Associate Professorship in Microbiology; Degradation, Preservation and Conservation of Cultural and Natural Heritage

Royal Danish Academy



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The Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation invites applications for a permanent, full-time associate professorship in microbiology with a special focus on the interaction between microbiological processes and the degradation of cultural and natural heritage. The Institute for Conservation wishes to incorporate microbiology as a new field of research and education in its conservation programme.

We are looking for a visionary professional who is passionate about delivering results and disseminating knowledge and who can contribute to developing the field of microbiology with regard to preventive conservation, active conservation processes and in situ conservation. With a focus on process and method and applying the latest knowledge and technology, you will be expected to bring up-to-date scientific authority to the field. Our aim is to include microbiology as a new field in the institute's research and teaching, and to strengthen the institute's network and collaborations in the field, both nationally and internationally.

The associate professorship is affiliated with the Institute for Conservation, and it is hoped that the position will be filled by 1 February 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The Institute for Conservation

The Institute for Conservation is one of six departments in the Royal Danish Academy. It is a unique interdisciplinary research environment within the natural sciences.

The institute's teaching comprises specialised undergraduate programmes (graphic materials, art, and objects of cultural and natural history) and a joint master's programme. Including the PhD programme, the institute consists of some 80 students and fourteen fulltime VIP staff, two laboratory assistants, in addition to the institute's coordinator and the decan.

The institute has a modern molecular biology laboratory equipped with PCR, nanopore, SEM, microscopes, HPLC, FTIR and DVS capabilities.

The institute is located on Esplanaden in the heart of Copenhagen. In 2025, the institute will relocate and join the Royal Danish Academy's other departments, on the Holmen campus.

Read more about the Institute for Conservation at

The position

The associate professor position consists of 40% research and 60% teaching, including administration.

You will have a broad knowledge of fungi, algae, and bacteria, their physiology and ecology, their secretion of substances, and their degradation of the materials of both natural and cultural heritage. We expect you to be able to use the latest methods for classifying and understanding the complex interactions of microorganisms within both natural and cultural heritage, including an understanding of how microorganisms thrive in micro and macro environments in museum contexts, both in and out of doors. You will have an informed interest in the capabilities of the science laboratory. You will take the initiative in driving development in the new field of microbiology within the fields of degradation, conservation and preventive preservation initiatives. You will be the sole microbiologist in the institute, but Denmark has strong microbiological research communities, in particular at the research institutions in Copenhagen with which the institute collaborates.

Your teaching will be developed working closely with your colleagues in conservation, and with the lab team. You will teach students to analyse and identify the factors of microbiological degradation in cultural and natural heritage's wide range of materials and in various conservation environments, as well as working on preventive intervention, e.g. against biological encroachment on outdoor monuments. Because we work with authentic and irreplaceable museum material, you must have a solid knowledge of quantitative and qualitative sampling and be flexible in your approach to sample gathering. Microbiological theory will be translated into conservation practice in your teaching and will form part of both programme-specific and interdisciplinary teaching modules at undergraduate, master's, and PhD level.

Your duties will include:

  • Teaching, lesson planning and associated administration related to the Royal Danish Academy's teaching and conservation programmes
  • Student guidance, examination and external examining work as well as academic assessment work
  • Research, including publishing and scientific dissemination within the focus area in collaboration with external institutions, companies and networks nationally and internationally, as well as with the other research and development fields at the institute and the Royal Danish Academy
  • Developing the microbiological field in the context of conservation, the institute's laboratory facilities, equipment, and technological methods
  • Providing visionary and productive teamwork in the planning of future research and development projects, including applications for external funding and fundraising
  • Participating in a number of Royal Danish Academy committees
  • Engaging with researchers, lecturers and lab teams in maintaining the laboratory and its security.

You will additionally be expected to contribute to development at the Institute for Conservation and to participate in interdisciplinary collaborations in teaching and research with other departments and staff of the Royal Danish Academy.

It is assumed that your teaching will be developed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the academic regulations and the Royal Danish Academy's pedagogical objectives with respect to incorporating the United Nations' seventeen sustainable development goals in your teaching.

Your research and teaching focus will be microbiology with a focus on degradation, conservation and preservation of cultural and natural heritage.


You have a relevant educational background to at least master's level as well as a PhD or PhDlevel academic qualification in microbiology. Completion of a postdoc or comparable experience as a researcher will be an asset.

