The Food Systems Biotechnology (FSB) group ( in the Department of Health Science and Technology has an open doctoral (PhD) student position. The FSB group develops bioinformatics methods and software for microbiome research, including QIIME 2 (, and applies these tools to study microbial ecosystems at the interfaces of foods, food systems, and human health.

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to join the FSB group as a doctoral student. Active projects are available in the following areas, and applicants should submit a short (1-2 page) project proposal relating to one of the following research themes:

  • Microbial ecology of food products and/or food production systems
  • Computational modeling of microbial dynamics in the human microbiome
  • Development of computational methods and software for studying microbiomes (e.g., metagenome, marker-gene, metabolome, or other “omics” data)

Final details of the doctoral project will be based on the expertise and goals of the selected candidate. This is a doctoral (PhD) student position, but exceptional candidates may be considered for other positions.

Your profile

You are a self-motivated scientist with outstanding academic qualifications, superb inter-personal and written communication skills, and enthusiasm to engage with a collaborative team of scientists. Experience working with microorganisms and/or bioinformatics tools is required. Experience in microbiome research is an advantage. Doctoral students are expected to disseminate research findings in conference talks and journal articles, and excellent written and spoken English language skills are required.

The successful candidate must also have a Masters degree (or equivalent) in Microbiology, Food Science, Biotechnology, Biology, Bioinformatics, or a related area.

Key Qualifications

  • Masters-level degree in a relevant field (see above)
  • Experience in microbiology and/or bioinformatics
  • Excellent interpersonal communication, teamwork and organizational skills
  • English language proficiency

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience working with microbiome (marker gene, metagenome) or other omics data
  • Programming experience (Python, R, UNIX/bash scripting)
  • Evidence of effective scientific communication (publications and/or open-source software projects)


We look forward to receiving your online application with the following materials:

  • A short statement of research interests and motivation (one page) that describes your suitability for the  position, and desired timeline.
  • A short research proposal (max. 2 pages) relating to one of the themes listed above.
  • An updated curriculum vitae including a list of publications, education, and any relevant experience.
  • Names and contact information of 2-3 professional references.

Please note that we only accept applications that are submitted through our online application portal. Applications sent via email or postal services will not be considered. Furthermore, incomplete applications (e.g., without a research proposal) will not be considered.

For further information about the group please visit our website Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dr. Nicholas Bokulich by email (see website for contact information; no direct applications).

Review of applications will begin in November 2020. The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.


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