211-0041/19-2N Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Biotechnological Utilization of Microbial Viruses

Tenure-track assistant Professor in Biotechnological Utilization of Microbial Viruses
Department of Plant and Environmental Science
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen


The Department of Plant and Environmental Science invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position within the field of bacteriophage biology with start 1 May 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter. The position will be anchored at the Section for Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology.

The impact of microbes on the health of eukaryotes is increasingly recognized in both human-, animal- and plant-related research. Surrounding- and regulating the distribution of the microbes are the bacteriophages, often outnumbering the bacteria 10:1. The bacteriophages thereby act as modulators of bacterial communities and may have great future biotechnological potential as both biocontrol agents and as a source of new biotechnological enzymes. 

The position is advertised in connection to a newly established Environmental Microbial Genomics (EMG) group headed by Professor Lars Hestbjerg Hansen to address this major knowledge gap within phage biology. The group focuses on molecular parasites (plasmid, phages and transposons) and their bacterial interactions, covering areas such as genomics in mechanisms behind bioremediation, interaction between plants, prokaryotes and viruses. The EMG group would like to further strengthen the biotechnological part of the group’s phage interests.

The candidate will be expected to conduct independent research and establish his/her own research program within the area of microbial viruses as well as engage in teaching on undergraduate and graduate level. As UCPH have research based teaching, the teaching obligations will eg. be within following areas:  microbiology and microbial viruses.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. or similar qualifications within virology, microbiology, biotechnology or other relevant research fields followed by 3-7 years of post-graduate research experience within phage biology and biotechnology showing internationally competitive research by a substantial number of co-authored scientific papers in internationally recognized journals. Further, successful candidates be willing to teach and contribute to the development of courses within microbiology, microbial biotechnology as well as phage biology.

Additional experience within de novo phage isolation, DNA engineering of phages using CRISPR-Cas9 system as well as experience in Illumina and nanopore sequencing (from library building to bioinformatics analysis) is desirable. In addition, a proven ability to extract external funding will be preferable.

The tenure track assistant professor’s duties will include research, including obligations with regard to publication/scientific communication, teaching and supervision of undergraduate and   graduate students. It is a requirement that the candidate follow the formal didactic and supervision program for teachers at Copenhagen University. To a limited extent the position may also include other duties.

The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment conduction research and teaching at the highest international level. The position, therefore, requires a highly motivated scientist who is comfortable working in teams, have good interpersonal skills, as well as a collaborative and open mind-set.


Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, internationally competitive research. The ability to attract external funding will be strongly considered together with outreach qualifications. Teaching experience and formal didactic training are not mandatory but documented teaching qualifications/formal didactic training and teaching experience will be considered.

Further information on the Department is linked at http://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/. Inquiries about the position can be made to Head of Department Svend Christensen, svc@plen.ku.dk or +45 51489421.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

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 up to DKK 434.179 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 74.244).

Negotiation for salary supplement and starting package is possible.

The tenure-track programme
An assigned mentor will provide the tenure-track assistant professors with guidance related to career development, other academic topics and administrative procedures.

Performance of the tenure-track assistant professor will be followed via internal yearly evaluations and a mid-term and final international evaluation by an assessment committee. If the ‘final appraisal’ is positive you will be promoted as associate professor. Performance and progression towards the criteria below will be evaluated with due consideration of differences between research fields.

Criteria for promotion

After a 6-year tenure-track period tenure-track assistant professors are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • A strong publication track record within the specific field of research, including a significant number of corresponding authorships and at least some publications in high-ranked journals based on work carried out during the tenure-track period
  • Strong external network of collaboration, including joint publications
  • A significant track record of successful external research funding [Formuleringen tilrettes efter forskningsområdets muligheder for at tiltrække ekstern finansiering]
  • Establishment of a strong and internationally competitive research group demonstrating clear independence of former supervisors/mentors, or/and major contributions to the development of an existing research group demonstrating an ability to collaborate within the research group
  • Completed http://www.ind.ku.dk/english/course_overview/up/ and established a teaching portfolio via participation in teaching, including preparation and development of departmental courses
  • Successful supervision/co-supervision of MSc and PhD students

The application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae including:
    • Please describe and document international network and relations
    • Please describe and document internationally based activities
    • Positions held at universities/research institutions outside Denmark
    • Outreach activities, i.e. popular lectures or other activities in the media
    • Grants held, personal or in part. Career development grants.
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan - description of current and future research plans
  • If available, description and documentation of teaching and supervision experience and qualifications- please describe and document:
    • Experience with supervision of BSc and MSc students
    • Teaching experience
    • Formal pedagogical training
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of up to 5 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 24 November 2019, 23:59 GMT +1.

You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews/trial lectures will be held on 25 March 2020.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0041/19-2N.



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.


Svend Christensen
E-mail: svc@plen.ku.dk


Application deadline: 24-11-2019
Employment start: 01-05-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

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