PhD Scholarships in Enzyme Biotechnology for Biocatalytic Protein Mobilization, Enhanced Nutritional Quality and Palatability of Plant-based Foods

fredag 19 nov 21

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Frist 3. december 2021
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Two 3-year PhD student positions are available from January 1. 2022, or shortly thereafter, in the Enzyme Technology Group, Section Protein Chemistry and Enzyme Technology, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine DTU.

PhD Project 1 has the particular aim of investigating the enzymology of the plant cell wall degradation processes during fungal fermentation of leguminous foods, with the aim of understanding the function of enzymes during carbohydrate and protein transformations during the course of solid state fungal fermentation. PhD Project 2 is targeted at harnessing fungal biocatalytic pathways to enhance protein bioavailability and essential amino acids in plant food matrices during solid state fermentation. The targets include both leguminous and cereal foods.  

Both PhD projects are part of a new, large collaborative research effort, ‘Proferment’, granted by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, aiming at providing the scientific foundation for utilizing solid state fermentation with selected filamentous fungi and bacteria to mobilize plant proteins, and enhance bioavailability, nutritional quality, structure, and taste of plant based foods. Beyond DTU, the project partners include University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Both PhD projects will be supervised by Professor Anne S. Meyer, DTU Bioengineering, and conducted in close collaboration with several other PhDs and Post Docs also working on the overall collaborative ‘Proferment’ project.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The successful candidate for each PhD project is

  • A passionate, creative, biotechnologist/biotech engineer or biochemist with a strong academic record and documented experimental skills in molecular biology and enzymology
  • A person possessing strong technical, organizational, and communication skills
  • Fluent English in speaking and writing

For ‘PhD Project 1’ the optimal candidate is a biotechnologist/biotech engineer with detailed knowledge of plant cell wall chemistry, and with practical experience in biomolecular engineering, recombinant enzyme expression, and preferably a keen interest in imaging methods, carbohydrate processing enzymes, and their action on complex plant cell wall substrates.

For ‘PhD Project 2’ the optimal candidate is a biotechnologist/biotech engineer with an innovative mindset, as well as strong skills in fungal metabolic pathway analysis, bioinformatics (preferably functional annotation of fungal genome data), knowledge of advanced cloning techniques, recombinant enzyme expression, preferably combined with experience chromatography analytics (LC-MS), and insight into plant matrix transformations. Experience with proteomics is an advantage.     

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.

Applicable for all scholarships

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates 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.

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Anne S. Meyer, DTU Bioengineering.

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 Prof. Anne S. Meyer: asme@dtu.dk

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 3 December 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:

  • 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 herein the right hand column)

In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which project you are applying for (title from the above list of PhD projects or individual research projects).

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

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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.