13 July 2016

PhD scholarship in Plant Nutritional Value of Greenlandic Rock Flour

Rock Flour PhD

As part of the Greenland Perspective project exploring Greenlandic Rock Flour as a potential resource, we are now offering a PhD scholarship at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen. The PhD scholarship is in Plant Nutritional Value of Greenlandic Rock Flour and will be commencing 15.10.2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The Soil Fertility research group focuses on soil and waste organic matter decomposition processes and nutrient turnover, availability and losses in temperate and tropical agro-ecosystems.
Our research aims at a mechanistic understanding of soil nutrient and organic matter dynamics at both the level of micro-scale biogeophysical processes and at eco­system scales, in the pursuit of increased nutrient use efficiency, improved food security and reduced environmental impacts from agriculture in the 21st century. The Soil Fertility research group covers four major research topics, of which the first is the core of our research identity, but is also addressed in the other three more applied topics:

  • Fundamentals of organic matter decomposition, nutrient turnover and availability in soil
  • Recycling of nutrients in organic waste and bio-based fertilisers
  • Environmental impacts of agricultural use of organic waste, mineral and bio-based fertilisers
  • Changes in land use and soil quality, carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions. Read more here: https://plen.ku.dk/english/research/plant_soil/soil_fertility/

Project description
Crop production in the (sub)tropics is severely restricted by prevalence of ancient weathered soils with low pH and low availability of plant nutrients. The project will explore the potential of Greenlandic Rock Flour, i.e. finely ground unweathered rock from glacial deposits in Greenland, as soil amendment with a soil fertility building potential. Glacial rock flour is already marketed for private gardening, but no assessment of its potential for large scale agricultural production has been made. Besides providing base cations, the rock flour may have potential to increase soil pH, and thereby influence soil nutrient availability. The project should explore the influence of glacial rock flour amendments on soil fertility, and the potential of various plants and management practices to increase nutrient solubilisation, e.g. root exudates, organic co-amendments, composting, effect of soil biota etc. The focus will be on weathered tropical soils, as well as nutrient-depleted temperate soils. The PhD project is part of a larger project with partners in Brazil (ESALQ, University of Sao Paolo) and in Denmark (Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen). Applicants should have experience with plant trials (field and greenhouse) as well as standard soil and plant nutrient analytical techniques. Part of the research is planned to be done in close collaboration with the Brazilian partners, preferably in Sao Paolo.

Principal supervisor is professor Andreas de Neergaard, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, adn@plen.ku.dk, Direct Phone: +45 35333499.

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Agronomy, Biology, Geography or related sciences with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 309,109 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 42,699). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 15.08.2016, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.

 After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor professor Andreas de Neergaard, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, adn@plen.ku.dk, Direct Phone: +45 35333499.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at https://www.science.ku.dk/phd.     

The offering of the PhD scholarship is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.