PhD Scholarship in the High Throughput Exploration of the Sequence-dependence of Protein Aggregation

Thursday 25 Jul 19

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 15 September 2019
Apply for the job at DTU Bioengineering by completing the following form.

Apply online

The newly established research group of Prof. Alexander K. Buell (start April 2019) at DTU Bioengineering is recruiting a PhD student, to start as soon as possible. Our research group will be situated within the section of Protein Chemistry and Enzyme Technology, where world-leading expertise in protein chemistry and structural biology is concentrated. Our laboratory performs cutting edge experimental research in the field of protein and peptide self-assembly and aggregation. 

The applied methods include protein engineering as well as various spectroscopy, scattering, biosensing and microfluidics techniques and we work on a wide variety of proteins, from simple model systems to disease-related proteins. 

The overall aim of our research is to achieve a profound mechanistic understanding of protein and peptide assembly into ordered (fibrillar, crystalline) and disorderd (amorphous, liquid droplet) condensed phases and of the physico-chemical factors that drive it. To achieve these goals, we also collaborate with structural, computational and medical biologists. The motivation behind our research is to enable rational control of such assembly processes in the context of human disorders, protein biotechnology as well as in the creation of novel types of functional biomaterials.

Research project

Despite much effort, it is still not possible to quantitatively predict the effect of changes in amino acid sequence on the kinetics and thermodynamics of the individual mechanistic steps of protein aggregation into amyloid fibrils. The aim of this project is to use a combination of high throughput experimental approaches in protein engineering, protein production and their biophysical characterisation in order to explore the sequence space of protein aggregation at a much larger scale than what has previously been possible.

Responsibilities and tasks

The successful candidate will establish the workflow for the production and biophysical characterisation of sequence variants of amyloid fibril forming proteins at high throughput.

The candidate will also take responsibility in the maintenance of research equipment, in the supervision of Bachelor and Master thesis projects and in other teaching activities.


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 in either Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Biology, Biotechnology or a related field, and should ideally have carried out an experimental Master’s thesis, where he/she has gained experience with recombinant protein technology. However, excellent candidates with theoretical/computational research experience can also be considered.

The successful candidate should in addition:
  • Be interested in the quantitative study of biomolecular systems in vitro and the analysis of large data sets
  • Have an excellent academic track record and be highly motivated to work on a challenging research project
  • Feel comfortable in an interdisciplinary research environment
  • Thrive in a collaborative environment of mutual support and encouragement
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 Prof. Alexander K. Buell.
Presently to be contacted through:

You can read more about the Department of Bioengineering at DTU at:
Application procedure

Please submit your online application no later than 15 September 2019 (local time)


To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • 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)
  • Names and contact details of 2 academic referees

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.

The Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) addresses challenges of societal and scientific importance within biotechnology, biomedicine, food technology and human health. The department is based on both basic and applied research and employs tools from biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, cellular biology, immunology, microbial ecology and physiology, bioinformatics and bio-engineering. 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. 180 employees, of which 2/3 is scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus.


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 university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.