Your experience and academic qualifications will be at least at the level of a satisfactorily completed assistant professor position, that is, you will have been employed as an assistant professor or have acquired equivalent qualifications or higher.

You are able to document research conducted at an international level, developing or innovating in the field, and a specialism in or experience of cultural and natural heritage.

In addition, you have teaching and student guidance experience at bachelor's and master's level, and you have yourself received supervision and pedagogical upskilling including a positive written assessment of your teaching skills. The Royal Danish Academy also requires documentation of successful completion of a pedagogical instruction course. Exceptionally, the requirement for a pedagogical instruction course may be waived if you can document successful completion of pedagogical training from a recognised educational institution. Supervision of PhD students is included in your duties and experience in this will be an asset.

While the language in which the conservation programme is conducted is Danish, it may be conducted in English. However, you will be expected to acquire written and spoken Danish during the first two years of your employment.

Notable achievements and new developments in teaching will be weighted in the overall assessment when filling the post.

The Royal Danish Academy focuses on research and teaching collaborations both internally and externally with industry, public institutions and other higher education institutions. Documented experience in the development, financing and management of major externally funded research projects as well as projects involving museums or industry collaborations will therefore be an additional asset.

We offer

We offer a creative, engaged, stimulating and visionary educational and research environment. The job offers participation, responsibility and the opportunity to shape research, teaching and educational development. We value good collegial collaboration which leaves room for mutual inspiration and sparring.

Salary and employment conditions

Employment and remuneration are in accordance with the current collective agreement for state-employed academics between the Ministry of Finance and a number of organisations under the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) for academics in public service. There will be an opportunity to negotiate a qualification supplement depending on your skills and experience.

The post is a full-time position with an average working week of 37 hours and includes research and teaching as well as a limited administration. The ratio between research and teaching will as a rule be 40:60. At the discretion of the Royal Danish Academy, the division between the various tasks may vary and you may be assigned other duties.


Please send a letter of motivation, an updated CV, educational diplomas, documentation of fulfillment of the qualification requirements listed above, a research plan, a complete list of your published works as well as 3-5 of your research articles that you consider important in relation to the position. Your research plan should contain proposals for research projects that show how conservation science and your research can combine in an interdisciplinary way (at most two pages).

Finally, you should attach material that can illustrate your teaching qualifications and your reflections on pedagogical approaches to teaching. Any previous lecturer assessment(s) should also be attached.

An application with associated appendices must be submitted electronically by pressing the 'Apply for the position' button below so that the application is received by the Royal Danish Academy no later than Sunday 16 October 2022.

Applications and supporting material received after the deadline will not be considered.

After the closing date, the head of department will, with advice from the recruitment committee, select applicants for assessment. The selection will be based on an overall assessment of which applicants best meet the criteria set out in the job advertisement on the basis of the application material submitted. You are therefore requested to include in your application, together with supporting material, evidence that you meet the qualification requirements set out in the job advertisement.

All applicants will then be informed whether or not their application has been admitted to the next stage of the selection procedure. Shortlisted candidates will be informed of the composition of the selection board. An expert assessment committee will then assess the shortlisted candidates in relation to the specific post. Each candidate will receive a copy of the assessment and there will be an opportunity to respond.

The appointment as associate professor will therefore be based on a concrete assessment by an expert assessment committee. The assessment committee will make its assessment on the basis of the qualifications listed in the job advertisement and the overall application file. You are therefore requested to include in your application, together with supporting material, evidence that you meet the qualification requirements set out in the job advertisement.

Further information

Further details about qualification requirements, the application process and the erecruitment system are available by contacting HR assistant Sandra Vally Jørgensen,, tel.: +45 4170 1606.

Details about the academic content of the position are available by contacting the Dean, Rikke Bjarnhof,, tel. +45 4170 1641.

General information about the Royal Danish Academy and the Institute for Conservation can be found at

The Royal Danish Academy is a diverse workplace which considers diversity to be a strength. We therefore invite all qualified and interested applicants to apply for the position.

About the Royal Danish Academy

The Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation is an internationally recognised academy that educates professionally creative graduates to the highest level and develops new knowledge that creates value for society and for the labour market. The Royal Danish Academy is a state institution under the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and has approximately 1,700 students and 350 members of staff. Read more about the Royal Danish Academy on our website

Application due


In your application, please refer to


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