PhD fellowship in Plant Glycobiology
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, The Section for Plant Glycobiology, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Interfacial enzyme kinetics. The project is part of the research project “BioMarch”, which is financed by DFF.
Start date is (expected to be) January 1st 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.
Starch is a fundamental component of the human diet. An especially beneficial type of starch is called resistant starch (RS). RS resists degradation in the upper gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and as a result serves as a substrate for colonic microbes, leading to health-promoting effects. However, existing RS is only partly efficient, and it remains unknown whether the difference in resistance between RS types stems from slow hydrolysis, weak enzyme binding at the RS surface or combinations thereof. By applying a new amylolytic, biomimetic approach, the project will provide the fundamental understanding on the causes of degradation resistance and use this knowledge to produce RS with enhanced performance during digestion. Commercial human recombinant salivary and pancreatic amylases (AMs) will be used to engineer starch to increase its hydrolytic resistance. The structural dynamics and nutritional functionality of the generated resistant material will enable rational formation of widely different RS types optimised for a diversity of applications. We hypothesise that such “Enhanced RS” (eRS) will withstand human digestive AMs, while being susceptible to gut microbial amylases hence supporting the activity of beneficial gut microbes. Importantly, since eRS is more efficient, considerably less eRS than classical RS is needed in food, increasing palatability at similar fibre content.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of plant biochemistry, enzyme technology and polysaccharide science and technology. Applicants can have a background from general biochemistry, protein and enzyme technology and carbohydrate analysis.
Our group and research- and what do we offer?
The Department carries out distinctive and internationally recognized basic and applied research to contribute provide biosolutiong and to solve the challenges that the global society is facing in relation to the production of food and other biological products and the environment. We integrate basic and applied research covering the whole chain from molecular biology via biological production to environmental impacts will make this possible. The Section for Plant Glycobiology undertakes research and teaching related to plant and algal glycobiology with particular focus on starch, cell walls and carbohydrate-active enzymes targeting bio-refining, bio-materials, functional food ingredients and nutraceuticals. The Starch Group works with enzyme technology and crop genome editing to design healthy foods, biomaterials and bioplastics. The group is a part of Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen.
We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and resources for diverse analysis og biological molecules and organisms.
Principal supervisor is Professor Andreas Blennow, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 35333304.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Responsibilities and tasks
- 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
We are looking for the following qualifications:
- Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
- Relevant publications
- Relevant work experience
- Other relevant professional activities
- Curious mind-set with a strong interest in enzymes food technology and biomass
- Good language skills
Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.
- Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
- Your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project
- Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
- 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 Sunday 1 October 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 and, if so, for which of the two models. 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 the end of October 2023.
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.