Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Analytical Chemistry with specialization in metabolomics and infant gut microbiome analysis. The PhD position is part of a project called AROMA – Aromatic lactic acids during infancy: production, metabolism and function, which is supported by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.
Start date is expected to be 01.12.2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The project The project builds on our previous work showing that Bifidobacterium species produce aromatic lactic acids in the gut of infants, which may affect immune function via two different host receptors (Laursen et al. 2021; Nature Microbiology, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-021-00970-4).
The AROMA project brings together a multi-disciplinary team of experts across analytical chemistry, microbiome, and immunology with the aim of understanding in greater details the gut microbial production, host-microbial metabolism, and function of aromatic lactic acids during infancy.
The PhD student will during the first year of the PhD project help conduct, manage and finalize an infant cohort study (The MOTILITY Mother-Child Cohort, https://clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT05491161), which includes examination visits and handling of biological samples. Furthermore, the candidate will develop and apply liquid chromatography mass spectrometry-based metabolomics methods to quantify aromatic lactic acids in bacterial cultures and collected infant faeces, blood and urine samples. Finally, the candidate will integrate microbiome-metabolomics data and perform mechanistic in vitro experiments in immune cells, and write scientific publications.
The position involve collaborative work with academic partners at Technical University of Denmark and Uppsala University, Sweden.
Who are we looking for? We are looking for candidates within the fields of Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Science, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or similar field, with experience in lab work and a strong interest in metabolomics and the infant gut microbiome.
Our group and research- and what do we offer? The position is available in the Microbiome & Metabolomics Research Group at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in the heart of Copenhagen.
The research group conducts research to understand the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota contributes to digestion and health. The group conducts human cohort and intervention studies, apply cutting-edge metabolomics and microbiomics, and collaborate with leading microbiome researchers and researchers in immunology and intestinal host receptors to elucidate host-microbial cross-talk.
The Research group is headed by Associate Professor Henrik Munch Roager and strives for scientific excellence through multidisciplinary and collaborative work, which is supported by an inclusive and international environment. Our research facilities include human intervention facilities, modern laboratories and metabolomics facilities. See more: https://nexs.ku.dk/english/research/preventive-and-clinical-nutrition/microbiota-metabolomics/
Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Henrik Munch Roager (firstname.lastname@example.org) and co-supervisor is Assistant Professor Giorgia La Barbera (email@example.com), Department of Nutrition Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen.
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. MSc degree in Analytical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Science, Biotechnology or related fields. 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 in both PhD programmes
- Carry through an independent research project under supervision
- Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
- Participate in active research environments including external research stays at other research teams (Technical University of Denmark and Uppsala University, Sweden)
- 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:
We are looking for highly motivated applicants with the following competences and experiences:
- A MSc degree in Analytical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Science, Biotechnology or related fields with excellent results.
- The candidate will be self-motivated with the ability to work independently as well as competent to collaborate as part of an interdisciplinary team.
- A creative and curious mindset with a strong drive
- Natural interest and ability to engage with children and families with empathy
- Excellent communication skills in both spoken and written English.
- Experience with liquid chromatography and/or mass spectrometry is meriting
- Prior experience and hands-on in any of the following areas is an advantage:
- Human intervention/cohort studies
- Metabolomics and metagenomics
- Data analysis, statistics and programming
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)
- 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 17 September 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 University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.
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. 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 2nd-6th of October, 2023.
Questions For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Henrik Munch Roager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/.