Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

PhD scholarship in Enzymatic Biomass Conversion using Single-Molecule Optical Microscopy

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

A PhD scholarship is available in the “Nanofluidics and Bioimaging” group at the Department of Health Technology, DTU Health Tech, starting 1 April 2020.

Using fluorescence microscopy combined with micro- and nanofluidics, the group studies particles and molecules at various length scales, from single DNA molecules over chromosomes to single cells. We encourage the applicant to look at our past publications: Nanofluidics and Bioimaging.

Enzymatic breakdown of waste biomass will play a pivotal role towards a sustainable energy production. In your PhD project, you will develop methods and use these to investigate such enzymatic processes at the single molecule level. These methods will in general be based on fluorescence microscopy, and on total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRF) in particular. The aim is to generate a mechanistic understanding of the enzymatic processes, which can be used to guide the optimization of the enzymatic breakdown.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation funds your PhD project through a NNF Biotech grant. The supervision team will be lead by Associate Professor Rodolphe Marie. The PhD project is a collaboration DTU Health Tech, DTU Bioengineering and Novozymes A/S.

Responsibilities and tasks
As a PhD student, you will be part of the Nanofluidics and Bioimaging group led by Associate Professor Rodolphe Marie. You will be enrolled in the PhD school at DTU Health Technology.

  • You will be responsible for performing physics-based interdisciplinary experimental research with applications in biotechnology-based production and life science.
  • You will work with laser optics, fluorescence microscopy, quantitative biophysics measurement of single fluorophores and nanoparticles, and possibly prototyping of micro- and nanofluidics devices.
  • You will develop and apply data analysis methods on your microscopy data in collaboration with Associate Professor Jonas N. Pedersen and Senior Researcher Kim I. Mortensen, both from DTU Health Tech.
  • You will perform measurements at the DTU Bioengineering under supervision of Professor Peter Westh.
  • You will learn to perform independent research.

Candidates should have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) in physics, nanotechnology, or a related discipline or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Rodolphe Marie, group leader. Final assessment will be based on an interview. A track record in experimental work with single molecule fluorescence microscopy will be ideal and therefore favoured. Alternatively, a hands-on experience with experimental physics is preferred.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Your workplace will be DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Rodolphe Marie, email:, tel.: +45 4525 5676.

You can read more about DTU Health Tech at

Please submit your online application no later than 15 February 2019 (local time).

Apply online at

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.