Aarhus University (AU)

Postdoc in Microbial Biotechnology: host-microbiome interactions in lignocellulose-degrading animals

Aarhus University (AU)

Aarhus, Denmark

The Department of Engineering, Section of Biological and Chemical Engineering (BCE), Aarhus University, invites outstanding applicants in Microbial Biotechnology, Applied Microbiology or Bioengineering for a 3-year postdoc position, on the topic: host-microbiome interactions in lignocellulose-degrading animals. The position is available from 01.04.2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description/research project/research area
The present postdoc position is funded by the AUFF Nova project ‘Secret conversations about lignocellulose degradation’. This is a highly interdisciplinary project conducted in close collaboration with the Dept. of Bioscience and the Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics. The candidate is expected to contribute to the development of the research of the Engineered Microbial System (EMS-lab) led by Prof. Alberto Scoma (http://eng.au.dk/forskning/biological-and-chemical-engineering/process-engineering/engineered-microbial-systems/). In particular, the present project aims at revealing the interaction between hosts and microbiomes of lignocellulose-degrading animals (namely the giant panda, the leaf-cutter ant and the slug). The objective is to understand which microorganisms and enzymes are active in lignocellulose fermentation, and which lignocellulose component is preferentially degraded. The candidate will work in close cooperation with the other Departments involved in the project and supervise Bachelor and/or Master students which will contribute to the project. The postdoc will write manuscripts on the results obtained within the project, and during the last year contribute to project writing to extend the project’s principle further.

Your profile
Applicants should hold a PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Ecology, Microbiology or a related field. The applicant’s main experience must be in microbial cultivation of pure and mixed cultures, and in heterologous expression systems and in vitro enzyme testing. Previous experience with bioinformatics (particularly with eukaryotic genomes) is a significant advantage, and willing to expand the postdoc’s professional experience in bioinformatics a prerequisite. Previous experience with the microbiology and chemistry of lignocellulose fermentation is a significant advantage. The ideal applicant is a highly independent worker, has very good communication skills, is experienced in working on interdisciplinary topics, and has supervised several Master and/or Bachelor students. Ideally, the candidate has already spent at least two-three years as a postdoc in a laboratory different from the one where the PhD was obtained. International experience (i.e., long or multiple short-term research periods abroad, with respect to the country where the PhD was obtained) is a significant advantage. The applicant must demonstrate a valuable track-record of research articles in peer-reviewed journals and/or oral communications in international conferences in the field of Microbial Biotechnology, Applied Microbiology or Bioengineering. Previous experience with a Danish research environment is not mandatory but it is viewed upon positively. Excellent English skills in both written and verbal form are required.

About the Biological and Chemical Engineering Section
The Biological and Chemical Engineering (BCE) Section of the Department of Engineering is a multidisciplinary research environment which ranges from electrochemical, materials and polymer process engineering, environmental technology, industrial and medical biotechnology. The research at BCE is based on both theoretical and experimental methods, and include the design, development, operation, monitoring, control, and optimization of chemical, physical and biological processes. The Department of Engineering holds a special position of international strength in scientific activities related to biogas energy, biorefining, agricultural emissions, lipid technology, polymer and membrane technology, protein engineering, biosynthesis and microbial conversion technologies. The BCE section is part of the Science and Technology Faculty, Interdisciplinary Centre WATEC (water treatment technologies), CBIO (circular bioeconomy), iFOOD (food technology), iMAT (advanced materials), iLIFE (biophysics and imagining), iClimate (climate change).

The place of work is Hangøvej 2, 8000 Aarhus and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.

Further information about the position may be obtained from: Associate Professor Alberto Scoma, as@eng.au.dk.

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and salary range
Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/

29 January 2020

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