29 Dec, 2010
PhD Fellow in Plant Nutrition, University of Copenhagen
The Department of Agriculture and Ecology, University of Copenhagen, wishes to appoint a PhD fellow in Plant Nutrition/Analytical Chemistry/Physics from 1 February 2011 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master degree or for a 4-year period for applicants who are already enrolled or are accepted to be enrolled on one of the faculty’s master programmes. Applicants for the 4-year period must have completed the first year of the study curriculum equivalent to 60 ECTS (and still remain app. one year of study before graduation).
With reference to the project manager, the work of the PhD fellow will consist mainly of duties in connection with research and development within the interdisciplinary field: Plant Nutrition/Analytical Chemistry/Physics – Development of LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometry) methods for analysis of the multi-elemental composition of plant tissue.
Trace element deficiency in plants is a major nutritional problem in most parts of the world, including Denmark. The future sustainability of modern plant production will depend on reliable tools to predict the nutritional status of plants in order to match fertilizer application with crop demand under a given set of edaphic and climatic conditions. Optimizing nutrient application to the physiological requirements of plants will reduce fertilizer and pesticide consumption. Trace element deficiency in plants often occur as a hidden disorder without distinct visual leaf symptoms, but it leads to significant yield reductions and poor quality of the harvested product. Traditional analytical techniques using elemental analysis of soil and tissue are time consuming, labour intensive and expensive. Consequently there is an urgent need for the development of fast, accurate and sensitive tools to predict plant nutrient status, preferably techniques that can be undertaken in-situ.
A variety of analytical techniques have been applied to determine the elements concentrations in plants, primarily based on inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES) or Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS). In general, these techniques require that samples should be dissolved prior to elements determination, which is an ex-situ and slow process. Recent developments in LIBS methodologies have shown very encouraging results and it appears that this novel technique has a major potential for fast and simultaneous in-situ measurements of essential plant nutrients in plants.
This project will be undertaken in joint cooperation with The Niels Bohr Institute, which holds national expertise in LIBS. The PhD project will be carried out at Department of Agriculture and Ecology, Plant and Soil Science Laboratory, where several strong research groups focus on different aspects of Plant Nutrition and Analytical Chemistry
There is an active and open scientific communication between members of the individual research groups, creating a personally stimulating working environment. We have a strong focus on the societal relevance of our research and extensive network to relevant industrial partners. It is important that you are a good communicator; that you are open-minded; has good interpersonal and cooperative skills.
The appointee should have qualifications within the following areas:
- Relevant academic degree in relation to the areas listed,
- Strong training in Spectroscopy,
- Knowledge to applied Statistics and Chemometrics,
- Basic training in Analytical Chemistry,
- Basic knowledge to Plant Science,
- Communicative skills and fluency in English,
- It is important that the applicant has good interpersonal and cooperative skills.
If some of these qualifications are not met, you should be willing to upgrade your skills in these particular areas during the initial period of the PhD programme.
In connection with the appointment to the post, special importance will be attached to the applicant having the professional and personal qualifications stated below:
- Passed Master´s degree in relation to the above subject area(s),
- Applicants with a Bachelor degree will also be considered under the alternative curriculum (4+4)
Terms of employment
The post will be filled according to the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The post is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.
The position as PhD fellow requires the applicant to be approved for admission to the PhD programme at LIFE when accepted for the post.
For further information about the post, please contact Professor Søren Husted on tel. (+45) 35 33 3498, firstname.lastname@example.org.
General questions regarding PhD programmes should be directed to Course Administration c/o special advisor Michael Cleve Hansen, tel. (+45) 3533 2056 or head clerk Lillian Zeuthen Bjørnseth on tel. (+45) 3533 2172. Further information on PhD programmes is available at www.life.ku.dk/English >Education > PhD Education > Regulations.
The application should be submitted in 2 (sorted) copies; therefore it´s not possible to receive the application by e-mail. The application must include a reply e-mail address. Each application must include the following appendices marked with the stated appendix numbers:
- Appendix 1: curriculum vitae with documentation of education,
- Appendix 2: material required for expert assessment.
In addition to the material the applicant wishes to include in the assessment, the Assessment Committee may include further material in their assessment of the applicant. In such circumstances, it is the responsibility of the applicant, on request, to send the material to the Committee.
Following processing of the application, any application material sent will be destroyed.
Receipt of the application will not be acknowledged, but the applicant will be kept continuously informed of the progress of the application.
The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Executive Order no 284 of 25. April 2008.
The application, marked 625/05429-307 should be sent to The Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Agriculture and Ecology, Thorvaldsensvej 40, stairway 2, 3rd floor, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, where it must be received no later than 3 January 2011 at 12.00 noon. Applications received after the closing date for applications will not be considered.