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Postdoc in Microplastics in Aquatic Systems

At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Civil Engineering, a position as Postdoc in Microplastics in Aquatic Systems at the Section of Water and Environment, is open for appointment from November 1st 2019, or soon hereafter. The position is available for a period of 2 years. The Department of Civil Engineering focuses on the technical and scientific disciplines within civil engineering. Research areas span from Indoor Environment, Wind Turbines, Structural Design, Structural Materials, Geotechnical Engineering,Wave Energy to Food+Design along with many other areas. The research is conducted in a national as well as an international research environment. The Department takes on contract research for both public institutions and private companies. The research projects involve both theoretical research and in situ measurements along with laboratory experiments. As an employee at the Department of Civil Engineering you become a part of an international research environment, where focus is on innovation, knowledge sharing and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Job description

The Section of Water and Environment conducts research and teaching in environmental engineering, water pollution, hydrology and physical geography. The position is opened in the research group of Microplastics, a group that today consists of 3 tenure staff, 4 postdocs, 9 PhD students, 1 lab technician and a handful of master students.

The research is on microplastics in aquatic systems with focus on liquid matrixes. The work is partly focused on microplastics in drinking water with focus on studying occurrence and formation in water distribution systems, and partly on microplastics in the marine environment. One aspect of this work is the degradation of synthetic polymers in such systems. A significant aspect of the work is analysis of microplastics down to the low micrometer range in matrixes with very low levels of microplastics. It is hence important, that the applicant has experience with laboratory work under clean and controlled conditions. It is furthermore a benefit if the candidate has an understanding of how microplastic is affected by environmental factors, for example chemical and biological interactions with the matrix in which they are found.

We have a modern and well-equipped chemical lab for various environmental studies. The equipment we use for microplastic analysis is Agilent’s flagship for micro‐FTIR imaging, two 620 FTIR microscopes combined with Cary 670 FTIR spectrometers, equipped with a 128x128 pixel FPA. With this equipment, one can achieve a pixel resolution on the FPA below 1 μm, allowing quantification in the low micrometer range.

The candidate must hold a relevant PhD-degree in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry, Microbiology or related fields. The candidate should document knowledge in the field of microplastics in the environment and down to the low µm scale. It is a benefit if the candidate has experience with microscale analytical techniques, multivariate analysis targeted big datasets, and knowledge on biological impacts on synthetic polymers in aquatic systems.

The applicant must have good interpersonal and communication skills, as the project is carried out in a well-balanced work environment and in close collaboration with many different stakeholders.

For further information about the position please contact Professor Jes Vollertsen jv@civil.aau.dk, phone: +45 9940 8504.

Qualification requirements: 

Appointment as Postdoc presupposes scientific qualifications at PhD–level or similar scientific qualifications. The research potential of each applicant will be emphasized in the overall assessment. Appointment as a Postdoc cannot exceed a period of four years in total at Aalborg University.

The application must contain the following:

  • A motivated text wherein the reasons for applying, qualifications in relation to the position, and intentions and visions for the position are stated.
  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • Copies of relevant diplomas (Master of Science and PhD). On request you could be asked for an official English translation.
  • Scientific qualifications. A complete list of publications must be attached with an indication of the works the applicant wishes to be considered. You may attach up to 5 publications.
  • Dissemination qualifications, including participation on committees or boards, participation in organisations and the like.
  • Additional qualifications in relation to the position. References/recommendations.
  • Personal data.

The applications are only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below. An assessment committee will assess all candidates.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.

For further information concerning the application procedure please contact HR-Partner Lise Søndergård Jacobsen by mail est-ef-hr@adm.aau.dk or phone (+45) 9940 9567 .Information regarding guidelines, ministerial circular in force and procedures can be seen here. 


Employment is in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities (the Appointment Order) and the Ministry of Finance's current Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities. Employment and salary are in accordance with the collective agreement for state-employed academics.   

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Online application - some good advice

Online application - some good advice

Aalborg University uses an electronic recruitment system for receiving applications. Towards the bottom in the respective job advertisement you will find a link, which you need to use when applying for the position. Before uploading your application it is important that you have all relevant documentation ready in a Word or PDF format, as you need to upload all material at the same time. You cannot leave the application and return to it a couple of hours later without having to start over.

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If you experience technical problems, we encourage you to try again. If the technical problems, contrary to expectation, cannot be solved, please contact the member of staff listed as the contact person in the job advertisement.