Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD in the field of Aquatic Ecotoxicology

This job offer has expired

    Roskilde University
    Environmental science
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    Established Researcher (R3)
    14/05/2021 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Denmark › Roskilde
    FP7 / People-Marie Curie Actions


2 PhD Fellow positions (fully funded at EU Marie-Curie stipend-rates for 3 years) are available in the field of aquatic ecotoxicology at Roskilde University, Denmark.

The PhD position is part of the CHRONIC project - “CHronic exposure scenarios driving enviRONmental rIsks of Chemicals”, which is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) grant No. 956009.

The lead supervisor is located at Roskilde University, Denmark with co-supervision by Syngenta, UK (position 1) or Lund University, S (position 2).

The Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University (RUC), invites applications for two PhD fellowships at the Doctoral School of Science and Environment starting between 01.06.2021 and 01.9.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. Applications are requested from candidates seeking to pursue a PhD degree within aquatic ecotoxicology on the topic of: sediment exposure, link between physiological changes and benthic invertebrate behavior, multi-generational impact (position 1), interaction between chemical and environmental stressors (position 2), and modelling.

The Department of Science and Environment is one of four departments at RUC. The Department conducts basic and applied research within environmental sciences, medical biology, molecular biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Bachelor and Masters’ programmes are offered within these areas. The PhD project is associated with the Environmental Dynamics (EnvDyn) research group (read more about EnvDyn research group here: https://ruc.dk/en/forskningsgruppe/environmental-dynamics.

While conducting your individual research project, you will be joined into a network of 13 PhD Fellows (ESRs) at academic institutions across Europe all aiming at developing tools and approaches to identify nonstandard modes of toxicity for long-term, low-dose chemical exposure and their interactions with other environmental stressors. All CHRONIC partners have extensive experience in education and training and a high state-of-the-art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructure. The programme will therefore lay the basis for an integrated approach to environmental risk assessment.

CHRONIC includes training-by-research, joint training courses, covering technical, scientific, ethical, and transferable skills. Fellows will also engage actively in communication to scientific and public communities. Being part of CHRONIC offer you an excellent opportunity to work within a strong, interdisciplinary and intersectoral network including leading Universities and research institutions across Europe as well as industry, consultancy, governmental and non-governmental institutions in Europe and Canada. COVID-19 pandemic allowing you will be able to undertake research placement at partner institution involved in the CHRONIC project from across Europe, as well as attending project training event and international conferences.

Research area and project description

The title of the specific PhD project for position 1 is “Multi-generational long-term exposure to low concentrations of pharmaceuticals in Tubifex tubifex: from epigenome to individual-level to population-level effects”. The project will be supervised by Henriette Selck, RUC, and co-supervised by Roman Ashauer, Syngenta. The title of the specific PhD project for position 2 is “Linking sub-organismal to individual-level impact of low chronic exposure under different environmental settings”. The project will be supervised by Henriette Selck, RUC, and co-supervised by Olof Berglund, Lund University. Both projects focus on behavioral impacts of e.g., psychoactive pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment, apply a number of models and methods, and use an experimental approach and sediment organisms.

Position 1 will examine 1) the link between physiological changes (e.g., AChE-, serotonin-, dopamine levels) and invertebrate behavior (escape reflexes, feeding, burrowing: Multi Freshwater Biomonitor) using a psychoactive and a non-psychoactive pharmaceutical (e.g., SSRIs, NSAIDs), 2) worm sensitivity in multiple-generation exposure scenarios and the potential role of (epi) genetic change in generational transfer of effects; 3) impact on population growth rate, and 4) changes in energy allocation (assimilation, utilisation) over multiple generations using experimental and modelling approaches.

Position 2 will examine 1) the link between physiological changes (e.g., AChE-, serotonin-, dopamine levels) and invertebrate behavior (escape reflexes, feeding, burrowing: Multi Freshwater Biomonitor) using a psychoactive and a non-psychoactive pharmaceutical (e.g., SSRIs, NSAIDs), 2) the interaction between food and temperature stress for the impact of low chronic exposure, 3) changes in energy allocation (assimilation, utilisation) in response to food availability, and 4) construct adverse outcome pathways (AOPs).

The execution of the workplan for the project plans for the research to undertake periods of secondment for a total of about 7 months: position 1 at University of Aveiro (Portugal), Syngenta (United Kingdom) and ARC Arnot Research & Consulting (Canada) where you will be trained in specific models and methods beneficial to you project; position 2 at Lund University (Sweden), University of Aveiro (Portugal) and at Cambridge Environmental Assessment (UK).

