PhD scholarship in Metabolic Engineering

Center for Biosustainability
Monday 08 Oct 18

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Apply no later than 16 November 2018
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Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD fellowship on metabolic engineering of yeast cell factories. The start date is the 1st of January 2019. The project will be carried out at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Yeast Metabolic Engineering Group under supervision of Dr. Borodina.

Synthetic biology enables us to create novel cell factories for the production of fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The development of efficient cell factories is however both slow and costly. This project focuses on developing an integrated methodology, where systems biology-level analysis, genome-scale metabolic modelling and synthetic biology are combined to accelerate the metabolic engineering of yeast cell factories.

Responsibilities and tasks
The candidate will develop novel yeast cell factories for production of high-value chemicals from renewable feedstocks. The candidate will employ advanced synthetic biology tools and systems-level metabolic engineering, tapping into the latest -omic technologies, including DNAreseq, RNAseq, protein, flux as well as metabolite profiling.

Your responsibilities will include:
  • Wet lab work on molecular biology, strain construction and analysis, fermentation, laboratory evolution and high-throughput screening.
  • Computational work on -omic data analysis and metabolic modeling
  • Dissemination of results through scientific publications, patents and conference presentations.
  • Supervision of MSc or BSc students.
The PhD study also comprises courses equivalent to 30 ECTS credits and an international secondment of 3-6 months duration.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.
The candidate shall have a Master's degree in Biotechnology, Biochemical Engineering, Microbiology or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the Master's degree. Solid knowledge of molecular biology techniques, genetics, bioinformatics and biochemistry is required.
Moreover, the candidate shall have additional skills such as:
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated research tasks, and also to be a part of the large research team;
  • Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills
  • Proficiency with sterile microbiology work and molecular biology techniques (PCR, cloning, DNA sequence analysis, agarose gel electrophoresis, transformation, cultivations)
  • Computer proficiency, including a working knowledge of DNA analysis software;
  • Strong analytical skills and excellent judgment ability
  • Excellent communication skills, fluent written and oral English
  • Well-organized, efficient, result-oriented, have excellent record keeping abilities.
  • Previous experience with yeast genetic engineering is a plus.
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.

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 Dr. Irina Borodina, +45 4525 8020, e-mail:
You can read more about the research group at 
Please submit your online application no later than the 16 November 2018 (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
  • Additional document required: a Research Statement
  • 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 Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability is an international research center at the Technical University of Denmark funded by a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The center conducts research in metabolic engineering of cell factories, in silico systems biology, metagenomics and plant biochemistry with the purpose of developing new processes and technologies that can support a more sustainable bio-based production of valuable chemicals in the future. The Center brings together some of the world's leading researchers in the field and will possess the advanced equipment and facilities required for achieving its ambitious research goals. 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

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.