The electromicrobiology of homoacetogenic bacteria

Aarhus Universitet (AU)

Ph.d. & forskning
Østjylland (Aarhus)

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 August 2019 or later.

Title:
The electromicrobiology of homoacetogenic bacteria

Research area and project description:
Homoacetogenic bacteria have the intriguing capacity to use electrodes as electron donor. This capacity can be applied for the development of highly interesting technologies, such as microbial electrosynthesis, in which bacteria are fed with electricity to convert CO2 into biofuels and biochemicals. So far, the mechanisms by which homoacetogenic bacteria take up electrons from electrodes are not yet understood, even though such an understanding is crucial for the development of new technologies.

The PhD candidate is expected to investigate the H2 utilization thermodynamics and kinetics of homoacetogenic bacteria and explore if differences in the H2 utilization thermodynamics and kinetics can explain the different capacities of homoacetogenic strains to withdraw electrons from solid electron donors, such as electrodes.

The PhD candidate will also be involved in educational activities as supervisor of Master’s and Bachelor’s student projects, as well as teaching assistant in courses related to his/her expertise.

Qualifications and specific competences:
We are looking for talented and enthusiastic applicants with a Master’s degree in Microbiology, Bioengineering, Biotechnology, or another discipline with a relevant specialisation. Practical experience within electromicrobiology, bioelectrochemical systems, biocorrosion, anaerobic cultivation, etc. will be seen as a plus. A theoretical background with microbial thermodynamics and kinetics will be important for this project. Analytical and critical thinking are essential to pursue a PhD. Further requirements are English fluency, good reporting skills and being able to work independently.

Applicants are encouraged to include a max. 1-page statement on their research ideas for the proposed project.

Place of employment and Place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University and the place of work is with the Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group at the Department of Engineering, Hangøvej 2, 8200 Aarhus. Aarhus University is located in the vibrant city of Aarhus.

About the Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group
The Microbial Electrosynthesis Research group is a recently started group studying the microbial processes behind microbial electrosynthesis, biocorrosion and gas fermentation with as goal to improve the applications of these processes. The Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group is part of the growing and highly dynamic section of Biological and Chemical Engineering.

About the Biological and Chemical Engineering Section
Biological and Chemical Engineering is a multidisciplinary research area. It includes disease and health, materials, environmental technologies, biorefining, energy technologies and food and ingredient technology. The research at the Biological and Chemical Engineering Section at Department of Engineering is based on both theoretical and experimental methods, and include the design, development, operation, monitoring, control, and optimization of chemical, physical and biological processes.

Contacts:
The project will be supervised by Assistant Professor Jo Philips and Associate Professor Alberto Scoma from Department of Engineering.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Assistant Professor Jo Philips (jo.philips@eng.au.dk)

or Associate Professor Alberto Scoma (as@eng.au.dk).

Application procedures
Before you applyInformation and attachments:
Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:
The English language requirement at GSST is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). The paper-based test must have a “total score”. From the August 2019 call, GSST will no longer accept the paper-based test.
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. Ask the test centre to send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to sphd@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at Aarhus University for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section” Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:
1) Find the application form:
Go to www.phd.scitech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here - Note, the online application system opens on 1 March 2019.
Choose May 2019 Call with deadline 1 May 2019 at 11.59 AM MET.
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme 'Engineering'

2) Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Understanding the interactions of bacteria with electrodes and metals"
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3) Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
  • Project description (½-1 page). This document should describe your ideas and research plans for this specific project. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. If there are any significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made.
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST Application Guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • The project will only be initiated if final funding (from GSST/the faculty) is secured.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

Contacts
Jo Philips
Assistant Professor M jo.philips@eng.au.dk
H 5250
P +4593521569


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Aarhus Universitet blev grundlagt i 1928 og er i dag i den absolutte verdenselite på flere forskningsfelter. Aarhus Universitet (AU) er blandt verdens 10 bedste universiteter grundlagt inden for de seneste 100 år og har en lang tradition for partnerskaber med nogle af verdens bedste forskningsinstitutioner og universitetsnetværk.

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