2 PhD scholarships on chemical substance profiling by mass spectrometry

DTU Food
Wednesday 10 Oct 18

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Two PhD Scholarships are available in the Analytical Food Chemistry Group at the National Food Institute starting 1 January  2019 or shortly thereafter. Both projects are based on chemical screening by mass spectrometry to develop insights and mitigate chemical risk from food.

Project 1: “Chemistry of Meat Processing” will focus on the known but not well understood problems attributed to processed meat

Project 2: “Chemicals Migrating from Packaging” will focus on the complex problem related to chemical migrating from food contact materials into food.

Analytical Food Chemistry Group aims to contribute positively to food and food production by providing comprehensive chemical insight to understand formation and prevalence of undesired chemical components in the food chain. Based on mass spectrometry, the analytical focus is on trace levels of most unwanted compounds in food. Using both specific accredited analysis as well as targeted (known) or non-targeted (unknown) screening, our goal is to provide relevant chemical insight into new processes, use of ingredients, migration from packaging materials, as well as authenticity and fraud.

Responsibilities and tasks

Project 1 “Chemistry of Meat Processing” will focus on production processes through a systematic study of chemical and physical processes during food production. In particular, meat processing chemistry will be studied  in both model studies and real samples to understand and mitigate the formation of chemical risk factors, including carcinogens. The candidate is expected to focus on development of chemical profiling by both GC and LC separation combined with mass spectrometry. The work will include identification and quantification of relevant compounds using targeted and non-targeted screening methods. Experimental design and statistical assessment is considered an essential part of the project.

Project 2 “Chemicals Migration from Packaging” will focus on substances that migrate from food contact materials (FCM) to food. You are expected to study both intentionally added compounds and non-intentionally added compounds that may occur in paper and board FCM. To get a comprehensive coverage of compounds, an non-targeted screening approach is expected to be the basis for a search for the substances hitherto unknown in the material.  To complement, a targeted approach will be used to develop a generic multimethod for surveying the most relevant hazardous compounds that migrate to food simulants and to food. Perfluorinated compounds will be of particular interest. Migration into food (models) will be quantified.

Both projects are part of our consultancy to Danish Food Authorities, and you are expected to contribute to consultancy to Danish and international authorities.

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 ideal PhD student is curious, creative, independent and yet able to collaborate as a team player in a research group. Candidates must hold a M.Sc. degree in engineering or an equivalent degree preferable with focus on chemistry, analytical chemistry or food science. Furthermore, good command of the English language is essential.

We are looking for a candidate who has:
  • Good knowledge in organic and food chemistry
  • Solid knowledge about LC and GC mass spectrometry including sample preparations and LC-MS/GC-MS techniques, compound identification and quantification.
  • Mathematical and chemometric interest.
  • Experience in laboratory work.
  • Good understanding and interest in food chemical processes.
  • A structured and analytical working approach.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

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.

Please indicate if you have special interest in one of the projects.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Kit Granby and Lene Duedahl-Olesen.

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 Kit Granby, +45 2192 4666 or Associate professor Lene Duedahl-Olesen, +45 9351 8924.

You can read more about DTU Food at http://www.food.dtu.dk/

Please submit your online application no later than 28 October 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
  • 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.

Analytical Food Chemistry Group is one of 12 research groups at The National Food Institute with a current staff of approx. 30. The group is located in a new building at the Technical University of Denmark on campus in Lyngby with modern laboratories equipped with an extensive analytical platform based on mass spectrometry. The group is accredited according to ISO 17025 and is both national and European reference laboratory in several areas.

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.