Job:PhD scholarship in Yeast Metabolic Engineering
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The Yeast Metabolic Engineering group develops novel yeast cell factories to produce sustainable chemicals and natural products. We apply advanced genome editing, metabolic modeling, transporter engineering, and ‘omic data analyses for data-guided strain design. We are looking for a motivated and talented PhD student to join our team to study the production of natural food colorants using yeasts as cell factories.

Responsibilities and tasks

You will develop novel biotechnological methods for the production of natural food colorants. 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.

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 should have a Master's degree in engineering/biology/biotechnology or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the Master's degree. Solid knowledge and hands-on experience with molecular biology techniques, 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 the DTU PhD Guide.


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 2179 8657, E-mail:

You can read more about The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at

Application procedure

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 August 2021 (Danish time). Apply online here: PhD scholarship in Yeast Metabolic Engineering

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", 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
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob¬tai¬ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

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 vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 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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