PhD Student - Department of Biotechnology
Ghent University
Ghent, Belgium  
5 dagen geleden
source : Academic Media Group International AB

Last application date : Jun 20, 2021 00 : 00

Department : LA25 - Department of Biotechnology

Contract : Limited duration

Degree : Master degree in microbiology, environmental engineering, bioscience engineering or equivalent

Occupancy rate : 100%

Vacancy type : Research staff

Job description

Project MICRO4BIOGAS : Natural and Synthetic Microbial Communities for Sustainable Production of Optimised Biogas - Opportunity for a PhD position


The recovery of renewable energy or production of bio-chemicals from waste streams is a key aspect in the bio-based circular economy.

Anaerobic digestion plays a central role in converting organic waste into renewable energy. Despite being a full-scale mature technology, aspects such as community resilience, production rates, etc.

can still be improved. The aim of this research project is to develop novel methods and approaches to improve the anaerobic digestion microbiome following the principles of synthetic biology, allowing to move this technology beyond its current limits.

Type of employment

  • PhD candidate researcher : Full-time, fixed-term appointment for initially 1 year, yearly renewable after positive evaluation up to 4 years.
  • Intended starting date : 1st of August.

  • A competitive salary including benefits is offered, salary levels account for years of professional experience.
  • Ghent University is an equal opportunity employer.

    The Centre for Synthetic Biology (CSB) is part of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, a top 100 university in most rankings.

    CSB has a long tradition in in the application of synthetic biology for industrial biotechnology, particularly directed towards the biocatalytic synthesis of chemicals through either microbial fermentation or the use of isolated enzymes.

    The area of expertise includes the screening for novel biocatalysts (enzymes and micro-organisms), the optimisation of fermentation strains through metabolic engineering, the engineering of enzymes through rational design and directed evolution, as well as process development, up-scaling, and downstream processing.

    Prof. De Mey leads a group of 7 PhD students and 2 postdocs and has a strong track-record in translating her basic research into real-life applications, including patents and spin-offs.


    The Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET) formally LabMET; ) is part of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, a top 100 university in most rankings.

    CMET has over 40 years of experience in the study of applied microbial processes and microbial ecology in the contexts of waste(water) treatment, bioremediation, bioproduction, bioelectrochemistry and resource recovery.

    It is one of the top performing centres worldwide in its field and links excellent basic science with application, leading to high level peer-reviewed outputs besides commercial outcomes including 7 spin-off companies over time.

    Reactor and process developments go from millilitre scale to full scale industrial. Prof. Ramon Ganigué leads a group of 8 PhD students and 2 postdocs.

    CMET is a very multidisciplinary team and has a very international atmosphere.

    Job profile


    Background and experience

  • Scientific researcher : A Master degree in microbiology, environmental engineering, bioscience engineering or equivalent, completed before the start date of the position, with excellent grades.
  • Experience in the field of wastewater treatment, applied microbiology, microbial ecology, anaerobic digestion or fermentations will be greatly appreciated.

    Scientific knowledge and skills

  • Knowledge of bio-process engineering and microbiology.
  • Hands on experience in microbial cultivation.
  • Ability to rigorously design experiments and to perform experiments under well-controlled conditions.
  • Ability to work with analytics, such as IC & GC, as well as experience with microbial analyses.
  • Ability to rigorously design and perform experiments in a result-oriented and thorough manner.
  • Ability to perform in-depth and critical data analysis.
  • Ability to communicate through high-quality scientific channels, e.g. WoS publications (A1).
  • Personal knowledge and skills

  • A strong interest in inter / multi-disciplinary applied science.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with team members from different backgrounds and in different research areas.
  • Excellent skills for time management and the ability to meet objectives within strictly set deadlines.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English are strictly required (C1 level).
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently.
  • Outcome focused, hands-on mentality.
  • Willingness to travel internationally for project meetings and conferences.
  • Willingness to apply for scholarships to obtain additional funding.
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