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PhD Position in Molecular Systems Engineering

University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
Odense, Fyn (DK)
Closing date
11 Jun 2023

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Chemistry, Engineering, Life Science
Job Type
PhD Studentship
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

We are looking for PhD candidates to join the TACsy (Training Alliance for Computational Systems Chemistry) Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Joint Doctoral Network. This network consists of fifteen (15) highly interlinked PhD projects, of which this particular call is for project DC 12 Pathway Design for Chemical Upgrading and Co-Factor Recycling with Cell Extracts. The anticipated start date is 1 September 2023, but flexibi lity in both directions is possible.

This position lies at the interface of chemistry and biological/chemical engineering and aims to develop new computational techniques for design of multi-enzyme cascades (MECs) for applications. Upgrading of chemicals such as caffeine to more valuable products can be difficult to achieve using conventional synthetic methods, however, strategies are emerging involving MECs and the exploitation of enzymes found in cell extracts has proved effective under certain conditions. Computational methods allow us to explore the diversity of the MEC design space in-silico prior to wet-lab implementation and will thus hugely speed up the development process of productive MECs. The project will involve the investigation of potential pathways using computational techniques at the University of Vienna and a nine month secondment at the University of Sheffield to develop microfluidics methods for process optimization with encapsulated cell extracts. You will also undergo a short secondment to Fluigent for training in microfluidics.

We are seeking a PhD candidate who has or is expected to have a Master's degree in Chemical/Biochemical Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry or related discipline at the time of recruitment. Some knowledge of enzyme kinetics, systems chemistry/biology or mathematical biology would be beneficial. Willingness to travel and work as part of an interdisciplinary team is essential.

The candidates will all be part of a strong joint PhD training programme, with a focus on career development, application writing, communication skills, and community building through scientific summer schools.

All candidates will be expected to:

  • Have potential for conducting outstanding research, as demonstrated by scientific accomplishments (in particular quality of thesis, but also e.g. code repositories, conference presentations, outreach activities, or publications).
  • Be interested in working in a multidisciplinary and international research environment.
  • Have excellent communication skills in English, verbally as well as in scientific writing.
  • Be willing to undertake international research stays, internships, and travels.

These positions are subject to the entry into force of grant agreement no 101072930 by and between the European Research Executive Agency and University of Southern Denmark and thereby funded by the European Union's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme.

2 May 2023.

Please see the full call, including how to apply, on

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