Research Vacancies 

 

AgRefine Project 1: PhD Studentship in Biosensors (Microbiology / Biotechnology / Related discipline)

 

AgRefine - A Disruptive Innovative Cooperative Entrepreneurial (DICE) education, training and skills development programme rolling out the next generation of Agri Biorefinery and Valorisation Bioeconomy leaders.

Marie Skłodowska Curie European Training Network

The goal of the AgRefine Network is to train PhD students to become the bioeconomy leaders of tomorrow with the necessary skills and knowledge to position Europe as the global leader in developing an agri-bioeconomy industry based on advanced biorefinery technologies. The AgRefine integrated training programme will facilitate the amelioration of Europe’s agri-sector competitiveness and environmental sustainability challenges by creating new and optimising current agri-resource and agri-waste valorisation pathways. AgRefine will achieve this by bringing together a world-class consortium with experts from 5 European Universities (with expertise in biorefinery technology, engineering, life cycle assessment, economics), 1 applied research institute, 8 industry partners (from engineering, anaerobic digestion and biorefinery industries), 1 regulatory body and 1 industry network representing 6 countries. The goals of the network will be achieved by a unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements, summer schools and workshops on research-related and transferable skills facilitated by the academic and non-academic composition of the consortium. An important element of the training network is the Network wide training events and industry secondments and the emphasis on training all PhD students in key transferable skills.

Additional information regarding the 15 positions being offered can be found at euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/430754.


Project 1: Three phase bio-reactor biosensor development.

A biosensor technology which has been created in UCD to monitor and control grass-silage fed two-phase anaerobic digestion systems will be expanded upon to produce an automated monitoring and control system for AgRefine’s Three Phase Bioreactor (TPB). The biosensor that will be created will be capable of detecting total-amino acids as well as an array of volatile fatty acids, in leachates generated by the TPB. Real time detection and quantification of these analytes will allow for the automated monitoring and control system to be created.

Initially based in UCD under the supervision of Prof. McDonnell with input from Prof. C Murphy and Dr. Sweeney, the successful candidate will be trained on:

  • Biosensor creation and operation techniques;
  • The identification and screening of catabolic pathways capable of catabolising specific amino acids as well as D-, L- lactic acid and butyric acid, within numerous microorganisms;
  • Genetically engineer specific microorganisms using a suite of genetic engineering techniques which will include Crispr Cas9, to create analyte specific biosensors;
  • Creating and deploying the TPB’s automated monitoring and control system.

 

Relevant disciplines; To fulfil this role the candidate must have achieved a Master level degree in Microbiology/Biochemistry or related discipline. Any additional computer programming/ Electronic engineering experience, although not crucial, will be deemed advantageous.

Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Ireland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date Informal requests for further details can be made to Prof. Cormac Murphy and Dr. Joseph Sweeney (joseph.sweeney@ucd.ie).

Closing date: 2nd September 2019

Expected start date: October 2019 - January 2020

Position duration: Three to four years

Application Procedure To apply please select Project 1 and follow the instruction in the following link https://forms.gle/Pfis4D3v6xDF1Qk59. Applicants must include their CV, detailed academic transcripts in the form of certified copies of all undergraduate and postgraduate level certificates, a motivation letter and three reference letters from previous professors or mentors. Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training. Candidates must have excellent proficiency in written and spoken English (CEFR Level C1) and provide evidence that they fulfil the specific University recruitment criteria of each position.

This PhD is funded by the H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action

For information on studying at UCD and the supports provided for postgraduate students, please consult: www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/studywithus/researchprogrammes

UCD AgRefine PhD Studentship Project 1 pdf|124kb

 

AgRefine Project 2: PhD Studentship in Microbiology/Biotechnology/Related discipline

 

AgRefine - A Disruptive Innovative Cooperative Entrepreneurial (DICE) education, training and skills development programme rolling out the next generation of Agri Biorefinery and Valorisation Bioeconomy leaders.

Marie Skłodowska Curie European Training Network

The goal of the AgRefine Network is to train PhD students to become the bioeconomy leaders of tomorrow with the necessary skills and knowledge to position Europe as the global leader in developing an agri-bioeconomy industry based on advanced biorefinery technologies. The AgRefine integrated training programme will facilitate the amelioration of Europe’s agri-sector competitiveness and environmental sustainability challenges by creating new and optimising current agri-resource and agri-waste valorisation pathways. AgRefine will achieve this by bringing together a world-class consortium with experts from 5 European Universities (with expertise in biorefinery technology, engineering, life cycle assessment, economics), 1 applied research institute, 8 industry partners (from engineering, anaerobic digestion and biorefinery industries), 1 regulatory body and 1 industry network representing 6 countries. The goals of the network will be achieved by a unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements, summer schools and workshops on research-related and transferable skills facilitated by the academic and non-academic composition of the consortium. An important element of the training network is the Network wide training events and industry secondments and the emphasis on training all PhD students in key transferable skills.

