PhD fellows in Plant Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics

PhD fellows in Plant Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN)
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

Section for Plant Glycobiology, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering several PhD scholarships in plant biology, biochemistry and/or biophysics commencing 1 July 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

You will work in a highly cross-disciplinary and exciting team that includes the full range of microscopy, proteomics, glycomics, biochemistry and molecular biology. This will ensure that you will receive a broad but cutting-edge experience that will build a solid foundation for your future scientific career. It is expected that you have experiences in at least one of the areas of molecular & cell biology, biochemistry or biophysics. Together, we will generate an exciting environment to understand mechanisms that underpin cell wall synthesis, cytoskeleton behaviour and cell wall signalling. We will also work together with chemists, engineers and glycan specialists to explore how cell walls may be used for biomaterials and other applications.

Project description
The projects will align with Prof. Persson’s Villum Investigator and Novo Nordisk Laureate grants on cell wall patterning and carbon portioning. The wall patterning project aims to understand how patterns of wood-related walls are controlled; a process that we now can visualize in real-time through advanced microscopy. Projects related to this topic include, understanding how the patterning is regulated, changing wall patterns to influence wood properties and looking at how changes in cell geometry influence the process. The carbon portioning project aims to understand how plants decide to put photosynthetically fixed carbon into storage (starch) or growth-related activities (cell walls). This project will have direct consequences on food, feed and materials with an aim to manipulate fiber and starch contents in plant tissues.

Principal supervisor is Professor Staffan Persson, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), E-mail:

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree, or equivalent, in any areas of Plant Biology (and related areas), Biochemistry, or Biophysics (focus on optics) with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications, emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any), relevant work experience, reference letters and interviews.

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 328,355 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,360). 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, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees

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 5 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. 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 principal supervisor Professor, Staffan Persson, Current address; University of Melbourne, School of Biosciences, Parkville 3010 Vic, Melbourne, Australia; Future address: Department of Plant & Environmental Science, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, E-mail:, Direct Phone: +61-3-90353637.

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.


Staffan Persson


Application deadline: 05-03-2020
Employment start: 01-07-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

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