Associate Professor of Plant Specialized Metabolism University of Copenhagen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science Denmark

(211-0546) Associate Professor of Plant Specialized Metabolism


Associate Professor of Plant Specialized Metabolism 

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences 

Faculty of Science 

University of Copenhagen 


The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen invites applications for a permanent position as Associate Professor in the area of "Plant Specialized Metabolism" from June 1st 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. 



Within PLEN, the Section for Plant Biochemistry (PBIO) carries out basic and applied research with focus on bioactive specialized metabolites, such as terpenoids and cyanogenic glucosides, and plant development. A large family of bioactive compounds that has remained understudied at PBIO are the alkaloids. It is estimated that up to 25% of all plant species contain alkaloids, and these possess a wide range of bioactivities such as antimalarial, anticancer, antiarrythmic, analgesic, and antibacterial. In addition, the majority of plants producing alkaloids of industrial importance are not model plants, which represents a significant challenge.


The study of alkaloid biosynthesis has many potential applications that are in line with PLEN’s mission of taking research “from the bench to the field”. The removal of toxic alkaloids from minor crops with untapped agronomical potential is an example. For medicinal alkaloids, the elucidation of their biosynthetic pathways will allow their production in cost-efficient systems (e.g. bacteria or yeast) using synthetic biology.  


Research in the area of "Plant Specialized Metabolism" will include diverse studies in alkaloid-containing plants, ranging from the development of genetic tools for studying biosynthetic pathways in non-model species to the application of state-of-the-art omics technologies for gene discovery in such species. Synthetic biology techniques  (e.g. pathway reconstruction in production organisms) and enzymological studies combining classical kinetics with structural biology will complement these approaches. Because of the interdisciplinarity, the associate professor will engage in both cross-section and cross-department collaborations within research and teaching. 


Key candidate selection criteria 

The following qualifications are required: 

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills

  • Experience in research management

  • Track record in plant biochemistry and molecular biology

  • Solid understanding of chemical and biochemical reactions

  • Experience/interest in working with industrial collaborators

  • Interest in taking part of cross-section grant applications

  • Teaching experience within the research area 

Applicants are required to have university level teaching experience, documented teaching competencies and must be able to explain and reflect upon own teaching practice and portfolio. Formal pedagogical training or supervision equivalent to the University of Copenhagen’s Teacher Training Programme for Assistant Professors is required. To pursue a long-term career at KU it is a requirement that the successful applicant learn Danish for undergraduate teaching purposes within a reasonable time frame. 

Duties include the applicant’s own research, development of the field, assessment tasks, grant applications, and research management such as supervision and training of research fellows and other staff. The successful applicant must also teach, supervise, prepare and participate in examinations, and fulfill other tasks requested by the Department.  


Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, original scientific production at an international level, including contributions to developments in their field, as well as their documented teaching qualifications. Managerial and out-reach qualifications of applicants including ability to attract external funding will also be considered. 



Information on the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences can be found here: 

Information on the Section for Plant Biochemistry can be found here: 

Information on the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre can be found here: 


Further information on the Department is linked at  


Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Søren Bak, Head of Section ( or Professor Svend Christensen, Head of Department ( 


The position is open from 1st June 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  


The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 


Terms of employment 

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. 


Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.  


Commencing salary is currently up to DKK 455,206 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 77,840) 


Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. 



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


Please include  

  • Curriculum vitae including information about external funding  

  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)

  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans

  • Description and documentation of teaching experience and qualifications according to university guidelines

  • Complete publication list

  • Separate reprints of 5 particularly relevant papers 

The deadline for applications is January 21st 2018, 23:59 GMT +1.  


After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.  


You can read about the recruitment process at 


Interviews/trial lectures will be held on April 17th 2018. 


Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0546. 

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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