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PhD Fellowship in Biocontrol of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND)
University of Copenhagen
 
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH), Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD Fellowship in Biocontrol of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria to commence on 1 January 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is limited to three years.  
 
Information about the Department can be found at: http://ivh.ku.dk/english/.  
 
Background  
Antibiotic resistant bacteria are one of modern society’s major challenges and alternative solutions are urgently needed. Colistin resistant and extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing (ESBL) E. coli and Salmonella are antibiotic resistant bacteria found in primary production. Recent reports have shown that such bacteria from animal or animal products may be sources of human infections with limited treatment possibilities due to the antibiotic resistance. Therefore, novel alternative strategies are needed to combat these antibiotic resistant bacteria.  
 
Project description  
This project will utilize natural bacteriophages specifically to kill ESBL and colistin resistant bacteria in the animal production environment, thus minimizing the number and reducing the spread. Bacteriophages are bacteria-killing microorganisms that occur naturally in all environments, only targeting specific bacteria ensuring that the normal microflora is preserved. The concept of using bacteriophages to control bacteria in food and primary production in biocontrol strategies is currently advancing worldwide. The project consists of three phases: 1) mapping of ESBL and colistin resistant bacteria in primary production, 2) isolating new bacteriophages that effectively kill ESBL and colistin resistant bacteria, 3) testing bacteriophage biocontrol in production environments. The results will be used in a new biocontrol strategy against resistant bacteria in primary production and will lead to discovery of novel biological mechanisms within development of antibiotic resistance and phage-bacteria interactions.  
 
Information about the research group in Phage Biology and Biocontrol can be found at: http://ivh.ku.dk/english/research/food_safety_and_zoonoses/phages/  
 
Principal supervisor  
Professor Lone Brøndsted  
 
Co-supervisor
Senior researcher Valeria Bortolaia, The National Food Institute at The Technical University of Denmark.  
 
Required qualifications
  • Relevant master’s degree in microbiology, biotechnology, biology or another related field
  • Documented experience in working in the laboratory within the field of microbiology      
  • Experience with bacteriophages is preferred  
  • Experience and interest in bioinformatics  
  • High motivation and basic scientific skills are essential  
  • Good communication skills both oral and written, including English usage  
  • Good collaborating skills are essential 
General Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND) are to:
  • Manage, carry through and conclude your research projects, from experiments to analyses of samples  
  • Actively participate in PhD courses  
  • Write scientific articles and finalise your PhD thesis  
  • Participate in international congresses  
  • Conduct a research stay at an institution abroad  
  • Teach and disseminate your research
We offer
  • A highly important research topic, aiming to understand development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, phage-bacteria interactions and developing novel biocontrol measures to prevent spreading of antibiotic resistant bacteria  
  • A scientific environment with highly dedicated colleagues from wide academic backgrounds  
  • An international work atmosphere with a large proportion of non-Danish co-workers  
  • A research environment that strives to make a scientific difference by investigating and understanding the biology and applications of bacteriophages to target pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria
Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
  • The grade point average achieved in relevant University degrees  
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme  
  • Previous publications (if any)  
  • Relevant work experience  
  • Other professional activities  
  • Language skills, including English 
The successful candidate is also required to be resourceful and to possess good interpersonal skills.
 
Formal requirements
The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree. The successful candidate will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD Fellow at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences. Employment as a PhD Fellow will be conditional on successful enrolment in the PhD programme according to the rules stipulated in “Bekendtgørelse nr. 18 af 14. januar 2008 om ph.d.-graden.“
 
Terms of employment
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. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 25.759 (ca. 3.434 EUR) plus pension. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2013).
 
Questions
For further information about the position, please contact Professor Lone Brøndsted, email lobr@sund.ku.dk. For any administrative queries, please contact HR Officer Marie-Louise Rosenlund, email mlr@sund.ku.dk.
 
Foreign applicants may find the following links useful: www.ism.ku.dk (International Staff Mobility) and https://www.workindenmark.dk/.
 
General information about PhD programmes at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available on the Graduate School’s website: http://healthsciences.ku.dk/phd/.
 
Application procedure  
The application must be submitted in English, by clicking on “Apply online” below and must include the following:  
  • Cover letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project  
  • CV  
  • Diploma and detailed transcripts of records (MSc and BSc)  
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any), peer reviewed and other  
  • Personal recommendations (if any)  
  • A maximum of 3 relevant scientific works which the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment (if any) 
The deadline for applications is 28 November 2017. Any applications received after this time or incomplete will not be considered. Interviews are expected to be held on 14 or 15 December 2017.
 
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 Appointment 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 http://employment.ku.dk.
 
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.
 
General information about PhD programs at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website
 
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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.

Contact

Lone Brøndsted
E-mail: lobr@sund.ku.dk

Info

Application deadline: 28-11-2017
Employment start: 01-01-2018
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Institut for Veterinær- og Husdyrvidenskab

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