PhD Fellowship in Recombinant Production of Rapeseed Proteins

University of Copenhagen Department of Food Science

Denmark

PhD Fellowship in Recombinant Production of Rapeseed Proteins - PhD Project in Food Science and Biotechnology

Department of Food Science, Section of Food Analytics and Biotechnology, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in recombinant production of rapeseed proteins with the aim to produce isoforms and mutant proteins of rapeseed cruciferin and napin and the optimization of the production host towards a high yield cell factory with start 1/1-2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The student will be enrolled at University of Copenhagen and a large proportion of the work will be conducted at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Biosustain).

The project

The PhD position is part of ‘SEEDFOOD: Functional and palatable plant seed storage proteins for sustainable foods’ project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The primary partners in SEEDFOOD are University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and University of Le Mans in France (ULM) and positions are available at all partners. The project coordinator is Professor Marianne Nissen Lund, Department of Food Science, UCPH.

SEEDFOOD will serve as multi-disciplinary centre in which you as young scientist will benefit from training and joint supervision by principal investigators. We expect some mobility between labs and partners. You will be part of an international dynamic research environment founded on knowledge sharing, high scientific ambitions and cross-disciplinary synergy. We focus on active career development of junior researchers, and offer coaching/mentoring activities across the centre.

The vision of SEEDFOOD is to accelerate the transition from animal- to plant-based food proteins for sustainable food production and consumption. We will achieve this by tailoring plant protein ingredients with superior functional, palatable, and nutritional properties through novel protein design and in-depth understanding of molecular interactions in the food matrix.

We will use rapeseed protein to obtain new insights underpinning the scientific foundation to promote the use of seed storage proteins for foods. Rapeseed is a protein-rich crop used for industrial oil production. It is farmed on a large scale in Europe and may be utilized in new food types locally across the globe. In SEEDFOOD we will create knowledge to sustainably transform poor functionality of plant seed storage proteins and rationally tailor protein performance for future food design.

Scientific themes in SEEDFOOD encompass: gentle and sustainable processing to isolate seed proteins; improvement of protein surface characteristics through enzyme and UV-light treatments; biophysics of protein structures and molecular interactions; functionality and palatability in model foods.

Specfic tasks for the PhD position in recombinant production of rapeseed proteins:

  • Design of a high-expression platform strain.
  • Rational and systematic optimization of recombinant protein production of major naturally occurring rapeseed isoforms and mutants thereof.
  • Applying genome-scale metabolic models on the expression organism enabling high yields.
  • Development of methods for large-scale production and purification of recombinant cruciferin and napin to be used by other partners.

The principal supervisor is Professor Poul Erik Jensen, Department of Food Science, peje@food.ku.dk and co-supervisors are Prof. Morten Otto Alexander Sommer and Dr. Leonie Johanna Jahn, Bacterial Synthetic Biology at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, msom@bio.dtu.dk and lejj@biosustain.dtu.dk. The majority of the work will be carried out at DTU Biosustain.

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. biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology or bioengineering. 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.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

General responsibilities

  • 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:

  • A MSc degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology or bioengineering
  • Practical experience in either synthetic biology, recombinant protein production, protein purification, or genome scale modeling
  • Preferably practical experience with bacteria and filamentous fungi
  • Excellent English communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • High ambitions
  • Team player

Key selection criteria:

  • Professional qualifications relevant for the position
  • Relevant work experience
  • Language skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Level of enthusiasm and motivation

Application and Assessment Procedure

 Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include: 

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project
  3. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  4. 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.
  5. Publication list (if possible)
  6. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is 5th of November 2021, 23:59 GMT +1.

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 week 46.

Questions

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. 

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.

Info

Application deadline: 05-11-2021
Employment start: 01-01-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: FOOD


In your application, please refer to Professorpositions.com

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