Scholarship in Europe

PhD Scholarships in Biological Physics – Technical University of Denmark

The Soft Matter Biophysics group at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Physics) invites highly talented candidates to apply for two PhD scholarship in the field of biological physics. Our team pursues curiosity-driven research that often leads to surprising technical innovations based on fundamental processes in living organisms.

Two fully funded PhD Scholarships, supervised by Associate Professor Kaare H. Jensen and co-supervised by Professor Henrik Bruus, are available starting in the fall of 2022:

Project 1: Enhanced diffusion in biologically inspired micro- and nanochannels (Experiment and theory)
Effective transport of small molecules across micro- and nanoscale pores is essential for future clean technologies. Many new concepts have emerged from the leading micro- and nanofabrication laboratories; however, a moon-shot jump in transport capacity has not emerged. Plant plasmodesmata, however, may hold clues to an entirely new pore design. These channels link adjacent plant cells and permit strongly enhanced particle currents. Yet, the physical processes underlying this striking bio-superconductivity are shrouded in mystery. In this project, you will resolve the mystery of plasmodesmata function by studying transport in biomimetic microfluidic devices. Moreover, you will explore applications of synthetic plasmodesmata to enhance chemical separation efficiency strongly.

Project 2: AI-assisted robotic extraction of cellular contents from plants (Experimental)
Most food consumed by humans is derived from plants. Greens are also becoming an increasingly important source of sophisticated carbohydrates, polymers, and pharmaceuticals. Obtaining pure high-value products, however, is a significant challenge because the compounds are localized to a few specialized cells. Therefore, traditional processing (from crop harvesting to chemical separation) is highly inefficient. In this project, you will develop an AI-assisted microrobot that targets individual cells. Moreover, you will explore applications to automated studies of plant stress response.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You should be a highly motivated student with academic excellence and demonstrated scientific achievements. You should be interested in doing cutting-edge research. A degree in physics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, material science, chemistry, or bioengineering would be ideal for these positions. For both positions, your writing skills should be very good to outstanding. Experience in coding and image analysis would be an advantage.

Besides these skills, preference will be given to applicants with experience within the following areas:

Project 1:

    • Microfluidics
    • Clean room fabrication
    • Chemical/material synthesis
    • Physical modeling
    • Applied mathematics

Project 2:

    • Image Recognition, e.g., with deep learning/neural networks
    • Robotics
    • Plant Science

You must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.

Applicable for all scholarships

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates 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 DTU’s rules for the PhD education.

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Kaare H. Jensen and Henrik Bruus.

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.

Starting date is 1 December 2022 (or according to mutual agreement). The position is a full-time position.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Kaare H. Jensen by email (khjensen@fysik.dtu.dk) or telephone (+45 2231 5241).

You can read more about the Soft Matter Biophysics group at www.jensen-research.com, and the Department of Physics at www.fysik.dtu.dk.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 30 September 2022 (Danish time). Apply online here: PhD Scholarships in Biological Physics

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 (in English) including official description of grading scale

In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which project you are applying for (title from the above list of PhD projects or individual research projects).

Incomplete applications will not be considered. You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

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 13,400 students and 5,800 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.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

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