PhD scholarship in Microbial Ecology and Evolution at the Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites, CeMiSt DTU Bioengineering Denmark

PhD scholarship in Microbial Ecology and Evolution at the Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites, CeMiSt

DTU Bioengineering


Apply no later than 17 February 2019

Apply for the job at DTU Bioengineering by completing the following form.


Apply online


We offer a PhD fellowship at the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) at the Technical University of Denmark. The PhD project is part of the Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites, CeMiSt, and will be executed in the Biosynthetic Pathway Engineering group at the Section for Synthetic BIology.


CeMiSt is one of 10 new Centers of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. The Center started 1st of January 2018 and will run for six years, with an option for a four-year extension. The Center is based at the Technical University of Denmark and hosted by the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering). Three DTU departments and 10 senior faculty members participate in the Center and >15 PhD students and postdocs will be hired. The purpose of CeMiSt is to unravel the biological role of microbial secondary metabolites in natural microbiological communities. The Center is led by Professor Lone Gram.


We are seeking a candidate to study the role of secondary metabolites in Penicillium sp. using molecular and population biology tools in the research field of microbial ecology and evolution. You will be involved in a fun PhD project on microbial natural products, with strong international connections, in a productive scientific environment and a sound work-life balance.


Responsibilities and tasks
Your PhD project will contribute to our understanding of the role of fungal secondary metabolites on microbial interactions, community assembly, development and evolution. For this, you will study both natural and artificially created microbial communities on the surface of apples. In the project you will perform targeted genetic engineering of genes encoding Penicillium expansum’s biosynthetic machinery, characterize the physiology and development impact of the modifications, and the role of the individual small molecules for Penicillium’sinteraction with other microbes.


Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.


Experience within the following areas of microbiology will be an advantage

molecular biology incl. targeted genetic engineering in fungi

wet-lab experimental work with filamentous fungi

microbial secondary metabolites and biosynthesis

microbial ecology, evolution and population biology

metabolomics using LC-MS


You must be ambitious, well organized, structured and enjoy interacting with many different people including PhD students and postdocs. Also, a good sense of humor will be appreciated.


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 Rasmus J.N. Frandsen.


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 with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.


Expected starting date: April 2019.


You can read more about career paths at DTU here.


Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Rasmus J.N. Frandsen, tel.: +45 2251 1435,


Please do not send applications nor CV’s to this e-mail address; only applications submitted via the electronic application and submission procedure described below will be accepted for evaluation.


You can read more about DTU Bioengineering on and a DTU podcastintroduces the Center that is also described at



Please submit your online application no later than 17 February 2019 (Local time).


To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

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)

Please provide contact details for two referees in your motivation letter

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

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


The Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites aims to establish what effects microbial secondary metabolites, produced by one microbe, have on other microorganisms in their natural environment. We have traditionally perceived secondary metabolites as weapons in the chemical warfare between microbes, but in natural environments they are rarely produced in quantities of antibiotic effect. The driving hypothesis of the Center is that secondary metabolites constitute a network of signal and modifying molecules, which directly affect gene expression, behaviour, and the metabolism of surrounding microorganisms and thus play a decisive role in the composition and function of microbiological societies. We explore this in an interdisciplinary collaboration with the use of sequence-based, analytical-chemical, molecular biology, bioinformatics, and classic microbiological methods.


The Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) addresses challenges of societal and scientific importance within biotechnology, biomedicine, food technology and human health. The department is based on both basic and applied research and employs tools from biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, cellular biology, immunology, microbial ecology and physiology, bioinformatics and bio-engineering. Research is conducted within three main areas: Microbial ecology and physiology, Industrial biotechnology and cell factories, and Biomedicine and health. The department has extensive collaboration with national and international research units and industries. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 160 employees, of which 2/3 is scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.

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