PhD Scholarship Position in Enzymatic Hydrolysisi at Chalmers University of Technology

Applications are invited for a PhD position in molecular biology to join Chalmers University of Technology. This position is available for five years. Eligible candidates should submit the applications before February 07, 2020.

Information about the department

The Department of Biology and Biological Engineeringis aiming at bridging cutting edge life science research with biochemical engineering, in order to emerge as the leading innovation center in the region. The research has broad applications in areas of health and industrial production of e.g. fine chemicals, food and energy. Powerful experimental facilities are available such as well-equipped fermenters, analytical instruments and laser-based microscopy. The department offers highly qualified education for engineering students within the area of bioengineering. It is furthermore collaborating in broad, interdisciplinary national and international networks within academia and the industry.

Information about the division

The Division of Industrial Biotechnologyis a highly international group, which since its establishment in 2008 has been very successful and now counts ~ 40 members. Research activities at the division focus on utilization of renewable raw materials for a sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. The research performed within the group spans from fundamental research to technology development and lab-scale applications, and includes enzymology and enzyme discovery, fermentation technology, metabolic engineering, bioelectrochemistry, and algal biotechnology. The division has an extensive instrument platform for analytics, molecular biology, fermentation and protein production and purification. In addition, core facilities with advanced equipment are available within both the Department and at the University campus.

Information about the project

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student candidate for a project with the overall aim to use enzymatic hydrolysis to improve the softwood-to-ethanol process. The fields of research for the position are microbiology, enzymology and biorefining. The project aim is to identify and address the bottlenecks of enzymatic hydrolysis of mildly pretreated spruce. This will be achieved through a combination of enzyme discovery, production and characterization and analysed by advanced imaging techniques. We target to simultaneously optimize steam-pretreatment (STEX) and enzymatic hydrolysis. To overcome increased substrate recalcitrance, we will identify and characterize accessory enzymes that can degrade bonds contributing to recalcitrance. By tailoring specific enzyme cocktails and establishing advanced designs of enzymatic hydrolysis, this project will contribute to the intensification of the softwood-to-ethanol processes. This is a collaborative project with Lund University that will be responsible for the steam pretreatment and characterization of the recalcitrance of the biomass.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibility as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies within the scope of the project. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts, to write project reports and scientific manuscripts and to share your research results both in presentations at the division/department and at international conferences. A PhD student position at Chalmers also includes active participation in PhD courses as well as teaching on undergraduate level and/or performing other departmental duties. Being part of the Division of Industrial Biotechnology also involves taking responsibility for side tasks such as keeping the lab and instruments in good condition.

Full-time temporary employment.The position is limited to a maximum of five years.


To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master’s degree in biotechnology, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry or similar. You have proven work experience in a biotechnology laboratory setting. Theoretical knowledge and practical experience of enzymology.

The successful candidate is able to conduct experiments independently, take own initiatives and discuss/develop own ideas, is creative and have a problem-solving ability. Excellent cooperation and social abilities are important, and the candidare must also be highly proficient in spoken and written English.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20190731 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.

Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 7 February 2020

Professor Lisbeth Olsson, Industrial Biotechnology,, +46(0)31 772 3805

Dr. Vera Novy, Industrial Biotechnology,


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