Postdoc in Arctic Oil Microbiology
Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience

Postdoc in Arctic Oil Microbiology at the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University 


The Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, invites applications for a 2-year postdoc position offering applicants an exciting opportunity to join our research project on Arctic microbial oil degradation in Greenland’s marine environment.

The position is for 2 years and is available from 1st of March 2019 or as soon as possible hereafter with the aim to be ready for fieldwork during the Arctic summer.

Job description/research project/research area

The position will be co-funded by projects on Arctic oil biodegradation from the Danish Villum Foundation and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans. You are expected to contribute to these projects and bring in new ideas.

You will combine field and laboratory experiments based on in situ (field) and ex situ (lab) deployed oil-coated adsorbents to investigate (i) the composition, activity and biodegradation potential of Arctic oil-degrading microbial communities, (ii) environmental controls on oil biodegradation and (iii) the role of oil-degrading biofilms observed on oil droplets.

As our project planning is ongoing, there is currently considerable freedom to align the goals of the project with the goals of the candidate. The candidate is therefore encouraged to describe research ideas as part of the application (max. 1 page for research ideas).

Your profile

Our ideal candidate holds a PhD in microbiology or environmental sciences/engineering or similar, is able to join research expeditions in the Arctic, has an open mind to develop new ideas and is eager to collaborate, and is motivated to work on a project that is critical to preserve Arctic marine ecosystems.

The following experiences are considered as an advantage:

• Experience with organizing and conducting fieldwork (or other relevant field experiences)
• Handling lab reactor/microcosm setups
• Experience with modern molecular techniques and bioinformatics (e.g. amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics)
• Experience with chemical analysis (GC-MS or similar)
• Experience with / ideas for techniques relevant to investigate oil-degrading biofilms (e.g. microsensor, confocal laser scanning microscopy, etc.)
• Publishing in peer-reviewed journals
• Developing and writing project proposals

Where experience is lacking, the candidate must be motivated to learn and will get the opportunity to develop new skills.

The applicant should be interested to co-supervise students.
Excellence in both written and spoken English is a requirement.

Who we are

The Arctic is borderless, and so is the Arctic Research Centre (ARC). The centre recognizes the need to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to adequately address contemporary and critical Arctic issues. Therefore, a large number of researchers from a wide variety of disciplines have joined forces to investigate effects of climate changes and related consequences such as increased risk for oil spills on the Arctic cryosphere, ecosystems and societies. Joint field campaigns constitute a focal point in the work of ARC and are an effective means to unite and integrate the different academic fields involved, sparking interdisciplinary collaboration and synergy.
The candidate will also be affiliated with the Section for Microbiology at the Department of Bioscience. Research at the section integrates microbiological, molecular biological and biogeochemical methods to study the microbial ecology of natural and man-made environments.

The successful candidate is offered:
We offer a well-financed and unique research opportunity to conduct both field and laboratory investigations on a topic that is currently high on international agendas (i.e. oil spills in the Arctic).

The successful candidate will be employed by the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University ( and be a part of the Arctic Research Centre ( at the Department of Bioscience.

We guarantee access to well-developed research infrastructure. We work together with the Section for Microbiology ( at the Department of Bioscience and with the Section for Environmental Chemistry and Physics at Copenhagen University ( for access to state-of-the-art microbiological and chemical analysis infrastructure, respectively.

The place of work is Ny Munkegade 116, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.

Further information about the position may be obtained from Leendert Vergeynst, +4587162167, email:


Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process. 

Formalities and salary range 
Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.


Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities. Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations. 

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers Relocation service to International researchers. You can read more about it here.


Please apply here


All applications must be made online and received by:


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