Assistant Professor of Cover Cropping for Soil Fertility and Mitigation of Climate Change

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering an assistant professorship position within cover cropping for soil fertility and mitigation of climate change, commencing 1 May 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The position is placed in the Soil Fertility research group, which focuses on soil fertility issues and environmental impacts related to sustainable agriculture with a special focus on nutrient cycling and climate change. Our research aims at a mechanistic understanding of soil nutrient and organic matter dynamics at both the level of micro-scale biogeophysical processes and at eco-system scales, in the pursuit of increased nutrient use efficiency, improved crop productivity and reduced environmental impacts from agriculture in the 21st century.

Project description
The research of the assistant professor will be closely related to two research projects, namely “Catch Crops and Green Manures for Carbon Capture and Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” (CatCap) and “Nutrients for Higher Yields in Organic Agriculture” (NutHY), both funded by the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food. The CatCap project aims to determine the potential of catch crops and green manures to store carbon (C) in the soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The NutHY project aims to improve internal nutrient recycling and supply in organic farming systems by using catch crops and green manures, where nutrient release is better timed with subsequent crop needs. The vision of both projects is to maintain high food productivity and soil quality while mitigating climate change.

The assistant professor will mainly be responsible for research on catch crops and green manures. In the NutHY project this will include completing research on how catch crops and green manures affect nutrient availability for subsequent crops in organic cropping systems. In the CatCap project research will focus on soil carbon deposition (from shoot and root) and the impact on soil carbon storage for a range of species, cropping systems and soil fertility conditions. Furthermore, the effect of different catch crops and green manures on crop nutrient availability and use efficiency will be studied in field experiments. The research will use advanced isotope plant labelling techniques, as well as gas emission measurements under both controlled environment and field conditions. This will be supplemented with analysis of the long-term impact of catch crops on soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions in ongoing long-term field trials.

Job description
The assistant professor’s duties will involve research, including obligations with regard to publication/scientific communication. Likewise, duties will also include research-based teaching with associated examination obli­ga­tions within soil fertility, cover cropping, nutrient management in various plant systems (e.g. conventional and organic cropping systems, urban agriculture) and mitigation of environmental impacts. To a limited extent the position may also include performance of other duties.
The position is available for a 3-year period, starting from 1 May 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The place of employment will be at Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen at campus Frederiksberg. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories as well as field trial sites at our experimental farms in Taastrup. Further information on the Department is linked at

Principal supervisors will be Professor Lars Stoumann Jensen, and Associate Professor Jakob Magid, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, E-mail /, Direct Phone: +4521222039 . 

Qualifications required
Applicants should:

  • Hold a relevant PhD degree in agronomy, environmental sciences or related disciplines.
  • Have strong research experience (at least postdoc or similar) on soil organic matter and nutrient turnover and the mechanisms determi­ning accumulation, degradation and losses of soil nutrients in agricultural systems.
  • Have research knowledge about plant root-soil interactions and processes.
  • Have strong skills in conducting plant and soil experiments in growth chamber/ greenhouse as well as field conditions and experience with conducting environmental measurements. Furthermore, experience with the use of isotope techniques will clearly be an advantage.
  • Have a good publication record in soil fertility, nutrient and organic residue management and effects of cover crops
  • Have an interest in teaching and supervision of students; actual experience with various forms of teaching and supervision will be an advantage.
  • Have good communicative skills and excellent English writing and speaking abilities.
  • Be well-organized, self-motivated, result-oriented and capable of working independently in a collaborative setting, having good interpersonal skills.

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 is possible.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  • Cover Letter, detailing your motivation and background for applying for this specific assistant professorship, incl. any earlier study or work experience relevant for the position.
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (MSc and PhD 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
    • Any formal pedagogical training
  • Full list of publications and separate reprints of max. 5 particularly relevant papers

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 2 March 2020, 23:59 GMT +1. 

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at . 

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0097/20-2A . 


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.


Lars Stoumann Jensen


Application deadline: 02-03-2020
Employment start: 01-05-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

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