Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Optimization of insect production for animal feed through breeding

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Quantitative Genetics and Genomics programme. The position is available from 1 November 2020 or later.


Title:

Optimization of insect production for animal feed through breeding


Research area and project description:
The PhD student will be working on a project on optimization of insect production for animal feed through breeding that we have recently obtained funding for from the Independent Research Fund Denmark. This project is a collaborative effort between Aalborg and Aarhus University. Besides, Universities in the Netherlands (Wageningen) and USA (Texas) are collaboration partners. Along with the current PhD position at Aarhus University, another PhD position financed by the same project will be announced at Aalborg University. Close collaboration between the two PhD students and the team of researches involved is expected in the project. This also means that both PhD students will be expected to spend time at both institutions throughout their studies.

The PhD student(s) will be working on providing the knowhow needed to optimize production of high quality protein for food and feed based on insects. This can include topics such as screening insect species and diet types to detect species with high potential for production of protein, develop a sustainable breeding program for this species, select for important production traits and assess regions of the genome explaining variation in traits of interest. Close interaction between the two PhD students and their supervisors are expected and should be facilitated by the PhD students. 

The PhD student is expected to engage in some teaching within the area and will follow courses according to the university’s PhD programme. As part of the PhD it is expected that the candidate spend at least 6 month abroad, likely in laboratories of our collaborators at Wageningen or Texas Universities. 

The Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics (QGG) at Aarhus University is a major center for research and education in quantitative genetics, quantitative genomics, and breeding belonging to the Faculty of Technical Sciences. It comprises more than 15 senior staff and a large group of PhDs and Post Docs.


Qualifications and specific competences:
We seek a candidate with a strong interest within some of the topics entomology, evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, quantitative genetics, breeding programs and population genomics. Specific tasks of the chosen candidate can to some degree be tailored to her/his interests and expertize.

The stipend is available for 3 or 4 years depending on whether the applicant already holds a Master’s Degree. Applicants who has a Master’s Degree can apply for a three year position, and applicants who has finished four years of full time studies but do not hold a Master’s Degree can apply for a four years PhD stipend.


Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomic located at the AU Foulum campus, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, but is expected to move to the main campus in Aarhus in 2022. 


Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Main supervisor: Senior Researcher Goutam Sahana, e-mail: goutam.sahana@qgg.au.dk; telephone +45 30577159

PI of the project: Professor Torsten Nygård Kristensen, e-mail: tnk@bio.au.dk; telephone +45 61463375

QGG Centre Leader: Professor Mogens Sandø Lund, e-mail: mogens.lund@qgg.au.dk; telephone +45 20751222


Application procedures


Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at the graduate school is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test (internet-based), minimum score: 83. The graduate school does not accept the paper-based test, nor the TOEFL ITP test. Remember to ask the test center to send your test results to Aarhus University in order to enable verification of your test results. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935.
    Currently, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test (available in selected areas) will also be accepted.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 7.0 points
    Please note, from 1 June 2020 the Graduate School of Science and Technology has split in two following the split of the faculty. For the two new schools, Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences, the minimum average score requirement for an IELTS test is 7.0 points (equivalent of a C1 level).
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to gsts@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at a Danish university for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to https://phd.tech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here/ - Note, the online application system opens on 1 June 2020.
Choose August 2020 Call with deadline 1 August 2020 at noon (11.59 AM CEST).
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme “Quantitative Genetics and Genomics”.

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: “Optimization of insect production for animal feed through breeding”
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

All information in the application must be in English or Danish, preferably English. A certified English translation is required for documents written in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) languages.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. If the original documents are not in English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) then copies of the original documents as well as a certified English translation must be attached.
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed.

The graduate school reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSTS Application Guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

19037 / i43