PhD scholarship in the Physics of Microbial Feeding

DTU Physics
Monday 20 Nov 17

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We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student for a project at the interface between fluid physics and biology at the Department of Physics (DTU Physics) and the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) at the Technical University of Denmark.

Many biologically important micro-swimmers are unicellular flagellates that use long, slender appendages (flagella) to swim and generate feeding flows. However, it costs energy to drive the flagella and the generated flows expose the micro-swimmers to flow-sensing predators. It is largely unknown what the flagellar characteristics are optimized for and which strategies and functions they reflect. To answer this we combine fluid physics and marine biology using high-speed video-microscopy of micro-swimmers, novel tracking and flow-visualization techniques, and theoretical modelling.

Responsibilities and tasks
Your research work will be on the fluid physics elements of the project and focus on either theory, experiments, computational fluid dynamics, or a combination thereof. You should therefore preferably have a background in physics and an interest in marine biology.

You will be employed at DTU Physics and work in a dynamical research group of physicists and biologists with members from both DTU Physics and DTU Aqua.

The research group is closely associated with the vibrant, cross-disciplinary, and international research environment at the Centre for Ocean Life that is a Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of Excellence. The center is a joint effort to develop a fundamental understanding and predictive capability of marine ecosystems.

You will contribute to the collaborative environment in the research group at DTU Physics and DTU Aqua, and you will take part in the activities at the Centre for Ocean Life.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.  

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Anders Andersen (DTU Physics) and Professor Thomas Kiørboe (DTU Aqua).

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
For further information please contact Associate Professor Anders Andersen, DTU Physics, e-mail: or Professor Thomas Kiørboe, DTU Aqua, e-mail:

You can read more about the Department of Physics at: DTU Physics, the National Institute of Aquatic Resources at: DTU Aqua, and the Centre for Ocean Life at: Centre for Ocean Life.

Please submit your online application no later than 20 December 2017 (Local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.