Vacant positions

PhD Stipend in Ecophysiology of Uncultured Microbes in Wastewater Treatment Plants (18-21047)

At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Section of Chemistry, a PhD Stipend is available within the general study programme of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering. The position is open for appointment from August 1, 2021 or soon thereafter. The position is located within the Section of Biotechnology with working place in Aalborg.

Job description

The PhD position is part of ongoing research on the microbial diversity in environmental biotechnology and to understand the ecophysiology, interactions and ecology of microbial communities. Special focus in this project is on the activated sludge process for wastewater treatment and nutrient removal. The goal is to establishing metabolic models from metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs), verifying these with metatranscriptomics, and visualise key microorganisms by FISH and confocal microscopy. The outcome is a better understanding of the communities for improved wastewater treatment and resource recovery.

The Department of Chemistry and Bioscience consists of five sections of which three are situated in Aalborg with research and teaching in Biotechnology, Applied Chemistry and Biology & Environmental Science. Moreover, one section is located in Copenhagen on Sustainable Biotechnology and one section is situated in Esbjerg on Chemical Engineering. You will be collaborating with the center for Microbial Communities. The Center has approx. 40 young scientists working with structure and function of microbial communities, primarily related to environmental biotechnology. The Center has state of the art equipment for DNA sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics, confocal microscopy and Raman microspectroscopy.

You may obtain further information about the project from Professor Per Halkjær Nielsen by e-mail:

Qualification requirements: 

Applicants should hold an outstanding Master degree in Biotechnology, Bioprocess Engineering or in a relevant program.

Competences of the successful applicant will include:

  • Research experience in microbial processes related to wastewater treatment
  • Experience in molecular methods (amplicon sequencing, annotation of genomes, establishment of metabolic models)
  • Experience in Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy
  • Ability to work in an international team
  • High motivation
  • Fluency in English – written and oral

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Vigdis Skomager-Bohnfeldt, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email:, phone: +45 9940 7408

For more information of The Doctoral School of Engineering and Science: 

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

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


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.

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