Doctoral student assembly pathways of proteins from sustainable plant sources

Malmo

Ref REK 2022/248

About Malmö University

Malmö University is an innovative, urban and international institute of higher education, located in the centre of Malmö. We have around 1,800 employees and 24,000 students. Our research and education are characterised by the role we believe a university should play in an open society — to contribute to sustainability and equality in a scientifically grounded way with external partners and stakeholders. Identifying and addressing the challenges of the future are of highest priority. Our researchers and students work collaboratively to create, share and spread knowledge in order to understand, explain and develop society — both locally and globally.

Faculty

Our education and research is conducted with the vision of promoting health and participation. The faculty conducts research that focuses on societal problems and seeks solutions in several fields of research. We develop leading professional education programs that provide healthcare, social work and enterprises with competent staff. Our education and research are located in three locations in Malmö. Read more about the Faculty of Health and Society here.

Department

The Department of Biomedical Science negotiates the multifaceted intersection between biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, and technology and the interdisciplinary approach to research and education aims to further develop the theoretical and practical understanding of the complex subject matter. Drawing on the balance between basic and applied research, the Department has been successful in attracting funding from regional, national, and international research funding bodies. In addition, in the pursuit of possible applications, several industry funded contract research projects are currently running at the Department.

The research at the faculty is also linked to the research center Biofilms - Research Center for Biointerfaces (www.mau.se/brcb), which combines biomedical science with clinical and translational research in medical, dental, food and environmental application areas in close collaboration with regional industry.

The Department of Biomedical Science offers a programme leading to a professional qualification, Biomedical Scientist (first cycle, 180 credits), and a Masters' programme, Biomedical Surface Science (second cycle, 120 credits), as well as first and second cycle freestanding courses.

Work duties

Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research, artistic research and administration, however, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post (Chapter 5, Section 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

Proteins from plant seeds present promising opportunities to replace animal-derived food proteins with a more sustainable, healthy and affordable protein source. However, seed proteins are structurally complex, of large molecular weights, and often poorly soluble in water. These differences to typical animal proteins require novel approaches to create comparable food properties.

The PhD project will be part of a larger research program targeting the question of how to best exploit the potential for tunable structure formation from plant proteins, by translating conceptual and methodological developments in soft matter and protein biophysics into food science. In particular, we will combine structural and dynamical characterization using state-of-the-art scattering and microscopy techniques to study well-defined solutions and hydrogels of plant proteins.

The PhD project will focus on different assembly pathways of plant proteins as triggered by changes in temperature and chemical environment. Specific tasks will include the use of time-resolved scattering and microscopy techniques to follow the structural and dynamical evolution during  assembly processes, as well as the use of environments for controlled mixing to initiate structure formation with specific desired outcomes.

The work will be performed in a team of project and PhD students, postdocs and the supervisor(s), and openness to actively contribute to a common research agenda is needed. The project will also include experimental campaigns at national and international research facilities, and provide the option for a longer stay abroad as part of the PhD project. We aim for the PhD student to become an active and independent researcher at the interdisciplinary boundary of food science and soft matter.

Qualifications

Preparation of admission to postgraduate education and employment as a doctoral student take place in parallel. General entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad. (HF 7 kap 39 §)

Assessment criteria

The project builds on an interdisciplinary approach, in particular combining concepts and approaches from food science and soft matter science, and bridging from experimental realization to theoretical modeling. The ideal candidate combines a strong interest in interdisciplinary research with a solid background in a related field of study (e.g. physics, (bio-)chemistry, food engineering).

Good communication skills in English (written and spoken) as working language are necessary. Furthermore, a successful candidate should be open and able to actively contribute to an interdisciplinary and international research environment.

Experience in research related to proteins in solution or protein hydrogels is a merit, as well as conceptual knowledge on the physicochemical and biophysical basis of protein phase behavior. Hands-on experience in one or several of the following techniques / topics is a merit:

  • light, neutron or X-ray scattering
  • optical microscopy
  • microfluidic environments
  • scientific scripting languages (e.g. python, matlab)
  • data analysis of larger data sets

Selection criteria

Selection among applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements shall be made with regard to their capacity to assimilate the education (HEO Chapter 7 Section 41).

When assessing the ability of qualified applicants, the applicant's independence and planning of previous work are taken into account; the applicant's previously demonstrated ability to complete work adequately; the applicant's ability to articulate research and problem areas; degree of methodological and scientific maturity in previous work, and ability to communicate, both in writing and orally.

Further information

Assistant Professor Felix Roosen-Runge, +46(0)40 665 7969, felix.roosen-runge@mau.se

For general questions regarding employment at Malmö university, contact HR-specialist

Ewa-Marie Dahlgren, ewa-marie.dahlgren@mau.se

In our recruitment work, Malmö University has taken a stand regarding recruitment channels and marketing. We therefore decline all offers of advertising and recruitment assistance in connection with this advertisement.

Application

You may apply for this position via Malmö University's recruitment system by clicking on the "Apply" button. As an applicant, you are responsible for ensuring that your application is completed in accordance with the advertisement, and that it is provided to the University no later than 2022-12-01. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the University can read what is written in the application. If the application is not written in Swedish, English or any of the Nordic languages, the applicant is responsible for the application and its appendices being translated.

The application must include:

  • Completed application form for admission to Research Education 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diplomas, transcript of records and other certificates relevant for the position
  • A cover letter explaining the motivation and fit iin experience for the posted PhD project.
  • Independent work at advanced level (including master thesis or equivalent).

Miscellaneous

The doctoral studentship is a fixed-term position comprising four years of full-time studies, in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5 Section 7.

Malmö University is a workplace and higher education institution that is characterised by an open and inclusive approach, where gender equality and equal terms add value to our activities.

Malmö University applies salary setting for doctoral students in accordance with a local agreement on salary setting for doctoral students.

Start date

10 January 2023 or by agreement.

Union representatives

Désirée Anvir, SACO: desiree.anvir@mau.se

Peter Persson, OFR: peter.persson@mau.se   

Naser Eftekgarian, OFR: naser.eftekharian@mau.se

 

We are looking forward to receiving your application!


You apply no later than 01/12/2022 by clicking the apply button.