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 PhD student in microbial ecology and phages in anaerobic digestion

Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Deadline: 26/01/2024

This PhD student position offers an exciting prospect for a motivated individual to immerse themselves in a swiftly advancing research domain. The focus is on understanding the operations of microbial communities and exploring their applications in environmental engineering processes. You have a keen interest in dedicating significant time to computer-based tasks, such as programming and bioinformatics, where you enjoy acquiring new skills for data analysis and visualization. Additionally, you find fulfillment in laboratory work, where you eagerly design experiments to test hypotheses and are unafraid to engage in hands-on activities, both literally and metaphorically.

Information about the research and division

The research project focuses on the role of phages in anaerobic digestion, a widely employed process at wastewater treatment plants for converting sewage sludge into biogas. This intricate microbial community-driven process will be examined by you, as a PhD student, with a specific emphasis on analyzing microbial communities, particularly phages, across various reactor types.

This research initiative will be conducted within the Water Environment Technology (WET) division of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. As a doctoral student, you will be an integral part of the wastewater treatment and resource recovery research area. Our research within this domain encompasses biotechnologies aimed at enhancing treatment efficiency and recovering resources from waste streams. We delve into a spectrum of activities ranging from microbial ecology theory to process engineering. Our endeavors involve the development of novel biotechnological processes, coupled with an exploration of the fundamental science underlying these processes. Research areas include anammox, fermentation, microbial electrochemistry, aerobic granular sludge, and moving bed biofilm processes. Frequently, our collaborative projects involve partnerships with municipalities, R&D companies, and consultants.

Major responsibilities

In the course of this project, you will engage in partnerships with wastewater treatment plants, actively participating in the collection of samples from their full-scale anaerobic digesters. Additionally, you will conduct laboratory experiments designed to test specific hypotheses formulated throughout the project. Utilizing a combination of molecular biology techniques, omics methodologies, and bioinformatics, your focus will be on the comprehensive analysis of microbial communities within anaerobic digestion systems. Specifically, your investigations will emphasize the dynamics of phages and their interactions with bacteria and archaea in this context.

A Master degree in environmental engineering, biotechnology, or another relevant field. You are an independent, analytical, and creative person, and you have a passion for research. Examples of relevant skills for the position include programming experience, for example in Python or R; laboratory experience; process engineering knowledge; and knowledge about bioinformatics methods.

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master’s level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English. If Swedish is not your native language, Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

The offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg .
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence . Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with reference number 20230756 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV:(Please name the document: CV, Family name, reference number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, ref.number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. 

Application deadline: 2024-01-26

For questions, please contact:
Oskar Modin,
oskar.modin@chalmers.se, 031-772 2138

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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Last modified: January 20, 2024