25 September 2015

Available PhD Scholarships

6 PhD Scholarships

within metabolism of plant natural products and their role in plant adaptation to environmental challenges and use as food ingredients and medicines

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences 
Faculty of Science 
University of Copenhagen 

The Plant Biochemistry Laboratory of the Department for Plant and Environmental Science offers a number of three-year PhD stipends to be filled December 1st, 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The PhD projects are all going to be carried out as integrated projects in the research group working with elucidation of the biosynthesis (including enzyme mode-of-function at the single molecule level), turn-over, transport and biological functions of bio-active natural products in plants and their use as medicines, food flavors and spices. Prominent members of this class of compounds are the cyanogenic glucosides, diterpenoids and the phenylpropanoids vanillin and capsaicin. The PhD stipends are funded from an ERC Advanced Grant, by the VILLUM research center Plant Plasticity and by the UCPH Excellence Program for Interdisciplinary Research. Read more about the section here: https://plen.ku.dk/english/research/plant_biochemistry/

Project description

The PhD stipends will be assigned this following six topics depending of the qualifications of the applicants. In the application please state which topic you are applying for. 

1. The enzyme systems involved in endogenous turnover of cyanogenic glucosides in cyanogenic plants (Co-Supervisor Kirsten Jørgensen kij@plen.ku.dk , Nanna Bjarnholt nnb@plen.ku.dk )

2. Formation and transport of hydroxynitrile glucosides in Lotus japonicus (Co-supervisor Fred Rook frro@plen.ku.dk )

3. The dhurrin metabolon catalyzing cyanogenic glucoside synthesis in sorghum including studies of the enzyme system at the single molecule level (Co-supervisors Camilla Knudsen Baden camknud@plen.ku.dk and Krutika Bavishi kru@plen.ku.dk )

4. Bioactive natural products in eucalypts and their impact on koala feeding preferences (Co-supervisor Elizabeth Heather Neilson en@plen.ku.dk )

5. Synthesis of aroma compounds in the vanilla orchid and synthesis of capsaicin in chili pepper (Co-supervisor Nethaji Janeshawari Gallage nethaji@plen.ku.dk )  

6. Diterpenoid synthesis in medicinal plants (Co-supervisor Irini Pateraki eipa@plen.ku.dk  and Alison Maree Heskes amh@plen.ku.dk )

The PhD projects are to be carried out in a highly competitive, stimulating and international research environment with English being the working language. Documented qualifications within plant biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, or protein modeling are prerequisites to qualify for the positions. Priority will be given to applicants with publications in ISI registered journals. Short research stays within laboratories of our international collaborators outside Denmark are envisioned. 

Principal supervisor:

Professor, DSc Birger Lindberg Møller. E-mail : blm@plen.ku.dk. Mobile (+45) 20 43 34 11, Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. 

Job description

Your key objectives and tasks as a PhD fellow at the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory are to: 

  • Develop your research project using your knowledge within plant biology and by applying the appropriate state-of-the-art technologies and innovative approaches to advance your work in a timely manner. Dedication, hard work and the ability to collaborate and interact with other members of the research group are additional success criteria.
  • Manage and carry through your research project.
  • Attend and pass relevant PhD courses.
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis.
  • Participate in congresses.
  • Stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad.
  • Teach and disseminate your research. 

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates

  • A master’s degree related to the subject area of the project.
  • The grade point average achieved.
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme.
  • Previous publications especially in ISI registered top journals.
  • Relevant work experience.
  • Other professional activities.
  • Language skills.
  • Marks obtained during the first year of study on the master programme (only relevant for applicants applying for a 4-year scholarship). 

Formal requirements 
The positions are available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master’s degree or for a 4-year period for applicants who are already enrolled or are accepted to be enrolled at one of the Faculty’s master’s programmes. At the time of commencement, applicants for the 4-year period must have approximately one year of study remaining before graduating from their MSc programme. 

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 annual starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 306,667 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 42,361). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. 

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically on this link ...>

The deadline for applications is 2 October 2015. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.