Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science (PLEN) at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Crop Physiology commencing 1 July 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

The successful applicant will be based in theCrop Stress Physiologygroupat Section of Crop Sciences. We have a dynamic and international research and teaching environment working on basic and applied crop sciences related to the interaction between G(enotype), E(nvironment) and M(anagement) as the basis of crop growth and production. Our group focuses on the physiological and biochemical regulation of growth and functioning of crop plants subjected to major abiotic stresses. Our research aims at improving crop yield and quality and resource/energy use efficiencies in field and in greenhouse production systems by exploiting plant adaptation mechanisms to environmental perturbations for a future warmer, drier and CO2 enriched climate. We have state of the art gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence equipment and greenhouse facilities where plants can be grown at elevated CO2 concentration.

Project description
The PhD project is part of the international project “Dissecting climate robustness for sustainable wheat production (SUSWHEAT)” funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. In the context of climate change we know reasonably well how plants responds to single abiotic stresses but it is less clear how they cope with multiple concurrent stresses, which hinders targeted breeding for future climates. Drought and heat, two major co-occurring stresses caused by global climate change, induce opposing adaptive responses at the level of water use and carbon capture. Combining deep phenotyping with metabolic profiling to explore and exploit the existing variation in resilience, SUSWHEAT will reveal the underpinning physiological and metabolic mechanisms of yield stability. The PhD project will focus on how the energy, water and carbon balance of the photosynthetic machinery is affected by the combined stresses, where stomata are subjected to opposing regulatory signals, i.e. drought that triggers stomatal closure to prevent water loss and heat that triggers stomatal opening that enhances leaf cooling. The combination of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence will be the core methods along with methods determining plant water relations characteristics.

Principal supervisor isAssociate Professor,Eva RosenqvistDepartment of Plant and Environmental Sciences, ero@plen.ku.dkdirect phone: +45 35 33 34 04.

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 Biology, Agronomy, Crop Ecology, Horticulture or comparable with good results and good English skills. Your education should have a strong profile in plant physiology. Prior experience in plant water relation, gas exchange and/or chlorophyll fluorescence is a merit. 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 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). 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
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any)

Reference letters must be uploaded by the applicant him/herself. The recruiting person must NOT obtain reference letters which content is not known to the applicant him/herself. This is against Danish law.

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 application is 28 February 2021, 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 https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Eva RosenqvistDepartment of Plant and Environmental Sciences, ero@plen.ku.dkDirect Phone: +45 35 33 34 04.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at https://www.science.ku.dk/phd.


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