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Postdoc position in phosphorus fertilization and soil fertility

The Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University in Foulum, Denmark, is offering a Postdoctoral position in phosphorus (P) cycling in soil, P nutrition of plants and soil fertility, starting 01.10.2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate will be based at the Soil Fertility Section, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University. The position is available for a 3-year period.

The successful candidate will work on the two projects “Gyllemajs” funded by the “Green Growth Development and Demonstration Programme (GUDP)” under the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and “Identification of areas with overlooked P requirements” funded by SEGES through funds obtained from the Promilleafgiftsfonden. The “Gyllemajs” project aims at developing and testing slurry row-injection techniques in maize cropping, where improved utilization of nutrients in the row-injected slurry potentially can replace the use of mineral P starter fertilizer in maize cropping. The project “Identification of areas with overlooked P requirements” aims at clarifying why cereal crops in some cases respond positively to P fertilizer additions in fields where soil P tests indicate that P fertilization is not required. In addition, the candidate will contribute to research-based public sector consultancy on P fertilization and management, and the successful candidate is expected to apply for external funding.

In the “Gyllemajs” project, the candidate will work experimentally with assessment of crop response in field experiments as well as conducting small-scale experiments under climate-controlled conditions. The tasks in the project “Identification of areas with overlooked P requirements” will include detailed studies on soil P availability and soil properties affecting root development. We expect that the candidate will report the results of the project in high-impact scientific journals.

Qualifications and specific competences
We are searching for a highly motivated candidate who has

  • A PhD in agronomy, biology or similar
  • A genuine interest in sustainable P fertilization management of agricultural soils
  • Collaborative skills
  • Fondness of taking initiative and the ambition to pursue a scientific career
  • Documented experience in scientific writing and publication in peer reviewed scientific journals

Further, we will prefer candidates with a majority of the following qualifications:
  • Research experience in the areas of phosphorus cycling in soils and phosphorus in plant nutrition
  • Experience with planning and conducting experimental work in the laboratory, under controlled growth environment and at the field scale
  • Solid hands-on expertise with phosphorus analyses in plants and soil
  • Good skills and experience in handling of experimental data and statistical analyses
  • Good skills in communicating complex scientific problems to ministries and stakeholders
  • Knowledge of rules and regulations related to agricultural use of fertilisers in Denmark and EU

Place of Work and area of Employment
The place of work is Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.

Mentors will be associate professor Gitte H. Rubæk ( and senior scientist Peter Sørensen (, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University.

You can read more about the Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University at

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
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

02 August 2020


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