Vacancies

CAFIPLA: “Carboxylic acid production as an innovative, cost-effective and sustainable pre-treatment process for heterogeneous bio-waste”: Opportunity for a PhD position

PROFILE SELECTION CRITERIA

Background and experience

  • 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, single-cell technologies or fermentations will be greatly appreciated.

Scientific knowledge and skills

  • Knowledge of bio-process engineering and microbiology.
  • 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 HPLC & GC, as well as experience with microbial analyses.
  • Ability to rigorously design and perform experiments in a result-oriented and thorough manner.
  • Ability to perform in-depth and critical data analysis.
  • Ability to communicate through high-quality scientific channels, e.g. WoS publications (A1).

Personal knowledge and skills

  • A strong interest in inter/multi-disciplinary applied science.
  • 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.
  • Outcome focused, hands-on mentality.
  • Willingness to travel internationally for project meetings and conferences.
  • Willingness to apply for scholarships to obtain additional funding.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Current biomass use comes at a high cost, either in terms of land use (sugar/starch crops) or energy and chemical use (2nd generation biomass). On the other hand, bio-waste is massively produced in urban or rural context but almost not valorised, or solely in low-value applications, in part due to its heterogenous nature. The H2020 BBI CAFIPLA project tackles both issues by developing an integrated biomass valorisation strategy that combines the carboxylic acid and fibre recovery platform (CAP/FRP). Ghent University is one of the partners of this H2020 BBI project, and will contribute to the project by investigating: i) the production of medium-chain carboxylic acids from biowaste by chain elongation; and ii) the characterization of waste fermentation microbiomes using single-cell techniques, and the development of novel process monitoring and steering approaches for process mornitoring. 

Type of employment

  • PhD candidate researcher: Full-time, fixed-term appointment for initially 1 year, yearly renewable after positive evaluation up to 2.5 years. Intended starting date: November 2020 (or as soon as possible).
  • A competitive salary including benefits is offered, salary levels account for years of professional experience.
  • Ghent University is an equal opportunity employer.

ABOUT GHENT UNIVERSITY – CMET

The Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET) formally LabMET; www.CMET.UGent.be) 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 Ganigué and Prof. Nico Boon will be the promotors of this PhD project. CMET is a very multidisciplinary team and has a very international atmosphere.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Submission and closing date

Applications must be sent via email to cmet.recruitment@UGent.be as pdf or word documents, with in the subject line mentioning “CAFIPLA_PhD”. Applications should contain all three files, either as individual documents or in a consolidated file. Incomplete applications (i.e. missing one of the three files) will be disregarded. Final closing date is October 28th 2020 (23h59 CET), but applications will be regularly reviewed prior to the deadline hence early application is recommended.

Application files

  • 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.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae. A resume is a brief history of your employment and experience that covers the following areas:
    • 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.
  • 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.

Selection process

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

Please contact Prof. Ramon Ganigue (Ramon.Ganigue@UGent.be) and Prof. Nico Boon (Nico.Boon@UGent.be).


Project “BIOSTABLE: safe drinking water now and in the future”: Opportunity for Postdoctoral researcher within collaborative SBO project

JOB DESCRIPTION

Ensuring drinking water quality for citizens was uniformly assessed as an essential theme for our society. During storage and distribution of drinking water, its quality is influenced by physicochemical and microbial processes. After all, drinking water is not sterile and microbial regrowth and conversions of organic components in the water can lead to odour and taste complaints, damage to the pipe material, and possible contamination with pathogens. In striving for biostable drinking water without a negative quality change, BIOSTABLE aims to understand the influencing factors and to define unwanted changes. The research will be performed in close collaboration with the Flemish drinking water sector and an advisory board with international experts and stakeholders in the field.

In the project, the most important dissolved and undissolved organic fractions in drinking water will be separated and defined. Subsequently, these fractions will be investigated to reveal which of them contribute significantly to the formation of unwanted disinfection by-products that can give rise to undesirable quality changes in drinking water. BIOSTABLE will develop assays to quantitatively examine their potential for microbial regrowth and the effect of nutrient limitation and organic fractions. The presence of unwanted organisms is analyzed today by detecting the so-called indicator organisms. An example of this is coliforms; however, not all coliforms are indicators of drinking water contamination. BIOSTABLE aims to make this distinction on a scientific basis and will define new quality indicators based on the latest developments in online microbial monitoring and molecular analyses such as next-generation sequencing (NGS). Finally, BIOSTABLE will use hydraulic models that make it possible to link the causes of quality changes to the structure of the distribution networks to map the risk areas. This research will lead to a better understanding of quality changes during distribution and to simulate the impact of changing the operational conditions on the stability of the water quality.

For this position, we are looking for a highly motivated Postdoc with an interest and affinity for molecular microbiology and flow cytometry.

ABOUT GHENT UNIVERSITY

Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.

ABOUT CMET

The Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET) formally LabMET; (www.CMET.UGent.be) is part of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, a top 100 university in most rankings, as well as part of CAPTURE (www.capture-resources.be ). 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. In the recent years, a team on microbial monitoring and microbial management of drinking water has been established. CMET is one of the leading centres worldwide in its field and links excellent basic science with application, leading to a high level of 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.

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

Background and experience

  • Postdoctoral researcher: We are searching for a motivated postdoc in Microbial Ecology, particularly with experience in flow cytometry and next-generation sequencing. The candidate needs to show this with relevant publications in top journals.

Scientific knowledge and skills

  • Background in microbial ecology in the context of drinking water or more in general oligotrophic environments (fresh/marine ecosystems).
  • Experience with third-generation sequencing technology (MinION platform) and dataprocessing, using software packages like R, Github, Word, Excel, …
  • Experience with flow cytometry.
  • Knowledge about the (drinking) water sector is considered a plus.
  • Ability to develop and test laboratory scale processes.
  • Ability to rigorously design and perform experiments in a result-oriented and thorough manner.
  • Ability to perform in-depth and critical data analysis.
  • Ability to communicate through high-quality scientific channels, e.g. peer reviewed publications (A1).
  • Ability to supervise PhD students and projects.
  • Potential to contribute to research program development and management.

Personal knowledge and skills

  • A strong interest in inter/multi-disciplinary applied sciences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with team members from different backgrounds and with different tasks.
  • Excellent skills for time and budget management and the ability to meet objectives within strictly set deadlines.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English are strictly required (C1 level).
  • Ability to report the research outcomes to the project advisory board and to communicate in a non-scientific way.
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and with minimum supervision.
  • Outcome-focused, hands-on mentality.
  • Willingness to travel internationally for project meetings and conferences.

WHAT WE CAN OFFER YOU

  • We offer you a full time contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of 4 years, yearly renewable after positive evaluation
  • Important information: the appointment can also occur as a postdoc bursary, in case the candidate meets the criteria for this type of employment.
  • Your contract will start on 16/11/2020 at the earliest.
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1. Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers.. Click here for a complete overview of all the staffbenefits (in Dutch).

INTERESTED?

Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (20/10/20 – 23h59) (https://www.ugent.be/en/work/vacancies/research-staff) We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘CV’: your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file)
  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format
  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • In the field “other documents”: references to relevant journals

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about this vacancy, please contact us at cmet.recruitment@ugent.be. Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online.