 

Additional information regarding the 15 positions being offered can be found at euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/430754.

 

Project 2: Downstream contaminant removal purification process.

The quality and value of lactic acids (LA) produced by AgRefine’s Three Phase Bioreactor (TPB) are inversely proportional to the number of contaminants present within the input substrates used (grass-silage). Regardless of the quality of the input substrate, several organic acid contaminants will exist in all lactic acids produced. To this end, the successful candidate will create genetically engineered microorganisms that will remove these contaminants, resulting in increased LA purity and thus increased product value. Building upon a large E. coli knockout catalogue, which has been created to facilitate the production of UCD’s various organic acid specific biosensors, genetically engineered E. coli strains will be assessed, for their ability act as butyric-, acetic-, propionic- and valeric-acid contaminant removers.

Initially based in UCD under the supervision of Prof. McDonnell with input from Prof. C Murphy, Dr. Sweeney and Mr. Mandl the candidate will:

  • Be trained on biosensor creation and operation techniques,
  • Apply a suite of genetic engineering techniques to create a butyric acid degradation E. coli isolate,
  • Screen for additional microorganisms that may be more suited to the contaminant removal process (where if successful genetic engineering will be applied),
  • Collaborate with CERTH to deploy the contaminant removal microorganisms to their proposed membrane bioreactor (MBR).

Relevant disciplines; To fulfil this role the candidate must have achieved a Master level degree in Microbiology/Biochemistry or related discipline. Any additional Computer programming/ Electronic-, Chemical- or process-engineering experience, although not crucial, will be deemed advantageous.

Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Ireland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date

Informal requests for further details can be made to Prof. Cormac Murphy and Dr. Joseph Sweeney (joseph.sweeney@ucd.ie).

Closing date: 2nd September 2019

Expected start date: October 2019 - January 2020

Position duration: Three to four years

Application Procedure: To apply please select Project 2 and follow the instruction in the following link https://forms.gle/Pfis4D3v6xDF1Qk59. Applicants must include their CV, detailed academic transcripts in the form of certified copies of all undergraduate and postgraduate level certificates, a motivation letter and three reference letters from previous professors or mentors. Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training. Candidates must have excellent proficiency in written and spoken English (CEFR Level C1) and provide evidence that they fulfil the specific University recruitment criteria of each position.

This PhD is funded by the H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action

 

UCD AgRefine PhD Studentship Project 2 pdf|124kb

 

AgRefine Project 8: PhD Studentship in Bioeconomy Supply Chain Management

 

AgRefine - A Disruptive Innovative Cooperative Entrepreneurial (DICE) education, training and skills development programme rolling out the next generation of Agri Biorefinery and Valorisation Bioeconomy leaders.

Marie Skłodowska Curie European Training Network

The goal of the AgRefine Network is to train PhD students to become the bioeconomy leaders of tomorrow with the necessary skills and knowledge to position Europe as the global leader in developing an agri-bioeconomy industry based on advanced biorefinery technologies. The AgRefine integrated training programme will facilitate the amelioration of Europe’s agri-sector competitiveness and environmental sustainability challenges by creating new and optimising current agri-resource and agri-waste valorisation pathways. AgRefine will achieve this by bringing together a world-class consortium with experts from 5 European Universities (with expertise in biorefinery technology, engineering, life cycle assessment, economics), 1 applied research institute, 8 industry partners (from engineering, anaerobic digestion and biorefinery industries), 1 regulatory body and 1 industry network representing 6 countries. The goals of the network will be achieved by a unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements, summer schools and workshops on research-related and transferable skills facilitated by the academic and non-academic composition of the consortium. An important element of the training network is the Network wide training events and industry secondments and the emphasis on training all PhD students in key transferable skills.

Additional information regarding the 15 positions being offered can be found at euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/430754.

Project 8: Bioeconomy Supply Chain Management.

The successful management of biorefinery supply chains requires decisions on hierarchical processes across the full chain; from location of the biorefinery plant, resource allocation, to daily distribution of bio-feedstock and end products. Models based on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Operation Research methodologies are now being used for strategic, tactical and operational decisions. However, research on the design of supply chains for biorefineries-AD hybrids are lacking. Initially based in UCD under the supervision of Dr. F Murphy, this PhD project will analyse the role of reverse logistics as a critical enabler within the circular

economy and will provide clear strategies for optimising reverse logistics processes so that they can be embedded within AgRefine’s bioeconomy model. The PhD student will develop a framework and model for Supply Chain Management defining the mechanisms of an efficient grass and seaweed-silage biofeedstock and product management system, considering innovative aspects such as demand fluctuations, government incentives, and uncertainty and will test the developed model in an industry setting.

