PhD fellowship in Screening flavour profiles of plant sources for enhanced quality and stability of non-alcoholic organic drinks

Department of Food Science (Section of Food Analytics and Biotechnology) is offering a PhD scholarship in Screening flavour profiles of plant sources for enhanced quality and stability of non-alcoholic organic drinks. The PhD project is part of the research project Towards improved and stabilised plant-based flavour profiles for non-alcoholic organic drinks (STABLEDRINK ) which is founded by Danish Green Development and Demonstration program (GUDP). Start date is (expected to be) 1 May 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter).

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 a 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.

Further information about the Department can be found at https://www.food.ku.dk/english/.

The project
The candidate will join the collaborative STABLEDRINK project, a partnership between the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen, the Department of Food Science – Food Technology at Aarhus University, and a private enterprise Bite (www.bitedrink.com), an organic beverage producer. STABLEDRINK focuses on molecular flavour profiles from organically cultivated plants in Denmark and plant food co-products. The primary goal is to screen sustainable plant sources, including but not limited to wormwood, elderflower, rhubarb, berries, and co-products like citrus peel and berry pomace, with optimal flavour profiles for beverage creation.

A PhD student will conduct research on the identification of promising plant sources for enriched flavour profiles and perform untargeted and targeted foodomics on plant sources using advanced analytical platforms. The project will apply GC-MS, LC-MS, and NMR for comprehensive molecular screening of plant sources. Using rich molecular profiling datasets from analytical platforms, the PhD student will develop a flavour profile library of different plant sources. This will be followed by the optimization of plant flavour ingredients to be used for the development of non-alcoholic organic drinks and the development of a rapid method, based on vibrational spectroscopy techniques, to assess flavour profiles of different plant sources/extracts.

Who are we looking for?
We are seeking a candidate in the fields of analytical chemistry, food science, plant science, or other related disciplines. The ideal candidate is an enthusiastic researcher with an MSc degree in one of the aforementioned fields, preferably possessing research or work experience in an analytical chemistry laboratory. The candidate should have prior experience using one or more of the analytical platforms mentioned above. Additionally, the candidate should exhibit a curious mindset and a strong interest in learning new disciplines, including foodomics and data science. Excellent communication, presentation, and academic writing skills in English are also necessary.

Our group and research- and what do we offer?
The PhD position is in the Foodomics research group, which is a part of the Department of Food Science (FOOD), Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen at the Frederiksberg Campus. Copenhagen is one of the best cities in the world to live in, and renowned for food, beer, art, music, architecture, the Scandinavian "hygge", and much more. The Foodomics research group at FOOD offers creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. The group possesses state-of-the-art analytical facilities including GC-MS, LC-MS, NMR, and various other spectroscopic techniques.

Principal supervisor: Associate Professor Bekzod Khakimov, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Email: bzo@food.ku.dk, Direct Phone: +45 28874454.

Co-supervisor: Assistant Professor Tomasz Pawel Czaja, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Email: tomasz.czaja@food.ku.dk, Direct Phone:  +45 35325276

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 PhD research project under supervision
  • Attend 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

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold MSc degree in analytical chemistry, food science, plant science, or other related disciplines. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications will also be based on your previous work and/or research experience in relevant areas. A candidate should have qualifications relevant to the PhD project and must be able to demonstrate excellent communication skills in English. If a candidate has obtained MSc in a language other than English, he/she must provide English proficiency test results equal to IELTS (≥6.5).

The PhD programme
A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

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. MSc degree in analytical chemistry, food science, plant science, or other related disciplines. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment
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.

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. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

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

Please include

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science/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.
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Reference letters (if available)

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 1 March 2024, 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 https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Questions
For specific information about the PhD scholarships, please contact Bekzod Khakimov (E-mail bzo@food.ku.dk,  phone +45 28874454) or Tomasz Czaja (E-mail Tomasz.czaja@food.ku.dk + 45 35 32 52 76).

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at https://www.science.ku.dk/phd.

APPLY NOW

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.

Contact

Bekzod Khakimov
E-mail: bzo@food.ku.dk

Info

Application deadline: 01-03-2024
Employment start: 01-05-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Food Science
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