PhD Fellowship in Food Science

University of Copenhagen Department of Food Science

PhD fellowship in Food Science

Do you want to contribute to green transition by developing novel strategies to obtain healthy food ingredients, and meanwhile obtain a PhD degree in an international environment? Then this may be interesting for you. Department of Food Science, Section of Ingredient and Dairy technology, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Food Science with a main focus on cultivation of microalgae in dairy waste streams and extraction of high value food ingredients from the cultivated biomass. The expected start date is 1/4-2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

The PhD position is part of a project funded by the Independent research Fund Denmark: ‘Two-in-one: Valorising dairy wastewater to produce food ingredients using microalgae’. The project involves collaboration among UCPH  FOOD, Arla Foods, and Teagasc, Ashtown Food Research Centre, Ireland.

The dairy processing industries produce large quantity of wastewater and other waste streams, which contains substantial amounts of organic and inorganic compounds such as carbohydrates, amino acids, phosphates, and nitrates. This project aims to provide a basic understanding of using these compounds as nutrients to cultivate aquatic microalgae that in turn produce large quantities of food ingredients such as proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and carotenoids.

This PhD position aims to generate fundamental knowledge on cultivation of microalgae that biosynthesise high-value food ingredients by growing on dairy waste streams, and extraction and analysis of the potential food ingredients from the algal biomass using green extraction strategies and suitable analytical tools (HPLC, LC-MS, and Spectrophotometry).


The principal supervisors are Dr. Mahesha M. Poojary,, Dr. Poul Erik Jensen, from Department of Food Science, UCPH,, and Dr. Brijesh K. Tiwari, from Teagasc, Ashtown, Ireland, The PhD student may have opportunities to interact with the Danish dairy industries during the project and to visit Teagasc, Ashtown, Ireland as a guest PhD student.

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. chemistry, biochemistry, food chemistry, or food technology. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

The project does not cover the costs of visa and travel, in case the student has to relocate to Denmark.

General responsibilities

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution (preferably at Teagasc, Ashtown, Ireland).
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for one or more of the following qualifications:

  • A MSc degree in chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, food science, food technology, or a related discipline
  • Practical experience in one or more of the following fields
  • lab scale cultivation of microalgae or other microorganisms
  • handling GC, HPLC, and/or LC-MS
  • extraction and analysis of nutraceuticals or phytochemicals from biosources
  • Available to relocate to Ireland for an international research mobility for 3-6 months.
  • Excellent English communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • High ambitions
  • Team player

Key selection criteria:

  • Professional and educational qualifications relevant for the position
  • Relevant work experience
  • English language skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Level of enthusiasm and motivation

Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include: 

  1. Letter of motivation (max 1 page, Font Size 12, Spacing 1.5). Explain why you are the suitable candidate for the position by using examples of your experience and achievements. Also describe what you want to learn or achieve in this project as a PhD student.  
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. It is mandatory to mention the title of the MSc thesis project and to include a short abstract of the thesis as an Appendix in the CV (max 200 words).
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if available)
  5. Reference letters (if available). Reference letters can be in any format (max 1 page, and max two referees). If the reference letter could not be obtained, please list the referee details in the CV.

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is 20 January 2022, 23:59 GMT+1.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process

After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in February 2022.


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Dr. Mahesha M. Poojary,

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 20-01-2022
Employment start: 01-04-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: FOOD