PhD Scholarship in Environmental Microbiology

The Department of Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark ( invites applications for a position as PhD fellow on the topic: Pathogen invasion in environmental biofilms: role of architecture and community composition”.

The fellowship is funded as part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) MERMAID – Microbial Resource Management for Closing the Urban Water Cycle, which is funded by EU-FP7 People. The aim of MERMAID is to provide research training in the emergent area of Microbial Resource Management and Engineering to close the Urban Water Cycle. The project considers microbial communities present in the urban water cycle as valuable resources that can be steered and exploited to produce, maintain, and deliver high quality water in an energy efficient way. The candidate will join a group of 13 PhD fellows with the opportunity to cooperate across countries and sectors, attend especially tailored courses, and be supervised by a team of excellent researchers who span the breadth from microbial ecology to bioenvironmental engineering.

Candidates must be eligible according to the ITN recruitment guidelines for Early Stage Researchers, i.e. they must have maximum 4 years research experience, measured from the time they completed their Masters, and cannot have resided or carried out their main activity in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.

Responsibilities and tasks
Using molecular ecological and microscopic tools, targeted experimental platforms, and supported by ecological theories, the successful candidate will assess to what extent invasion of environmental biofilm by exogenous organisms, such as pathogens, is governed by biofilm architecture or biofilm community composition. We expect that findings from this research will provide important scientific (What governs invasion of microbial systems?) and practical (e.g., How to protect drinking water safety?) contributions.

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The fellow will have the opportunity to benefit from secondments and research visits at one or more of the network partners. The candidate will closely interact with 3 other PhD fellows who focus on microbial community invasion.

The successful candidate will also contribute to teaching at DTU Environment.

At the time of appointment, the candidate will have an M.Sc. degree in Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Biochemical, Chemical or Environmental Engineering or related discipline, evidence of research experience, and significant exposure to one or more of the following areas: environmental microbiology, microscopic or molecular techniques for microbial investigations, molecular biology, image analysis, or bioinformatics. The candidate will have a high motivation for research, evidence of solid written and oral communication skills, and enjoys working in an international and cross-disciplinary team.

Approval and Enrollment
The fellowships are subject to academic approval for admission to the PhD degree, and the candidates will be enrolled in the Life Science PhD program of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professors BF Smets & HJ Albrechtsen.

Please submit your online application no later than 15 January 2014. 

To view the full announcement and to apply go to the Apply button below.

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