A 3-year postdoc, 30 hours per week, in the area of food microbiology and fermentation is available at the Department of Food Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen. The position commences 15 February 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of scientific environment
Common to the research at the Department of Food Science is that it contributes with new solutions on global challenges for society and industry that support sustainable food production, production of foods that promote human health and secure food supply. The Department of Food Science is recognized for excellence in food research, education and industrial collaboration.

The postdoc will be based in the section for Food Microbiology and Fermentation under the supervision of Professor Lene Jespersen. The position split 50/50 between the InBrine project funded by the Danish Dairy Research Foundation and the FERMPRO project funded by the GUDP (Green Development and Demonstration Program) foundation.

Project description

Processing foods using fermentation is a green technology, which offers optimisation of food quality, safety and nutritional value in a sustainable way, and further enhance food security and improve the resilience of food systems. Consumers are increasingly aware of climate impact and health aspects of our food production. This has led to an increased demand among consumers for foods of high quality with reduced climate impact. A number of technological challenges have been identified by the dairy and the plant based food sector. Danish cheeses are brined during the processing, however, practically no knowledge exists on the halophilic brine microbiota and how it secure cheese quality, food safety and sustainability. Exploring the biodiversity of the brine microbiota offers new potential adjunct microbial cultures for improved flavor development and bio-control. Existing plant based foods have limitations regarding texture, flavor and appearance. Some of these limitations can be solved by fermenting the plant materials and knowledge can be transferred from other more established food processes such as those used in the dairy sector. Development of fermentation technologies for production of sustainable plant based protein ingredients offers improved flavor, texture and nutritional value of plant based protein ingredients for better plant-based foods.

Job description

We seek a candidate to perform excellent research within food microbiology, centered on dairy and plant based foods, contributing to the InBrine and FERMPRO projectsThe successful candidate has an innovative mindset and a research record with a relevant background. The candidate is expected to develop a strong collaboration with the industry, to participate in the dissemination of research and in the acquisition of external funding. The postdoc’s duties will include research within the above fields as well as teaching and supervision of PhD, MSc and BSc students.

Qualification requirements

  • A PhD degree in food microbiology
  • Expertise in dairy microbiology
  • Expertise in plant based fermentation and solid state fermentation
  • Expertise in molecular biology, microbial biodiversity and identification techniques
  • Interest and experience in supervising MSc and BSc

Moreover, good interpersonal and communicative skills required for teamwork across disciplines and with industry partners are necessary, ability to work independently and deliver on project activities within deadlines. Speaking Danish is an advantage, as extensive industry contact is part of the projects.

Key criteria for the assessment of candidates
Special importance will be attached to applicants having the following professional and personal qualifications:

  • Documented experience in dairy microbiology and plant based fermentations
  • Basic understanding of food microbiology and/or ecology
  • Expertise and/or strong interest in molecular biology identification techniques
  • Well-developed collaborative skills
  • A strong publication record within food microbiology

Further information on the Department is linked at https://food.ku.dk/english

Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Lene Jespersen:  lj@food.ku.dk

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

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

Please include

  • Cover letter describing your motivation for the position
  • Curriculum vita
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 2 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 20th January 2021.


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