Relevant disciplines; To fulfil this role, the candidate must have obtained a relevant Master level degree with a strong focus on Supply Chain Engineering/Management/Analysis, Logistics, Operations Research, Computer Programming.

Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Ireland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date

Informal requests for further details can be made to Dr. Fionnuala Murphy (fionnuala.murphy@ucd.ie).

Closing date: 2nd September 2019

Expected start date: October 2019 - January 2020

Position duration: Three to four years

Application Procedures: To apply please select Project 8 and follow the instruction in the following link https://forms.gle/Pfis4D3v6xDF1Qk59. Applicants must include their CV, detailed academic transcripts in the form of certified copies of all undergraduate and postgraduate level certificates, a motivation letter and three reference letters from previous professors or mentors. Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training. Candidates must have excellent proficiency in written and spoken English (CEFR Level C1) and provide evidence that they fulfil the specific University recruitment criteria of each position.

 

This PhD is funded by the H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action

UCD AgRefine PhD Studentship Project 8 pdf|124kb

 

 

AgRefine Project 12: PhD Studentship in Dynamic Life Cycle Assessment

 

AgRefine - A Disruptive Innovative Cooperative Entrepreneurial (DICE) education, training and skills development programme rolling out the next generation of Agri Biorefinery and Valorisation Bioeconomy leaders.

Marie Skłodowska Curie European Training Network

The goal of the AgRefine Network is to train PhD students to become the bioeconomy leaders of tomorrow with the necessary skills and knowledge to position Europe as the global leader in developing an agri-bioeconomy industry based on advanced biorefinery technologies. The AgRefine integrated training programme will facilitate the amelioration of Europe’s agri-sector competitiveness and environmental sustainability challenges by creating new and optimising current agri-resource and agri-waste valorisation pathways. AgRefine will achieve this by bringing together a world-class consortium with experts from 5 European Universities (with expertise in biorefinery technology, engineering, life cycle assessment, economics), 1 applied research institute, 8 industry partners (from engineering, anaerobic digestion and biorefinery industries), 1 regulatory body and 1 industry network representing 6 countries. The goals of the network will be achieved by a unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements, summer schools and workshops on research-related and transferable skills facilitated by the academic and non-academic composition of the consortium. An important element of the training network is the Network wide training events and industry secondments and the emphasis on training all PhD students in key transferable skills.

Additional information regarding the 15 positions being offered can be found at euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/430754.

Project 12: Dynamic Life Cycle Assessment.

Bioeconomy design strategies must be developed to minimise environmental trade-offs during the transition to sustainability. Increasingly life cycle assessment based on lab scale data is required to prove the sustainability aspects of developing clean technologies. This frequently results in a much higher impact as few LCA studies focus on scale-up of LCA data. A scalable LCA framework is needed to support AgRefine’s early stage product development and to provide it with the basis from which a pilot scale process design can be created. Based in UCD under the supervision of Dr. F Murphy, the candidate will develop a dynamic biosensor-linked

life cycle assessment framework which will evaluate both environmental aspects of sustainability. The LCA framework will be scalable to produce accurate results for technologies at different stages of development i.e. across TRL levels. The candidate will develop the framework using experimental data (liaising with and will develop a scaling mechanism while on secondment at TU Wien. The LCA framework will be validated on industrial scale processes.

Relevant disciplines; To fulfil this role the candidate must have obtained a relevant Master level degree in a discipline with a strong focus on; Process/Chemical/Biochemical Engineering, Life Cycle Assessment, Modelling using Python or similar programming languages. The candidate should have basic knowledge of process simulation tools (e.g. ASPEN).

Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Ireland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date

Informal requests for further details can be made to Dr. Fionnuala Murphy (fionnuala.murphy@ucd.ie)

Closing date: 2nd September 2019

Expected start date: October 2019 - January 2020

Position duration: Three to four years

Application Procedure: To apply please select Project 12 and follow the instruction in the following link https://forms.gle/Pfis4D3v6xDF1Qk59. Applicants must include their CV, detailed academic transcripts in the form of certified copies of all undergraduate and postgraduate level certificates, a motivation letter and three reference letters from previous professors or mentors. Applicants must have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training. Candidates must have excellent proficiency in written and spoken English (CEFR Level C1) and provide evidence that they fulfil the specific University recruitment criteria of each position.

 

This PhD is funded by the H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action

UCD AgRefine PhD Studentship Project 12 pdf|124kb