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PhD fellow in Exolife Science, project 1 in the synergy project: "Effects of bacteria on atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and exoplanets", at the Department of Biology

The Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Exolife science, understood as the overlap field between biology, physics, chemistry and astronomy, commencing the 15th of August 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

The project is part of a total of 6 new positions supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation under the Synergy project “Effects of bacteria on atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and exoplanets”, which involve staff at University of Copenhagen from the Niels Bohr Institute, the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biology. The candidates will work as a team with the common goal of deepening our understanding of the global interactions of life with its surroundings in terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments.

For more information, please see https://cels.nbi.ku.dk/english/openings/

Project description – “Activity of microorganisms under extreme conditions”
The main goal of the project is to investigate the survival and activity of microorganisms under extreme conditions e.g. simulating Mars. This will be based on cold-active and xerotolerant bacteria, archaea and fungi isolated from extreme environments on Earth. Selected microorganisms will be genome sequenced to characterize their genetic potential and transcriptomic studies will be used to characterize their responses to e.g. Martian challenges. The project includes studies on how microorganisms may affect atmospheric composition and how microbial activity may be traced as potential biosignatures of life on exoplanets.

Principal supervisor is Professor Anders Priemé, Department of Biology, email: aprieme@bio.ku.dk, direct phone: (+45) 51827033

Co-supervisors: Associate professor Jan O. M. Härter, Niels Bohr Institute, email: haerter@nbi.ku.dk, direct phone: (+45) 60748750, and Henrik Grum Kjærgaard, Department of Chemistry, e-mail: hgk@chem.ku.dk, direct phone: (+45) 35320334.

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department
Formal requirements
Applicants should hold a MSc degree in MSc degree in biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, or a related field appropriate for the project with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.



Integrated MSc and PhD Scheme

The position is also available for candidates who are (or are eligible to be) enrolled at one of the faculty’s master programmes in [her skrives navnet på kandidatuddannelsen]. The duration of the integrated programme depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. For further information about the study programme please see: www.science.ku.dk/phd, “Study Structures”.

Scholarship and terms of employment for integrated MSc and PhD

PhD grant portions (Ph.D.-SU klip)

In the period up to the completion of the MSc programme (up to three years), the student is entitled to so-called PhD grant portions. The grant portions are financed by the grant donor but not by the Danish State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme Agency (as is the case for the ordinary study grant portions on the BSc and MSc programmes). They are called PhD grant portions because this kind of remuneration is regulated and described in the Executive Order on the State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme in Denmark (SU-bekendtgørelsen), and because the value of a PhD grant portion corresponds to the value of an ordinary Danish study grant portion. Students are awarded 48 PhD grant portions during the period of their MSc and PhD studies.

48 PhD grant portions at DKK 6,243 each, corresponding to DKK 299,664 (approx. €39,955).

'Duty work'

As a supplement to the PhD grant portions, the student may, in accordance with the collective agreement of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC), be offered 'duty work'. In the period up to the completion of the MSc programme, students performing 'duty work' are paid by the hour. UCPH has decided to offer students on integrated MSc and PhD schemes 150 hours of 'duty work' per year during Part A of the programme (until two years of the combined programme of study remain). 'Duty work' during Part A if it has a duration of three years: 450 hours at a rate of DKK 219.79 (+ 12.5% holiday pay), corresponding to DKK 111,267 (approx. €14,835)

For further information about Part A please see: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/studystructure/integratedphd/

Salary in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC)

In the period after the completion of the MSc programme, the student is employed as a PhD scholar and is remunerated in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The scheme is arranged in such a way that students graduate from the MSc programme at a time when there are two years left of the integrated programme. For this reason, the salary must be paid for a period of two years in accordance with the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The amounts specified include a supplement locally agreed upon as well as pension contributions: Salary as a PhD scholar: 24 months at a rate of DKK 32,078 (including pension contributions and supplement), corresponding to DKK 769,873 (approx. €102,650).


Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any)

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 15 April 2021, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Questions
For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Professor Anders Priemé, Department of Biology, email: aprieme@bio.ku.dk, direct phone: (+45) 51827033.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at http://www.science.ku.dk/phd.


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