Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD fellowship in RASOPTA

This job offer has expired

    Technical University Of Denmark
    Biological sciencesBiology
    Biological sciencesOther
    ChemistryMolecular chemistry
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    15/09/2021 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Denmark › Kgs. Lyngby, Copenhagen
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


A 3-year PhD fellowship is available at Centre for Diagnostics, DTU Health Technology, DTU, Lyngby, Denmark, with an expected start January 1st 2022.

The fellowship is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956481.


The RASOPTA consortium consists of enthusiastic academic researchers and innovative non-academic partners, which together will train a new generation of scientists with expertise in sustainable and healthy fish production with minimum water consumption. Production of fish in recirculated aquaculture systems (RAS) requires experiences from several scientific disciplines, but there is a need to bridge existing knowledge gaps between these disciplines to ensure a high water quality, healthy and non-stressed fish, and a supreme consumer quality of the fish. Therefore, in RASOPTA 10 universities and research institutes and 8 non-academic partners in 8 countries will provide state-of-the-art training in important disciplines within RAS technology. Primary goals of the training are to improve microbial processes to maintain a high water quality, to identify off-flavour compounds that may affect consumer preference for fish from RAS, and to ensure an optimum health and welfare of the fish. The research also aims at developing a DNA-based chip for early warning of quality and health of the fish. To reach the interdisciplinary goals in RASOPTA, the consortium will train 12 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in disciplines ranging from chemistry, microbiology and molecular biology, to physiology and pathology of fish.

About your project

The candidate will contribute to a focus area on fish health in work package 3 of the RASOPTA project with four other ESRs located in Spain (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB), Faroe Islands (Faroese Food & Vet. Authority, FFVA), Hungary (Állatorvostudományi Kutatóintézet “Agricultural Research Center”, ATKI) and Denmark (University of Copenhagen, UCPH), respectively.

Main focus:

  • Development of a rapid and cost effective diagnostic high-throughput real-time PCR (Fluidigm) system for monitoring the presence or absence of important microorganisms influencing fish health and production in RAS
  • Extract DNA from the RAS system from water samples (environmental DNA or eDNA)
  • Design and optimize quantitative PCR assays targeting biofilter- and water microorganisms, pathogenic bacteria, virus and parasites as well as geosmin-producing microorganism
  • Include and design assays against pathogens identified by ESR 11 in biological material, water and air

The candidate will work in close contact with the ESR at UCPH, who will correlate the amount of DNA in water surrounding the fish (eDNA) with the stage of disease in the fish and pathogen load, using infection trials of rainbow trout and zebrafish. The other ESRs in the project will contribute to the development of the chip with relevant assays and reference material. The candidate will focus on interpretation of eDNA in the water.

The candidate will be enrolled at the Graduate Program of Health Tech PhD School at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU, https://www.healthtech.dtu.dk/english/education/kopi-af-phd-school ). The graduate program requires the student to obtain 30 ECTS points during the three-year period in order to graduate. Mandatory training activities in RASOPTA will contribute 12 ECTS to the ESRs. A broad set of PhD courses is offered:


Eligiblity criteria

  • The researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of his/her host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment - unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention[1].
  • The researcher must be Early Stage Researcher (ESR): at time of recruitment, he/she must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) [2] of his/her research careers and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

Further requirements

We are looking for a dedicated and skilled individual with the following qualifications:

Qualifications: Master’s degree, preferably within fish health, molecular biology, biotechnology, eDNA or a closely related fields. In order to be considered for the position your Master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree.

Experience: Experience in organizing and structuring laboratory work; presentation of own work.

Knowledge and skills: Basic knowledge on fish health, molecular biology, DNA purification, PCR assay design and data analysis; good communication skills; fluency in written and spoken English.

Abilities: Interpreting scientific literature and understanding the research process are essential. Communication with non-academic staff, e.g. during secondments at industrial partners; capacity to collaborate but also work independently.

Other: Self-motivated and critical approach to work; willingness to learn new skills; willing to travel and stay at secondment institutions and companies.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and according to the rules and regulations laid down by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action European Training Network.

The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Employment will start January 1st 2022, or before.

Mobility within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie project is of high importance, and you are therefore expected to spend approximately 7 months in total at two other universities (UCPH - Denmark & ATK - Hungary) and at one industrial partner (H&H, Hungary). In some instances, time spent at other institutions may only be virtual.

Further information

More information about DTU can be found at https://www.dtu.dk/. For further information about the position, applicants may contact Helene Larsen (phone: +45-42440166; email:helela@dtu.dk).

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 September 2021 (Danish time).

Apply at www.career.dtu.dk

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • If relevant, you may add additional documents to the list above

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

About Centre for Diagnostics DTU

Center for Diagnostics (CfD) DTU is a competence center within laboratory diagnostics that combines research / development and implementation of the latest technology, also including digitization, data processing and use of data. The center has a vision to be a hub for the development of diagnostics for human and veterinary use.

CfD is located on DTU Lyngby campus in DTU's life science and bioengineering building comprising a total of 700 employees working with food safety, nanotechnology, bioengineering, human health and aquatic research. The center employs approx. 30 employees working with development and implementation of diagnostic tests for veterinary and human use. The center is also known for working with the development of preclinical studies, primarily through the use of experimental animals, as an important part of DTU's investment in the field of health technology.

The goal of the Center, as part of a technical elite university, is to help translate the latest technological research and application-oriented knowledge into future diagnostic solutions. The center recently became affiliated with the department of DTU Health Technology.

DTU Health Tech

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products that benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people

DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.


[1] 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol

[2] This is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.

More Information

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Technical University Of Denmark
Kgs. Lyngby, Copenhagen
Anker Engelundsvej 1 101A

EURAXESS offer ID: 674378


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