Researcher in Molecular Microbial Ecology

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Amar Annamalai
Amar Annamalai's picture
Researcher in Molecular Microbial Ecology

The Department of Environmental Science at Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark invites applications for a 4-year position as researcher (equivalent to assistant professor) in molecular microbial ecology for strengthening the research, teaching and advisory capability of the department. The position is to be filled by 1. May 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The Department of Environmental Science

The Department of Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary department under the Faculty of Science & Technology at Aarhus University. The expertise ranges from physics, chemistry, microbiology, biotechnology and mathematical modeling to social science, geography, economics and policy analysis. Basic and applied research is conducted on some of the major challenges facing society, such as pollution and pollution-control mechanisms, management of land, soil, water, air and biodiversity, protection of ecosystem function and services, climate change, and energy systems. Advisory services within these areas are offered to ministries and other stakeholders. Currently, about 120 staff and PhD-students are working at the department. Further information may be found at
The selected candidate will be affiliated with the Section for Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology. The section conducts research and research-based advisory services targeted towards the understanding of the fate and role of individual microorganisms in ecosystems and interactions between bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. Expertise within the section includes:

  • Microbiology in air, soil, rhizosphere, and animal gut
  • Microbial genetics and diversity
  • Microbial ecology
  • Bacteriophages
  • Risk assessment
  • Antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity
  • Biodegradation
  • Protist ecology

Description of the position

The selected candidate is expected to:

  • Contribute to ongoing research projects in microbial genetics and bioinformatics and to establish his/her own research programme within the area of molecular microbial ecology
  • Attract external funding and actively contribute to the development of externally funded research and advisory services
  • Further develop and support the sequencing facilities at the department
  • Develop and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration within the department, and with relevant national and international research groups
  • Strengthen the collaborative work with industrial partners to widen the implementation of Technology Transfer in the section, such as patent applications
  • Contribute to the teaching of graduate courses and to the development of a new curriculum in environmental science.

Qualification requirements

  • The position requires a background in a relevant natural science discipline; e.g. microbiology, microbial ecology, molecular biology or biotechnology. Applicants should as a minimum hold scientific qualifications equivalent to the Ph.D graduate level and have 2 -3 years of post-graduate research and publication experience.
  • Competence in bioinformatics is needed, while a solid theoretical and hands-on experience in molecular microbiology and high throughput sequencing will be of advantage.
  • The successful candidate takes interest in responsibilities related to maintaining the sequencing facilities and building up sequencing expertise within the section, and has the desire and ability to contribute to the further development of the supporting methods and data analysis.
  • Successful experience in applications for external funding, publications in international high-quality research outlets as well as participation in international research networks is expected.
  • Some teaching experience within molecular microbiology and bioinformatics at the undergraduate and graduate levels is expected.
  • Experience in research collaborations with industry and participation in successful patent applications will be an advantage.
  • The successful candidate must have excellent written and oral communication skills. Furthermore, the candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary academic environment. The position, therefore, requires a highly motivated scientist who is comfortable working in teams.

The qualifications of the applicants will be assessed by an expert panel according to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Executive Order no. 284 of 25 April 2008.
Work location

The place of work will be at Aarhus University in Roskilde, Denmark. The city of Roskilde ( is located close to Copenhagen. The area provides immediate access to a wealth of cultural and recreational pursuits. Within about 5 years, the department will move to Copenhagen.
International candidates may find information concerning living and working in Denmark at AU International Center offers a full range of services to make the transition to Denmark as smooth as possible (, and the department will assist foreign candidates with finding a suitable place to live.
Terms of employment

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 here (, and in the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation here (
The salary will depend on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations. Outstanding foreign candidates may qualify for a reduced taxation scheme.
The position is fixed to four years. Upon termination of the contract, a permanent position as Senior Researcher may possibly be advertised internationally in open competition. If so, the candidate may apply for this position.
English is spoken on a daily basis at the department. However, to be able to participate in administrative/social activities, it will be in the interest of an international candidate to be able to communicate in Danish. Foreign candidates are, therefore, expected to learn Danish or preferably already have started to do so. Danish courses will be provided (also for a spouse).
Filing of the application

The application must be in written in English. Guidelines for filing the application may be found here ( The application itself should contain a short letter of intent, a 2-3 page description of research expertise and future research plans.
Further information may be obtained by contacting Head of Department Niels Kroer (; +45 87 15 87 01) or Head of Section Ulrich Gosewinkel (; +45 87 15 86 17).

All applications must be made online and received by 23.02.2015
Please apply online here