211-0444/22-2E Associate Professor of Spatial Metabolomics of Plant Resilience

Associate Professor of Spatial Metabolomics of Plant Resilience.
Department Plant and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences invite applications for an Associate Professor position starting 1 March 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter within spatial metabolomics of plant resilience.

Research and teaching at the department covers topics within Agriculture, Biotechnology and Environment. The department is divided into nine sections dealing with a wide range of subjects. Focus is on plants, animals, soil and microorganisms – from molecules through organisms to populations and anthropogenic ecosystems. Our vision is to maintain and develop our position as an internationally recognized center for plant science and the related areas based on excellent basic and applied research. The department hosts state-of-the art infrastructure, unique field research facilities and many opportunities for collaboration within the department.

The position is in the section for Plant Biochemistry, which is a world-leading and highly attractive international research environment for scientists, students and industrial partners. The mission of Plant Biochemistry is to produce cutting-edge research, to deliver excellent research-based education and training, and to encourage entrepreneurship and industrial collaboration. The research is linked to the Green Transition by focussed efforts to elucidate key cross-species biochemical mechanisms for use in the breeding of crop plants with increased resilience for the future. A key research area of the section is the basic science of plant specialized metabolism and the use of state-of-art metabolomics to study this topic. With this position, we aim to further strengthen this field with a focus on development of spatial metabolomics for plant science.

The successful candidate should have demonstrated the ability to develop a strong, independent, and internationally recognized research program within plant specialized metabolism with focus on multigene enzyme families involved in generating cross-species plant resilience. The candidate should have a demonstrated track record in the use of state-of-the-art omics technologies to elucidate specialized metabolic pathways in the context of plant development, physiology and stress responses. The successful applicant is expected to develop and implement state-of-the-art technologies such as mass spectrometry imaging, enabling the study of metabolites at the single cell level. Applicants using crop species and their wild relatives or other industrially important plants as their experimental systems will be of special interest, to facilitate fast and efficient translation of results to the development of resilient crop plants for the future.

The successful candidate is expected to secure significant external funding of the research through national and international foundations, and as well as to participate in securing funding for and technological development of shared infrastructure to support and expand the area of spatial metabolomics across the department.

The appointed associate professor is required to have university level teaching experience, documented teaching competencies and must be able to explain and reflect upon own teaching practice and portfolio. The appointed associate professor is expected to contribute to and develop teaching within and related to biochemistry, plant science, analytical chemistry, spatial metabolomics at the BSc, MSc and PhD levels and to supervise project students at all levels. Formal pedagogical training or supervision equivalent to the University of Copenhagen teacher training programme for assistant professors is required. For non-native Danish speakers, it is furthermore expected that the candidate will be able to teach in Danish after three years.

The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment. 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. It is expected that the candidate develops leadership and will gradually take on administrative duties as required e.g. research group leader and other departmental or faculty services.

Duties include the applicant’s own research, development of the field, assessment tasks, grant applications, and research management such as supervision and training of research fellows and other staff. The successful applicant must also teach, supervise, prepare and participate in examinations, and fulfill other tasks requested by the Department.

  • Ph.D. degree in plant biochemistry or similar fields.
  • Proven leadership in an academic research environment and ability to guide an independent research group to achieve specific goals
  • Upholding the principles of ethical scientific conduct.
  • Documented ability to obtain independent research grants.
  • Experience with supervision of PhD students and postdocs.
  • A publication record that includes corresponding-author and first author publications of relevance to the position and demonstrate an impact on the scientific field.
  • Good collaborative skills and a record of collaborative projects with academic or external stakeholders.
  • Experience in the organization, restructuring, and management of undergraduate and post-graduate courses at the highest level.
  • Experience with outreach activities and communication of research to the public via e.g., popular science articles.
  • Experience in high-quality teaching in both basic courses and in research based teaching in subjects related to, but not restricted to, Biochemistry and analytical chemistry.
  • Commitment to and interest in the continued development of courses, educations, and supervision at the BSc and MSc level.

Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, original scientific production at an international level, including contributions to developments in their field, as well as their documented teaching qualifications. Managerial and out-reach qualifications of applicants including ability to attract external funding will also be considered.

Six overall criteria apply for associate professor appointments at the University of Copenhagen. The six criteria (research, teaching, societal impact, organisational contribution, external funding and leadership) are considered a framework for an overall assessment of the candidates. Furthermore, each candidate must be assessed according to the specific requirements stated in the job advertisement. Please read more at https://jobportal.ku.dk/videnskabelige-stillinger/kriterier-for-videnskabelige-stillinger/dokumenter-til-meritering/5b_Criteria_for_recognising_merit_-Associate_professors.pdf .

The section for Plant Biochemistry research is focused on plant specialized metabolism and plant development. The section host a state-of-the art LCMS and GCMS platform, and we have access to NMR facilities via collaborations. The successful candidate will have access to all infrastructure at the section and at the department, including state-of-the art climate chambers, greenhouses and a phenomics platform. The section holds ~60 employees excluding guests, BSc and MSc students, and is organized into 8 research group. On a daily basis the section is supported by a section laboratory coordinator, a metabolomics platform manager and a purchasing officer.

Further information on the Department is linked at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/. Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Svend Christensen, tel. (+45) 5148 9421, svc@plen.ku.dk.

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 Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

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

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae including information about external funding
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Description and documentation of teaching experience and qualifications according to university guidelines
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 5 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 2 October 2022, 23:59 GMT +2.

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 https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews/trial lectures will be held on 23 January 2023.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0444/22-2E.




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: 02-10-2022
Employment start: 01-03-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
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