PhD fellowship in "Rapeseed Protein Chemistry and functionality"
Department of Food Science, Section for Ingredient and Dairy Technology, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in rapeseed protein chemistry and functionality with the aim to characterize proteins, cruciferin and napin, obtained from gentle isolation from seeds and press cake of rapeseeds and to enzymatically modify their surface propertiesfor improvement of their functional properties. The position starts 1 June 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The student will be enrolled at University of Copenhagen and be affiliated with the Food Proteins group.
Further information about the Department can be found at https://www.food.ku.dk/english/ and the Food Proteins group at https://food.ku.dk/english/research_at_food/research-groups/food_proteins_group/.
The project and what we offer
The PhD position is part of ‘SEEDFOOD: Functional and palatable plant seed storage proteins for sustainable foods’ project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The primary partners in SEEDFOOD are University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and University of Le Mans in France (ULM). The project coordinator is Professor Marianne Nissen Lund, Department of Food Science, UCPH.
SEEDFOOD will serve as multi-disciplinary centre in which you as young scientist will benefit from training and joint supervision by principal investigators. We expect some mobility between labs and partners. You will be part of an international dynamic research environment founded on knowledge sharing, high scientific ambitions and cross-disciplinary synergy. We focus on active career development of junior researchers, and offer coaching/mentoring activities across the centre.
The vision of SEEDFOOD is to accelerate the transition from animal- to plant-based food proteins for sustainable food production and consumption. We will achieve this by tailoring plant protein ingredients towards superior functional, palatable, and nutritional properties through novel protein design and in-depth understanding of molecular interactions in the food matrix.
We will use rapeseed protein to expand the scientific foundation necessary for the use of seed storage proteins for foods. Rapeseed is a protein-rich crop used for industrial oil production. It is farmed on a large scale in e.g. Europe and may be utilized in new food types locally across the globe. In SEEDFOOD we will create knowledge to sustainably transform the poor functionality of plant seed storage proteins and rationally tailor protein performance for future food design.
Scientific themes in SEEDFOOD encompass: gentle and sustainable processing to isolate seed proteins; improvement of protein surface characteristics through enzyme and UV-light treatments; biophysics of protein structures and molecular interactions; functionality and palatability in model foods.
Specfic tasks for the PhD position:
- Identification and quantification of the rapeseed proteins, napin and cruciferin, in purified samples generated in the project by HPLC and LC-MS/proteomics.
- Modification of surface properties of napin and cruciferin by enzymes, and how changes in surface properties affect protein aggregation and functionality.
- Characterisation of the enzymatically induced modifications at a molecular level by HPLC, LC-MS and other state-of-the-art protein chemistry methods.
The principal supervisor is Professor Marianne Nissen Lund, Department of Food Science, firstname.lastname@example.org and co-supervisor is Assis. Prof. Kasper Engholm-Keller, Department of Food Science, email@example.com
We are looking for the following qualifications:
- An MSc degree in biochemistry, biotechnology or food science
- Practical experience in either protein chemistry or food chemistry
- Practical experience with at least one of the following techniques: HPLC or LC-MS
- Preferably practical experience with protein functionality
- Excellent English communication skills
- Good interpersonal skills
- Strong work ethics
- High ambitions
- Team player
Key selection criteria:
- Professional qualifications relevant for the position
- Relevant work experience
- Language skills
- Creative thinking
- Level of enthusiasm and motivation
- Interpersonal and team player skills
Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. biochemistry, biotechnology or food science. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.
Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.
Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.
The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.
General responsibilities and place of employment
- Carry through an independent research project under supervision
- Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
- Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
- Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
- Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
- Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project
Department of Food Science is internationally recognized for excellence in food science research, education, strong industrial collaborations, and dynamic international environment, where English is the primary working language. The mission of the department is to contribute with new knowledge and innovative solutions for society and industry to support sustainable food production, food security, food safety, and help to produce consumer attractive, palatable, and high-quality novel foods promoting human health and well-being. We are characterized by a high involvement in interdisciplinary research at both international and national levels.
Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.
- Cover letter describing your educational background, prior experience and motivation for applying for the specific PhD project (max. one page)
- Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position (if you hold a degree from abroad, please explain how your degree(s) compare to the Danish BSc and MSc degrees and avoid abbreviations at all times)
- Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
- Publication list (if possible)
- Reference letters (if available)
The deadline for applications is 5th of April 2023, 23:59 GMT +2.
We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.
The further process
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.
The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.
Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in weeks 18-19.
For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.
General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.
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.