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PhD fellow in Plant Biotechnology @ University of Copenhagen


PhD fellow in Plant Biotechnology

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Plant Biotechnology commencing 01.06.2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The project will be carried out within the NovoNordisk foundation project NovoCrops. The project is housed at the Copenhagen Plant Science Center and is a multidisciplinary effort to develop future crops using resilient plants as a starting point. The student will be embedded within the Transport Biology Section at the Department, under the supervision of Ass. Prof. Rosa Laura Lopez Marques.

Project description
Present day crop production is limited by environmental stresses that are only likely to be aggravated by predicted climate changes. Most attempts to generate resilient crops in the past have focused on the introduction of resilient traits in already domesticated crops. However, this strategy has generated little success due to the multifaceted nature of stress responses. With the advent of new breeding technologies, the domestication of already resilient, underutilized crops offers the possibility of expanding crop diversity for future environmentally sustainable agriculture. Quinoa is a stress resilient plant that is highly nutritious with an amino acid composition of its grain proteins comparable to that of legume seeds. However, productivity yields are low and subjected to changes due to weather conditions. The aim of this PhD project will be to provide the foundations to increase productivity of quinoa plants. The tasks of the PhD student will include the identification of putative breeding targets in quinoa and the characterization of these targets in order to ensure their link to production yields.


Principal supervisor isAssociate Professor Rosa Laura Lopez Marques,Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, rlo@plen.ku.dkTel. (direct): +45-35332602.

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Plant Biology, Biotechnology or other related fields, with good results. The applicant is also expected to have excellent English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 328.355 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,360). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.


Please include

  • Cover Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • A short project plan (maximum 1 page), including the Applicant’s ideas on how to identify and characterize the putative genes/proteins of interest.
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 23 February 2020, 23:59 GMT +1. 

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.


The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at . 

For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor [Associate Professor Rosa Laura Lopez Marques,Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, rlo@plen.ku.dkDirect Phone: +45-35332602].
General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at


Rosa Laura Lopez MarquesE-mail:


Application deadline: 23-02-2020Employment start: 01-06-2020Working hours: Full timeDepartment/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

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