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PhD fellow in engineering triterpenoid biosynthesis in yeast, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen

The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in engineering triterpenoid production in yeast. The position is funded by a grant from The Danish Council for Independent Research, Technology and Production Sciences. The duration of the scholarship is 36 months. Commencement will be 1 November 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.  
Description of the scientific environment  
The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences is a large department (>400 employees) dedicated to plant, microbial, and environmental sciences ( The project is directed by Associate Professor Sotirios Kampranis and Professor Søren Bak. The successful applicant will join a vibrant international research environment at the Section of Plant Biochemistry and will be an integrated member of the “Triterpenoids” and “Biochemical engineering” research groups. The Section is also part of the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre (    
Project description  
Triterpenoids constitute a structurally diverse class of natural plant defense compounds, which are wide spread across the plant kingdom, and appear to have evolved recurrently through evolution.  The position is focused on pathway elucidation of triterpenoids and on the development of a yeast system for heterologous production of selected triterpenoids  
We are seeking a motivated, creative and independent PhD student displaying enthusiasm and good interpersonal and communication skills and with focus on learning for the future. Candidates with demonstrated skills in molecular biology, biochemistry, HPLC, GC-MS, LC-MS, enzyme activity assays, and assay development are preferred. Prior documented experiences within terpenoids or yeast engineering are preferred.   
Sotirios Kampranis will be the principal supervisor are Søren Bak will be the co-supervisor. E-mail: or, respectively.  
Job description  
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:  
- to independently design and execute experiments and manage data analysis.  
- to record experimental results in a professional manner.  
- to attend and pass PhD courses,  
- to draft and submit at research articles as the primary author to peer-review journals,  
- to write and submit a high-quality PhD thesis,  
- to teach BSc and MSc students in courses and supervise in research laboratories,  
- to disseminate the research results at conferences etc.,  
- to stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad,  
- to execute GLP and ensure safety,  
- to contribute to the maintenance of shared instruments,  
- to participate in Departmental and Section activities.  
Formal requirements  
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology or plant biology, and should be fluent in both spoken and written English.   
Terms of employment   
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.   
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.   
The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 312.879 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43.219). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.
Application Procedure  
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.   
Please include:   
- Cover Letter. Please state your motivation and describe how your background contributes to the project. Please also include full contact details (name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees (Maximum 1 page).   
- CV (maximum 2 pages).  
- Diploma and transcripts for both BSc and MSc degrees.   
- Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any).   
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.  
The deadline for applications is 20 August 2017 2017, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.   
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.   
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at  
For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the supervisors: Sotirios Kampranis (] or Søren Bak (  
General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at  

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.


Sotirios Kampranis


Application deadline: 20-08-2017
Employment start: 01-11-2017
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C

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