Fully Funded PhD in Metabolic Engineering

Location: Denmark
Application Deadline: 4 March 2024
Published: 3 weeks ago

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Do you want to become a scientist and create future biotechnological processes? During this 3-year study, you will learn and apply advanced genome editing, metabolic modeling, and large-scale data analyses to create novel cell factories for sustainable production of chemicals. You will carry out experiments in the lab, take courses, go on a research stay abroad, publish papers in peer-review journals, and present your results at international conferences.

About us

Yeast Metabolic Engineering group is a part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. We develop novel yeast cell factories to produce chemicals and natural products in a more sustainable way. We have supportive and collaborative atmosphere to ensure that each member of the team can thrive and realize their potential.

Responsibilities and qualifications

You will develop novel biotechnological methods for the production of bio-based chemicals. You will employ advanced synthetic biology tools and systems-level metabolic engineering, tapping into the latest -omic technologies, including DNAseq, RNAseq, proteomics, fluxomics, and metabolomics. You will work with novel high-throughput metabolic engineering methodologies and with transporter engineering.

Specific tasks:

  • Literature review, hypotheses formulation, and experimental design
  • Wet lab work with molecular biology, strain construction, and cultivation of yeast at small scale and in bioreactors
  • Reporting results in peer-reviewed publications and presentations at conferences and meetings
  • Collaboration within the group and within the center, participation in international collaborations and outreach activities.

The PhD study also comprises courses equivalent to 30 ECTS credits and an international secondment of 3-6 months duration.

The candidate must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) in engineering/biology/biotechnology or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree. Solid knowledge and hands-on experience with molecular biology techniques, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and fermentation are required.

Further requirements:

  • Excellent track-record of early scientific achievements (awards, scholarships, internships, contributions to publications, or sim.)
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated research tasks, and to report results in oral and written forms
  • Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills
  • Strong analytical skills and excellent judgment ability
  • Excellent communication skills, fluent written and oral scientific English
  • Well-organized, efficient, result-oriented, have excellent record-keeping abilities.

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 DTU’s rules for the PhD education.


The assessment of the applicants will be made by an assessment committee headed by Prof. Irina Borodina.

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information 

Further information may be obtained from Irina Borodina, Tel: +45 6177 5451, E-mail: ib@bio.dtu.dk.

You can read more about The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at https://www.biosustain.dtu.dk/

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.


Please submit your online application no later than the 4 March 2024 (23:59 Danish time)

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply now”, 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 (in English) including official description of grading scale

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.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain)

Recent progress in our ability to read and write genomic code, combined with advances in automation, analytics and data science, has fundamentally changed the scope and ambition of harnessing the potential of biological systems. Big data approaches and analysis of biological systems are key research instruments at the Center. DTU Biosustain utilizes these advances for microbial cell factory design to foster sustainable lifestyles in relation to three application areas: Sustainable Chemicals, Natural Products, and Microbial Foods. 

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 mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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