PhD Fellow in Crop Science: Root Growth and Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Wheat and Barley, Effect of Cropping System and Genotype University of Copenhagen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science Denmark

PhD fellow in Crop Science: Root growth and nitrogen use efficiency of wheat and barley, effect of cropping system and genotype


Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in “Root growth and nitrogen use efficiency of wheat and barley, effect of cropping system and genotype” commencing 1 June 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  


Description of the scientific environment 


The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences strives to stimulate fundamental research and the synergy between basic and applied research in biology and environmental science. The focus is on plants, microorganisms, animals and the environment as a basis for sustainable production of food and other biological products. Research and teaching cover natural resources, agriculture, biotechnology and synthetic biology from the molecular level to the ecosystem scale. 


The research group Crop Physiology and Production Systems aims to do research focusing on plant growth and quality at the crop, crop rotation, and cropping system level. We work with the development of plants for food, feed, and biomass production. Optimization of crop production and quality include improvement of plant potential through breeding, based on studies of genetic diversity including new crop species. More information about the research group is available at: 


Project description 

For sustainable intensification of crop production we need crops to make better use of the available soil resources. This PhD study will deal with root growth and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of winter wheat and spring barley. Studies will be made of cereal root growth, ability to take up the available nitrogen from the soil and ability to turn the assimilated nitrogen into high yields. 


The nitrogen use efficiency is affected by cropping system, crop management as well as by genotype. In this PhD study, effects of soil tillage system (conventional, no-till and conservation agriculture) and cover crops on cereal root growth will be studied, including effects on crop and system NUE. These studies will be performed at three farms, in cooperation with the farmers and their advisors. Also genotypic differences in root growth and NUE will be studied, including studies of nitrogen uptake and nitrogen use within the crop. Potentially studies of interactions between root growth and water use efficiency (WUE) may be added to the study. 


Principal supervisor is Professor Kristian Thorup-Kristensen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences,, Direct Phone: 35332216.  


Job description 

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are: 


  • Manage and carry through your research project

  • Take PhD courses

  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis

  • Teach and disseminate your research

  • Participate in congresses 


Formal requirements  

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Agronomy or similar with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience. 


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.  


The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 312.879 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43.219). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. 


Application Procedure 

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.  


Please include  

  • Cover Letter

  • CV

  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)

  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),

  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees 


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


The deadline for applications is 28 January 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. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.  


The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at 



For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Professor Kristian Thorup-Kristensen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences,, Direct Phone: 35332216.  


General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at 

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