PhD positions in Algal Research and Biotechnology

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Amar Annamalai
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PhD positions in Algal Research and Biotechnology

Do you hold a MSc degree or are you expecting to complete one before July 15th, 2015? If you want to undertake further doctoral research and training as part of an international and highly inter-disciplinary team, combining a unique and ambitious theoretical, field, hands-on training and research, then ALFF is the programme for you.

ALFF: The ALgal microbiome - Friends or Foes

Algal aquaculture is developing exponentially worldwide, with multiple applications in the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Current research in algal biotechnology mostly focuses on metabolite discovery, aquaculture yield improvement and engineering bottle-necks. However, agronomical experience shows that controlling the interaction of land crops with mutualistic or pathogenic microbes is critical to successful production. Likewise, controlling the microbial flora associated with algae (the 'algal microbiome') is emerging as the biggest biological challenge for their increased usage. Bacteria can control the morphogenesis of algae, while others are indispensable to algal survival. Pathogens are causing devastating diseases, the impact of which worsens with the intensification of aquaculture practices. ALFF aims to achieve a scientific step-change in our understanding of algal-microbial interactions, whilst also leading to the development of superior mass algal cultivation and biocontrol strategies.

Scientific excellence, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation

ALFF is funded under the prestigious EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN) programme and is specifically designed to train students in research and algal biotechnology. We offer highly interdisciplinary and international training for 15 PhD students throughout the EU, with a highly competitive salary and close contacts with the industry, government agencies and leading laboratories. In addition to conducting research, students will be enrolled on an extensive programme of short courses, conferences and secondments at other institutions. ALFF also encompasses an ambitious outreach and public engagement programme, in collaboration with highly renowned institutions such as the Flanders Marine Institute and the United Nations University.

Desired skills and experience

To apply for the Algal Microbiome: Friends or Foes (ALFF) Programme you should normally have a good MSc degree or an equivalent qualification, or be expected to complete a MSc degree by mid-July 2015, or have a background in one of the fields of environmental and life sciences. Depending on the project(s) you decide to apply for, an appropriate background could include marine biology, marine science, aquatic biology, micro-biology, phycology, biology, chemistry, environmental sciences or information technology. At the time of recruitment, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of your host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. The selection process will take into consideration the whole range of experience of applicants. Career breaks, evidence of non-formal qualifications and evidence of previous international mobility will be regarded favourably.

For more details on the PhD projects being advertised, please go to:

Closing date for applications:
Sunday, March 1st 2015.