spoken English.

In addition, you have:

  • Experience with developing bioinformatics pipelines for processing of microbial genomes (relating genomic data to phenotypical traits).
  • Excellent track-record of scientific achievements (publications, patents, awards, grants, conference presentations, etc.)

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.

The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information about the position may be obtained from Associate Professor Rasmus John Normand Frandsen,, or +45 2251 1435. Website:

You can read more about DTU Bioengineering 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
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 17 May 2021 (Danish time) - but please submit early as we will start a preliminary review and interview process.

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) including description of experience with automation
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications
  • Names and contact information for three references
  • H-index and ORCID (see e.g.

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

The Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) conducts research, educates future bio-engineers, provides scientific advice and innovate within the areas of microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology and biomedicine. The research at DTU Bioengineering is at the highest international level and focuses on the societal and scientific challenges within the field. Research is conducted within three main areas: Microbial ecology and physiology, Industrial biotechnology and cell factories, and Biomedicine and health. The department has extensive collaboration with national and international research units and industries. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 160 employees, of which 2/3 are scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus.

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. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.