PhD Scholarship in Marine Biogeochemistry

onsdag 21 aug 19

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Frist 1. november 2019
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A PhD Scholarship in marine biogeochemistry is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) with starting date 1 January 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.  The project will be carried out in the Section for Oceans and Arctic in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.


The scholarship is part of a research project focused on studying linkages between dissolved organic matter and water mass origins in the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard, where waters from the Arctic and Atlantic exchange. Climate change is altering the Arctic carbon, freshwater and heat budgets and this is materialised in changing conditions across the strait. Two defining characteristics of the Arctic Ocean are the strong salinity stratification and the high concentration of terrestrial organic matter in surface waters. The contribution of this PhD project is to focus on the fate of Arctic dissolved organic matter.

Responsibilities and tasks

The aim of this project is to study the fate and impact of changing supply of terrestrial DOM to the Arctic Ocean. Specifically, we would like to experimentally characterise the susceptibility of Arctic DOM to microbial and photochemical degradation and then link this to its origins. Additionally, the project will address how brine rejection during sea ice formation alters the susceptibility of DOM to degradation. Combined this will enable the development of a model for carbon mineralisation and better prediction of the fate of DOM exported from the Arctic Ocean.


This project is funded in part by Independent Research Fund Denmark grant titled: New insights on ocean circulation and the fate of organic carbon in the Arctic Ocean. The successful applicant will be integrated into this project.


Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.


Suitable candidates should ideally have documented experience with marine fieldwork, designing microbial experiments, using laboratory instrumentation and be capable of working with large datasets (analytical/spectroscopic and oceanographic) in software such as MATLAB, R or python. The current working software for the group is MATLAB.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in the PhD school at DTU Aqua. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

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 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 upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information

Further information can be obtained from Associate Professor Colin A Stedmon (; mobile: +45 24895714) or Senior Scientist Mikael Sejr, Aarhus University (; mobile: +45 3045 4314)

You can read more about the institute at

Please submit your online application no later than 1 November 2019.


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter describing your motivation for the application (cover letter)
    The application should contain a motivation for why you want to undertake this research at DTU Aqua, your interest in this topic
  • Proposed research project description (max 2 pages)
    A description of your own project ideas and how they link to fulfilling the goals stated above. (the final project description will be developed in collaboration with the relevant principal investigators).
  • 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)
  • Recommendation letters from senior professionals are welcomed

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


Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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


The research spectrum of the Section for Oceans and Arctic covers oceanography, population ecology, observation technology and the Arctic. The research into oceanography integrates biological, physical and chemical parameters’ interactions in the ocean, ranging from individual plankton to regional seas. We focus on understanding the key processes that govern the structure and function of pelagic food webs, as well as climate and ecosystem interactions. The research in population ecology establishes how processes affecting individuals shape populations and ecosystems.


The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. DTU Aqua has 260 employees, of whom a third are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc. The institute is organized into eight scientific sections which carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA. DTU Aqua has employees in Charlottenlund, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on Dana.


DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 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.