PhD Scholarship at University of Ghent

Outstanding international students are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship in electrochemistry at University of Ghent. The initial contract for this position is 4 years. Eligible candidates should submit the applications before January 31, 2020.

Anaerobic ammonia oxidizing (Anammox) bacteria play a crucial role in the global microbial nitrogen cycle. It has been estimated that 50% of the removal of reactive nitrogen as N2 gas in the sea occurs through the anammox process. Their discovery in the early 90s gave birth to a new research field that revolutionized our understanding of the microbial nitrogen cycle and enabled the development of novel and more efficient wastewater treatment technologies. Until now these bacteria have only been cultured under mesophilic conditions and their biotechnological application is limited to wastewater at temperatures below 40C. At Ghent University we have been able to cultivate a new species of anammox bacteria that grows under thermophilic conditions. In this project we aim at understanding its metabolism, the capabilities of thermophilic anammox bacteria and their ecological role in natural and engineered systems. This project will enable revisiting the microbial nitrogen cycle, improve our understanding of the mysteries of the thermophilic nitrogen microbiology and provide the first clues for the application of anammox bacteria to the thermophilic treatment of nitrogen polluted wastewaters.

- 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 March (or earlier if possible).

- A competitive salary including benefits is offered, salary levels account for years of professional experience.

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 Ganigu and Dr. Jos Maria Carvajal Arroyo will be the promotors of this PhD project. CMET is a very multidisciplinary team and has a very international atmosphere.

- 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 or nitrification will be greatly appreciated.

- Ability to rigorously design experiments and to perform experiments under well-controlled conditions.

- Be experienced and interested in interdisciplinary research. This includes microbiology and chemistry.

- 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.

- 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 and with minimum supervision.

- Willingness to travel internationally for project meetings and conferences.

- Willingness to apply for scholarships to obtain additional funding.

Applications must be sent via email to as pdf or word documents, with in the subject line mentioning "Thermammox_PhD". Final closing date is January 31st 2019 (23h59 CET), but applications will be regularly reviewed prior to the deadline hence early application is recommended.

1. Cover Letter. The cover letter should include the position reference, your contact address and telephone number. It is an opportunity in not more than one page to introduce yourself and highlight the key reasons you should be considered for the role, taking into account the required skills.

2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae.

- Educational qualifications and professional affiliations that detail the full title of the qualification, the year awarded and the title of the institution attended;

- Employment history in chronological order, starting with current position and specifying dates of employment, title of each position, name of employer, main duties or accountabilities and achievements;

- Research fields and current interests, publications (full list as attachment with three most significant marked with an asterisk, also indicating impact factors and Quartiles according to Web of Science), research grants awarded.

- The names and contact details (address, telephone, e-mail) of three referees, including if possible a senior person (preferably your supervisor, manager or head of organisational unit) closely associated with your current work. A referee must be able to comment on your work experience, skills and performance with respect to the selection criteria.

3. Selection Criteria. A statement addressing how each of the selection criteria has been met is required to assist the Selection Committee determine whether you have the relevant qualifications, knowledge/skills, experience and personal qualities.

A Selection Committee will consider all applications and shortlist candidates for interview who appear to meet the selection criteria at the highest levels. They will be invited to attend an interview and the remaining unsuccessful applicants will be notified accordingly.

An invitation to attend an interview provides an opportunity to provide further information to the Selection Committee to substantiate your claims against the selection criteria or demonstrate your capabilities. Please note that for some positions interviews may be conducted by teleconference in the first instance. The Selection Committee will subsequently seek referee reports, if not sought prior to interview, before making a decision to make an offer of appointment to the preferred candidate. The purpose of referee checks is to obtain, in confidence, factual information about your past work history, as well as opinions regarding the quality of your work, behaviour in the work place and suitability for the position. Referee reports may be sought orally, or for academic staff, in writing by post or e-mail.

If you are the preferred candidate, you will receive a written offer of appointment to the position. Do not take any action, such as resigning from your current position, before you receive a written offer of appointment.

More information regarding this position


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