Analyzing food quality by a novel DNASHAPE technology

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Nanoscience programme. The position is available from 1 November 2018 or later.


Title:
Analyzing food quality by a novel DNASHAPE technology

Research area and project description:
The PhD project which will apply a newly developed “DNASHAPE” method where millions of short nucleic acid strands (aptamers) are acting in parallel  as “synthetic antibodies” to detect and quantify multiple contaminations and quality related ingredients in milk in a one-step reaction.

The project will investigate the applicability of the DNASHAPE method to benefit safety and quality control in the food industry via rapid sensing of pathogens (e.g. microbes, fungi and phages), contaminations (e.g. toxins and lubricants) and quality related characteristics of milk and dairy products, including mimicking human sensory perception. Thus, presenting a unique combined quality assessment and contaminant detection solution for quality analysis of milk and milk products across the production chain.

The experimental procedures include synthesis and manipulation of nucleic acids, next generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics processing of large NGS datasets. DNASHAPE finger prints will be linked to different milk types (batch, organic, cow species, seasonal changes, aging etc.) as well as sensory profiles and aroma analysis to build benchmarking and calibration models for future quality measurement instrumentation. The project is conducted in close synergy between iNANO and FOOD science centers and milk producers. It is highly interdisciplinary and innovative with prospects of high impact publications and commercial value.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants to the PhD position must have a relevant Master’s degree in molecular biology or nanoscience or equivalent. Competences in next generation sequencing and bioinformatics will be an advantage but is not obligatory.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Gustav Wieds Vej 14, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.    

iNANO, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (www.inano.au.dk), was established in 2002 and at present is a major research and education center based at Aarhus University hosting 60 senior scientists, ~100 PostDocs and ~130 PhD students. The center combines expertise and faculty from Physics, Chemistry, Molecular biology and Medicine to carry out world class interdisciplinary research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. The center gives access to a broad range of infrastructure, tools and expertise including clean-room facilities. With a 5 year undergraduate nanotechnology programme and nanoscience graduate programme (www.inanoschool.au.dk) the center provides a full educational environment. In addition to the large base of basic research, the center has a large number of ongoing industrial projects and partnerships. The PhD project is partially financed by the iFOOD centre and time will be spent at AU FOOD facilities during the PhD period.

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Professor Jørgen Kjems
Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO)
and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Aarhus University
Gustav Wieds Vej  14
DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark 

Phone: +45 28992086
E-mail: kjems@inano.au.dk



Application procedures


Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at Graduates School of Science and Technology is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” is documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). The paper-based test must have a “total score”. From August call 2019, GSST no longer accepts the paper-based test.
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. You must request that the test centre send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate  with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to sphd@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at Aarhus University for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section” Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants able to document that English was the language of instruction during the whole period of their Bachelor’s and/or Master’s programme. This must be documented by uploading an official document from the institution stating this under “language skills documentation”. The onus is on the applicant to provide this information as GSST will not pursue information regarding language of instruction for any programmes or institutions.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to http://talent.au.dk/phd/scienceandtechnology/opencalls/
Choose August 2018 Call with deadline 1 August 2018 at 11.59 PM MET.
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme 'Nanoscience'

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (Carlsberg Foundation)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: “Analyzing food quality by a novel DNASHAPE technology”
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts and diploma(s)
    Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found.  Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. In case of significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST application guide here.  

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.