Senior Researcher (co-principle investigator) in Bacterial Synthetic Biology

fredag 19 jun 20

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Frist 15. august 2020
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The Bacterial Synthetic Biology Section at the Center for Biosustainability is led by Professor Morten Sommer. We work broadly within microbiology as it applies to industrial biotechnology, food production and human health. We develop and apply novel technologies within the fields of microbiome synthetic biology, lab evolution and multiplexed phenotyping. Our specific areas of interest include:

  • Microbiome therapeutics
  • Sustainable food production
  • Drug resistance and collateral sensitivity
  • Population heterogeneity in industrial bioprocesses
The specific research involves:
  • Design, construction and testing of engineered microorganisms as therapeutics. This work frequently includes collaborations with disease area specialists to supplement internal in vivo work.
  • Development of engineered microorganisms for fermentation processes to generate novel food sources with a more sustainable footprint.
  • Elucidation of antibiotic resistance evolution and collateral sensitivity – including using mechanistic and evolutionary insights to rationally design drug treatment regimens
  • Investigate and mitigate population heterogeneity in industrial fermentations as it applies to biobased chemical, therapeutic and food production

Responsibililties and tasks

The senior researcher (co-principle investigator) in the Bacterial Synthetic Biology Section would work with the Principle Investigator Professor Morten Sommer on directing the research within the focus areas of the section. This would include supervision of staff, post docs and PhD students – currently comprising 25 individuals. In addition to these activities there would be a need to manage the collaborations of the group. Currently, the section has active collaborations with several groups across EU and US.


As a senior researcher (co-principle investigator) your day to day responsibilities include:

  • Supervision of PhD students to ensure progress of their studies towards graduation
  • Direction of laboratory research projects, including coordination of activities between collaborators and team members
  • Training of post docs to deliver research results and prepare for careers in industry or academia
  • Work with group members to write research papers
  • Support grant writing activities in the lab

Candidate profile
Candidates must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent), as well as academic qualifications equivalent to those obtained by holding a position as a researcher or postdoc.


A qualified candidate has a PhD degree in synthetic biology, molecular microbiology, microbiome research or similar. Following completion of the PhD the candidate should have successfully completed a post doc or industrial research position with demonstrated track record of delivering high impact research results. Although not required, it would be a significant advantage if you have experience in successfully leading a research team (industry or academia).


On a personal level our section strives for an environment which is motivated and ambitious while also being open, collaborative and friendly. We are motivated by the potential of our work to have a real impact on the world and generally we have an applied mind set. Accordingly, it is important that you as a candidate are able to interact positively with people, are a team player and have high ambitions. You should be a hard worker and be able to motivate people to perform at their best.


In the assessment of the candidates, consideration will be given to: 

  • Research impact and experience, funding track record, and research vision
  • Experience and quality of teaching
  • Societal impact
  • Documented innovation activities, including commercialization and collaboration with industry
  • International impact and experience
  • Leadership potential and collaboration
  • Communication skills
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.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from professor Morten Sommer, email:


Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

You can read more about DTU Biosustain at

Application procedure

Please submit your online application no later than 15 August 2020 (23:59 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:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Teaching and research statement, with a focus on the “Assessment” bullets points listed above
  • Documentation of previous teaching and research, as related to the “Assessment” bullet points listed above
  • List of publications
  • H-index, and ORCID (see e.g.
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.


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


The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) is an interdisciplinary research centre that develops new knowledge and technology to support the production of bio-chemicals using microbial production with 300 employees. The center is organised with a number of Scientific Sections and Research Groups. In the Sections, researchers do basic research to determine the spectrum of chemistry that can be produced biologically. Groups have an applied / translational approach focusing on shortening the strain design and development process.


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 11,500 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.