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Postdoctoral Fellow in Food Microbiology/Perception/Behaviour:

The interface between public body food rating systems and consumer perception and
behaviours contra actual regulations
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences  
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences  
University of Copenhagen 
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH), Faculty of Health and Medical Science at University of Copenhagen wishes to appoint a Postdoc from 1 January 2018 (or soon thereafter) until 31 March 2019 with the possibility of extension for an additional 7 months. The position will be based at IVH but will require travels for shorter periods to AAU and AU FOOD and to China for longer periods (a minimum of 6 months in total) during the post doc employment.
Information about the Department can be found at
IVH is collaborating with the science team Food Quality Perception & Society at Aarhus University, Department of Food Science and the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), Aalborg University (AU FOOD) on a teaching and research platform in Food and Health under the Sino-Danish Centre (SDC) for Education and Research that is funding the current project:
The present position constitutes a part of an established collaboration between these Danish universities and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) mediated by SDC. The purpose of the present project is to strengthen the research collaboration within the area of food science and to increase the output of candidates and PhDs with a strong international (Danish/Chinese) profile. It is expected that the future Postdoc will actively support this objective by conducting research in collaboration with counterparts in China for periods of time during the postdoctoral employment. For further information on the wider SDC programs and collaboration see
As this project is cross-disciplinary, applications from candidates from different scientific backgrounds are welcome to apply. Thus, the candidate must hold a PhD in relation to one or several of the following areas: food microbiology, food science, food control, human sensory perception and neuroscience. Supplementary training in the areas not familiar to the successful candidate will be provided during the employment.
Job description  
In more specific terms, the focus is to understand the interface between public body-food-rating measures (food control) and communication tools (e.g. Smiley rankings) as linked to consumer´s perception and behaviours in eating situations linked to food safety. Moreover, to look at this from a cross-cultural i.e. Danish/Chinese perspective.
The hypothesis of the project is that human behavioural perception of public body-food-rating-systems such as the smiley mark is not necessarily representative of perception of food quality or safety. Specific questions include, how close to tangible and measurable factors are such food control systems perception related? To what degree do food control systems reflect food safety? Do such systems affect costumer evaluation of restaurants, and to what degree is this evaluation affected by other factors (e.g. cost, hunger, etc.)?
The Postdoc will be based at IVH, but dependent on studies designed have access to expertise and CCN’s lab resources to explore behavioural measures with eye-tracking allowing detailed mapping of observer gaze patterns. Also access to state-of-the-art methodologies within sensory science with the link to AU FOOD as well as standard microbiological methods to assess microbial food quality and safety at IVH. In China, the collaborator will potentially have access to collaborators within all three-core areas of microbiology, sensory studies and neuroscience, again dependent on studies to be carried out.  
The appointee should have qualifications within the following areas:
  • Experience in one or more of the areas of food microbiology, food science, food control, sensory studies and neuroscience as minimum at the level of a PhD degree  
  • Be willing to, within a short time, to learn the basic relevant methodology within the areas mentioned above that lies outside the expertise of the successful applicant  
  • Fluency in English. University of Copenhagen generally encourages employees who do not speak Danish to acquire a working knowledge of the language
Qualification requirements  
In connection with the appointment to the post, priority will be given to applicants having some of the professional and personal qualifications stated below:  
  • Shown ability to work independently and to manage research across different scientific fields
  • Good communication skills as this project involves teams with different scientific and cultural backgrounds
  • Experience with experimental design within perception
  • Experience with eye-tracking equipment (Eye-link 1000)
  • Experience with public body food rating systems
  • Knowledge of multi-sensory perception, food safety, and consumer behaviuor
  • Supervisor/teaching skills within food microbiology, food science, food control, sensory studies and neuroscience
The Postdoc is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills and be willing to travel to China as part of the positions research.
Employment conditions  
Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organisations.The position is covered by the “Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities” of June 28, 2013.
The gross basic salary range for Postdoctoral Fellows is DKK 32,745 to DKK 34,476 per month (level 6 to 8). To the basic salary a supplement could be negotiated, dependent on the candidate’s experience and qualifications. An additional 17.1 % monthly contribution to pension will be paid by the employer.
The position is time limited to a 15 months period.
Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organsations. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2013).
For further information about the post, please contact Associate Professor Jørgen Leisner, phone (+45) 6027 9174, email or for any administrative queries, HR Officer Marie-Louise Rosenlund, email  
Foreign applicants may find the following link useful: (International Staff Mobility).
The application must be submitted in English, by clicking on "Apply online" below, and must include the following:  
  • Application detailing the basis on which the applicant wishes his or her scientific, teaching and other qualifications to be assessed
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas - all relevant certificates (MSc, PhD)
  • A complete list of publications
  • A maximum of 10 relevant scientific works which the applicant wishes to have included in the assessment
  • Documentation for additional research qualifications    
The deadline for applications is 31 December 2017. Any applications received after this time or incomplete will not be considered.
Receipts of the applications will be acknowledged, and the applicant will be kept continuously informed of the progress of the application.
The further process  
Shortlist: After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorised recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process at
Assessment: The selected applications will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines 2013. The Assessment Committee makes a non-prioritised assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.
Please note that the applicant will be contacted if the assessment committee requires further documentation.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.  

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Jørgen Leisner


Application deadline: 31-12-2017
Employment start: Start as soon as possible
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Institut for Veterinær- og Husdyrvidenskab

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