Thursday, June 24, 2021

Postdoc in physiology and engineering of Clostridium thermocellum


KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Job description

The Department of Industrial Biotechnology at KTH provides societally relevant biotechnological solutions for sustainable production of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, materials and fuels, as well as contributing to clean water and environment.

The overall purpose of this project is to develop Clostridium thermocellum as a next-generation robust microbial cell factory that can convert (ligno-)cellulose to sustainable fuels and chemicals with minimum pretreatment. The use of lignocellulosic feedstocks, instead of refined sugars, is preferred to expand (future) production volumes, improve cost-competitiveness and avoid competition with food. The project will apply state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques combined with laboratory evolution and quantitative physiology in bioreactors to unlock the potential of C. thermocellum, including:

  • Design and analysis of research strategies to achieve increased understanding of the metabolism of the obligately anaerobic thermophile Clostridium thermocellum.
  • Quantitative physiology of different C. thermocellum strains in shake-flask and bioreactors operated in batch and chemostat mode.
  • Functional analysis of the central metabolism of C. thermocellum through enzyme activity assays, molecular biology and omics-based approaches.

The post doc will communicate scientific progress within the microbial biotechnology team at the Department of Industrial Biotechnology at KTH and with our (international) collaborators, as well as disseminate the project results through oral presentations, scientific publications and through information for a general audience. In addition to the research, the post doc will contribute to (co-)Supervision of MSc students and PhD students and teaching and supervision in (lab) courses on Cultivation Technology and Bioprocess Design.

What we offer

  • A position at a leading technical university that generates knowledge and skills for a sustainable future
  • Engaged and ambitious colleagues along with a creative, international and dynamic working environment
  • Works in Stockholm, in close proximity to nature
  • Help to relocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH

Read more about what it is like to work at KTH



  • A doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, obtained within the last three years prior to the application deadline (With some exceptions for special reasons such as periods of sick or parental leave, kindly indicate if such reason exists in your resume).
  • Experience with functional analysis and quantitative physiology of central metabolism of anaerobic thermophiles.
  • Experience with enzyme activity assays of anaerobic thermophiles.
  • Knowledge on the diversity and unity of central metabolism in anaerobic thermophiles.· Experience with bioreactor cultivation of anaerobic thermophiles.
  • Familiarity with research and publication ethics.
  • Should have excellent communication skills in scientific English, both orally and in writing,
    as required in the daily work.
  • Experience in writing scientific publications as lead writing author.
  • Experience in supervision of BSc- and MSc student.
  • Candidate has personal integrity, communicates well, focuses on goals and results, is persistent and sees the bigger picture

Preferred qualifications

  • Awareness about sustainability concepts.
  • Familiarity with diversity and equal opportunity issues with specific focus on gender equality.
  • Candidate has personal maturity, is independent, takes initiative, is energetic and able to cooperate.

Great emphasis will be placed on personal competency

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH's webbpage.


Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

The application must include:

  • CV including relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Copy of diplomas and grades from your previous university studies. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents have not been issued in any of these languages.
  • Brief account of why you want to conduct research, your academic interests and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. Max two pages long.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

About the employment

The position offered is for, at the most, two years.

A position as a postdoctoral fellow is a time-limited qualified appointment focusing mainly on research, intended as a first career step after a dissertation.


Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


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