Funded PhD fellowship in Food Chemistry (Investigating the molecular mechanisms of cold plasma-induced protein modification in grains) at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark

Postdoc position in food Biotechnology at The University of Copenhagen in Denmark

Funded PhD fellowship in Food Chemistry (investigating the molecular mechanisms of cold plasma-induced protein modification in grains) at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Would you like to make your mark on plant-based food research and meanwhile obtain a PhD degree in an international environment? The Department of Food Science, Section of Ingredient and Dairy technology, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Food Chemistry with a main focus on investigating the molecular mechanisms of cold plasma-induced protein modification in grains. The expected start date is 1 August 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

About the Project

The PhD position is part of a project funded by the Independent research Fund Denmark: ‘Uncovering the effects of cold plasma on oxidation of grain proteins (PROPLASMA)’. The project involves collaboration between UCPH FOOD and Teagasc, Ashtown Food Research Centre, Ireland.

Plasma is the fourth fundamental states of matter after solid, liquid and gas. It constitutes ionised gas, electrons, photons, and numerous reactive chemical species.

Cold plasma, operating at ambient temperature and pressure, has recently found a range of applications for food preservation as it destroys harmful microorganisms and pests.

The technology has become a breakthrough tool to produce pathogen-free grains. However, the current focus is placed exclusively on inactivating microorganisms.

This PhD project takes a new direction of research and aims to generate fundamental knowledge on how cold plasma treatment oxidizes grain proteins. The outcomes will help to better tailor cold plasma as an alternative technology to process grains.

About the Team

The principal supervisor is Assist. Prof. Mahesha M. Poojary, [email protected] and the co-supervisor is Prof. Marianne N. Lund. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Brijesh K. Tiwari, from Teagasc, Ashtown, Ireland. The PhD student may have an opportunities to visit Teagasc, Ashtown, Ireland as a guest PhD student.

Qualifications needed for the regular programme

To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. chemistry, biochemistry, food chemistry, or food technology. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

The project does not cover the costs of visa, travel, and relocation, in case the student has to relocate to Denmark.

General responsibilities

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution (preferably at Teagasc, Ashtown, Ireland).
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for one or more of the following qualifications:

  • An MSc degree in chemistry, biochemistry, food science and technology, chemical engineering, or a related discipline. It is required that student has studied ‘chemistry’, ‘food chemistry’, or ‘chemical engineering’ as one of the core/elective courses in his/her BSc or MSc program, if the student does not hold a degree in chemistry or chemical engineering.
  • Practical experience in one or more of the following fields
  • Cold plasma/UV-food processing
  • Handling GC, HPLC, and/or LC-MS
  • Protein modification chemistry
  • Redox chemistry or redox biology
  • Available to relocate to Ireland for an international research mobility for 3-6 months.
  • Excellent English communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • High ambitions
  • Team player

Key selection criteria:

  • Professional and educational qualifications relevant for the position
  • Relevant work experience
  • English language skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Level of enthusiasm and motivation

Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  1. Letter of motivation (max 1 page, Font Size 12, Spacing 1.5). Explain why you are the suitable candidate for the position by using examples of your experience and achievements. Also describe what you want to learn or achieve in this project as a PhD student.
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. It is mandatory to mention the title of the MSc thesis project and to include a short abstract of the thesis as an Appendix in the CV (max 200 words). The CV should clearly show the length of BSc and MSc program.
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if available)
  5. Reference letters (if available). Reference letters can be in any format (max 1 page, and max two referees). If the reference letter could not be obtained, please list the referee details in the CV.

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is 26 June 2022, 23:59 GMT+1.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process

After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in July 2022.


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Asst. Prof. Mahesha M. Poojary, [email protected].

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.


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