The Doctoral School

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Doctoral School of Science and Environment in accordance with the rules issued by the Ministry of Technology and Science and additional regulations issued by Roskilde University. The PhD student will be employed in accordance with the agreement between [the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish confederation of Professional Associations.

Responsibilities and tasks

The PhD position is an educational position and the main tasks are in accordance with chapter 3, Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (https://ufm.dk/en/legislation/prevailing-laws-and-regulations/education/files/engelsk-ph-d-bekendtgorelse.pdf).

Qualifications and specific competences:

You must hold a master’s degree or equivalent within ecotoxicology, environmental sciences, environmental chemistry, ecology, biology or corresponding. Fluency in English (working language) is a requirement.

Experience in aspect of environmental science, analytical chemistry, environmental data science and ecotoxicology especially with sediment and pharmaceutical exposure experiments but also caretaking of invertebrates will be especially valued. However, excellent students with specific skills in other areas of quantitative and biological research (e.g., mathematics/statistic, molecular biology, medical biology, computer science) wishing to apply their skills in the field of environmental chemical management and ecotoxicology are also invited to apply.

You are required to be enterprising and to possess good communication skills and to be a visible, involved participant in the department’s daily activities, in addition to being willing to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration across the department and in the CHRONIC network.

Eligibility: The EU ITN project aim to attract candidates worldwide. Thus, there are certain eligibility criteria that candidates must fulfil. First, the applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account. Secondly, the applicants for the MSCA fellowship must have no PhD and less than 4 years of full-time equivalent research experience from the award of the degree that entitles them to undertake a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the applicant is to be recruited).

These eligibility requirements are non-negotiable and ineligible applicants will not be considered.


In the assessment regarding employment consideration will be given to;

In the assessment regarding enrollment consideration will also be given to the following criteria:

  • Educational skills and any further professional qualifications
  • Grades at Master’s programme or equivalent
  • Quality and relevance of the project description
  • Your description of the Ph.D. project – Here you describe in which direction you would like to work and how your qualifications fit into the project (between a half and a full page).
  • Quality and relevance of the methodical and theoretical choices
  • Consistency and coherence between the problem and the choice of method and theory
  • If the PhD project seem realistic and feasible
  • Ability to complete the PhD project
  • Relevance of the project to the profile of the Doctoral School


For further information about the position, please contact Professor Henriette Selck (RUC) on tel. (+45) 4674 2983, selck@ruc.dk, Eco-modelling lead Roman Ashauer (position 1) roman.ashauer@syngenta.com, or Senior lecturer Olof Berglund (position 2) olof.berglund@biol.lu.se.

Terms of employment

At Roskilde University, the employment is a full-time employment with 37 hours a week and you will refer to Head of Department Susanne Sørensen. The Position will be according to the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) and Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities.

Application procedure

After the deadline for applications the Head of Department will shortlist applicants for assessment with assistance from the recruitment committee including the chairperson of the assessment committee. Shortly after the application deadline all applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been selected for assessment.

The shortlisted applicants will be informed about the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will be given the opportunity to comment on the composition of the committee and – later on – their assessment.

Once the recruitment process is completed, all applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application.


You must apply for the position online, go to www.ruc.dk/en/job/

Only applications in English are accepted.

Applications must include:

1. Cover letter

2. CV

3. Documentation of education including grades from Master’s programme or equivalent

4. Your description of the Ph.D. project – Here you describe in which direction you would like to work and how your qualifications fit into the project (between a half and a full page).

5. Your time schedule of the PhD project.

6. Letters of recommendation

7. If applicable: Documentation for any research experience, work experience or publications.

Please submit your application no later than May 14th 2021.

Material received after this date will not be taken into consideration.

Roskilde University wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of gender and personalbackground.

Roskilde University’s foremost task is to engage in experimental and innovative forms of learning, research and problem-solving that contribute to progress in society. We educate skilled, interdisciplinary graduates and produce scientific results of the highest quality through transparency, engagement and knowledge-sharing.

Roskilde University has 9000 students, 880 employees and an annual turnover of DKK 740 million

More Information

Work location(s)
2 position(s) available at
Roskilde University, Denmark

EURAXESS offer ID: 627185


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