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Post Doc position in Bioactive Natural Compounds in Plant Defence

The Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University in Slagelse, Denmark is looking for a dedicated and responsible postdoctoral researcher in the exploitation of bioactive compounds from agricultural crops for controlling plant-parasitic nematodes. The position is available from January 1st, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter and will be available for 1.5 years.

The position is part of a newly funded Villum Experiment project “Transfer of biochemical defence between plant species”. The project will investigate if plants exploit defence chemicals synthesized in neighbouring plants as a fast and inexpensive track to defence against pest organisms. We will elucidate to which extent bioactive compounds, originating from one agricultural crop species, can be taken up in another crop species. Transformation products of the absorbed compounds in the receiving crop species will be identified and their potential suppressive effects on plant parasitic nematodes will be assessed.

The candidate must be able to work cross-disciplinarily in teams of collaborating researchers and highly professional technical staff across the department. The successful candidate must be prepared to combine research on mass spectrometry based analytical chemistry and plant parasitic nematodes. The candidate will be based at the Crop Health and Entomology and Plant Pathology Sections, Department of Agroecology, Forsøgsvej 1, DK 4200 Slagelse.

Specific qualifications and competences
We are searching for a candidate with a genuine interest in the chemical mechanisms behind ecological interactions. The qualified candidate is specialized in mass spectrometry-based analytical chemistry and must have experience and high skills in the use of instruments such as LC-MSMS, LC-QqQ(LIT), GC-TOF, LC-QTOF. The candidate must have expertise in quantitative target analysis, untarget analysis (metabolomics), identification, and development of analytical methods. The candidate must be passionate in relation to the use of mass spectrometry for studying biological processes, and should have experience in/be eager to learn the establishment and maintenance of cultivation systems of plants and/or rearing systems of nematodes.

General qualifications
You must have an enthusiastic personality and possess good communication skills. We are looking for a responsible and social person who can support and contribute to a good working environment.

The successful candidates must hold relevant academic qualifications and a proven record of scientific achievements at international level within the relevant research areas.

  • PhD degree
  • Proven publication record in international peer-reviewed ISI journals
  • Teaching experience
  • Experience in international research collaboration and networking
  • Emphasis will be put on the ability to communicate research results
The Department of Agroecology
At the Department of Agroecology we study interactions between soil, plants, animals, humans and the environment in different agroecosystems for the production of food, feed, biomaterials and energy. Thus, we contribute to both fundamental knowledge generation and the attainment of sustainable production systems via state-of-the-art research, contracted policy advice, and education. We offer state-of-the-art laboratory, green house, semi-field and field scale research facilities, advanced computing capacities as well as an extensive national and international researcher network. The department has a staff of approximately 275 people including 56 senior academics, 37 junior researchers and postdocs as well as 56 PhD students. More information can be found here.

The Department of Agroecology offers
  • An informal and multicultural research environment with high professionalism, where accountability, commitment, helpfulness, flexibility and close collaboration is a prerequisite solving the core tasks
  • A good social environment with activities and routines that make it possible to talk across and strengthen the collegial relationship, and where mutual trust, respect, kindness and professional sparring are emphasized
  • A flexible workplace with good work-life balance
  • Possibility of membership of staff association, access to gym and free fruit scheme
  • An exciting and varied working environment, where two days rarely resemble each other. We are often busy and we work creatively for solutions to societal challenges
Place of Work and area of Employment
The place of work is Aarhus University, Flakkebjerg, Forsøgsvej 1, 4200 Slagelse. The affiliation will be with the Department of Agroecology.

Further information on the position may be obtained from Inge S. Fomsgaard:, +4522283399/+4587158212 and Mette Vestergård Madsen:, +4587158121

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.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in ques-tion before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Technical Sciences 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

18 October 2020


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