PhD fellowship in flavour Chemistry

Copenhagen University
September 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The Department of Food Science, Section of Food Design and Consumer Behavior invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Flavor Chemistry, Sensory Science, and Brewing Science with the aim to make a chemical analysis of hop flavor attributes and develop new hop flavor mixtures for non-alcoholic beer.

The project is part of the research project “Exploiting hop aroma diversity to design new flavors for non-alcoholic beer”, which is financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark

Start date is (expected to be) early November 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

Non-alcoholic beer is often described as flat, bland, dull, and lacking body. The addition of hop flavor compounds may provide a solution to the lack of sensory qualities in non-alcoholic beer. However, the flavor chemistry is unknown for many of the sensory attributes in hops. Typically, flavors are defined to flavor beer with sensory attributes composed of multiple compounds; we need a fundamental understanding of the interactions between compounds. The first part of the project will focus on method development for understanding flavor compound interactions through our GC-MS Recomposition-Olfactometry instrument (GC-R). This machine can trap any combination of compounds in hops with a cryotrap and release the mixture to the olfactory detection port, where the mixture is sniffed and assessed by a sensory-trained referee. In this way, we will break down the unique attributes in aroma hops to the chemical basis of the sensory property. For example, "strawberry" can be recomposed through a mixture of esters, lactones, and furans that together form the sweet and fruity profile of strawberries.

The project aims to identify the exact composition of flavor mixtures to recompose them chemically. We may therefore pinpoint the specific responsible compounds through two-dimensional GCxGC-MS and/or other techniques. Throughout the project, the student will engage in collaborations with both the sensory group in our section and the Leibniz-LSB Institute at the Technical University of Munich. At the Leibniz-LSB institute, the student will conduct experiments involving solvent-assisted flavor evaporation extraction (aSAFE) to extract hop aroma. This method will be compared to dynamic headspace extraction and Stir bar sorptive extraction, and potentially implemented at the Department of Food Science.

In the later stages of the project, we will combine different flavor mixtures and investigate how they can be compatible in non-alcoholic beer matrix. To facilitate this approach, we plan for hop flavorist training at the BarthHass hop flavor academy.

Who are we looking for?

It is a requirement that the student has a strong understanding of chemistry and a passion for working with flavor chemistry. Applicants with a strong track record of coursework in chemistry will be given preference. Students that make a shift of focus from an unrelated field, such as genetics, should include a motivation for shift of focus in the application.

Our group and research- and what do we offer?

The selected PhD student will be a part of the Sensory Science and Consumer Behavior group in the Section of Food Design and Consumer Behavior. Currently, the section hosts 17 PhD students and 7 postdocs, offering an ambitious, open, supportive, and collaborative environment. Our research group encompasses topics ranging from chemometrics, flavor chemistry of food products, and sensory impact to the influence of external factors on the senses. We frequently establish close collaborations with the industry, resulting in beneficial outcomes and ensuring practical applicability.

As a member of the section and our research group, you will have the opportunity to participate in an international and social work environment alongside other PhD students, engaging in research discussions relevant to the field. Our community of PhD students and postdocs regularly plans social activities, and we welcome contributions to these events.

You will participate in and present your research during the regular research group meetings and the bi-weekly flavor chemistry group meetings. The group is a part of the Department of Food Science, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are conveniently located close to the center of Copenhagen at the Frederiksberg Campus. Our research facilities include modern sensory and flavor chemistry laboratories, which are part of the Future Consumer Lab (https: //

Principal supervisor is Professor Wender Bredie and tenure-track assistant professor Sylvester Holt , Department of Food Science, UCPH-FOOD ([email protected]).

Qualifications needed for the regular program

To be eligible for the regular PhD program, you must have completed a degree program, equivalent to a Danish master's degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g., chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, biotechnology, food science, food engineering, or similar. For information of eligibility of completed programs, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular program

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks in both PhD programs

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision

  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE

  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution
  • Participate in regular project discussions and dissemination of results with the principal supervisor (planned based on mutual agreement)
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project
  • Key selection criteria:

  • An MSc degree in areas that give qualifications relevant to the project
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in flavor chemistry and sensory science
  • Organization skills with the ability to plan experiments and work in a team
  • Collaborative mindset
  • Good work ethics
  • Good English communication skills
  • Practical experience with the following techniques is favored, but not a necessity
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Sensory science
  • Flavor chemistry and biochemistry
  • Brewing science
  • Application and Assessment Procedure

    Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

    Please include :

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Reference letters (if available)
  • Application deadline:

    The deadline for applications is 17th of September 2023, 23:59 CET

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    The further process

    After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

    The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https: //

    Subsequent interviews with selected candidates will be conducted.

    Questions For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

    General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School's website: https: // www.

    The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position

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