Vacancies

Current Vacancies

Funded PhD position: Converting lignin-based breakdown products and wood derived sugars into value added products using microbial biotechnology

Closing Date: 2nd April 2021

Supervisors
Dr Tanja Narancic – School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and BiOrbic SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, University College Dublin, Ireland.

Prof Kevin O’Connor – School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and BiOrbic SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, University College Dublin, Ireland.

About the project
NXTGENWOOD
 is a collaborative project between multiple Irish universities UCD, TCD, and UCC and Science Foundation Ireland research centre  AMBER and  BiOrbic. NXTGENWOOD is funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture food and marine.

Lignin: Lignin is one of the most abundant polymers in the natural world. It is part of a complex of polymers found in plants from trees to grasses. Lignin is a protective polymer for the sugar-based polymer cellulose. Lignin is a complex polymer composed of a variety of phenolic compounds. Sugars present in cellulose and hemicellulose polymers found in wood and other plant matter are contaminated with lignin and phenols when the woody biomass is processed to release the fibres. The conversion of lignin-based breakdown products and sugars contaminated with lignin/phenols to organic acids is challenging but it can bring new routes and products of value to society.

Microbial biotechnology: The ability of microorganisms to consume and grow in the presence of lignin breakdown products is a major challenge and requires synthetic biology and bioprocess development to build a robust microbial biotechnology.

The PhD project will investigate the ability of microorganisms to convert phenols present in lignin to organic acids. Microorganisms will be tested as wild type strains but also designed using synthetic biology to improve their performance. Fermentor based strategies will also be undertaken to optimise substrate consumption and product formation.

Start date: The studentship will begin in 2021.

Studentship details: Stipend of €18,000/year plus tuition fees for 4 years. Only EU/EAA/UK residents should apply.

For details of requirements and application please see  https://www.ucd.ie/sbbs/research/researchvacancies/fundedphdposition2/ 


Funded PhD position: Metabolic engineering of bacteria to upcycle plastic waste to value added polymers and chemicals

Closing Date: 9th April 2021

Supervisors
Dr Tanja Narancic – School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and BiOrbic SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, University College Dublin, Ireland.

Prof Kevin O’Connor – School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and BiOrbic SFI Bioeconomy Research Centre, University College Dublin, Ireland.

About the project
Plastics have contributed greatly to the ease of everyday life as a result of their large-scale utility and in particular through their global presence as packaging materials. Plastics used in food and drink packaging applications are made from a range of polymers, which are highly customised with specific additives to meet functional and/or aesthetic requirements. This diversity makes the end-of-life management challenging, ultimately resulting in materials being incinerated or disposed in landfills.

A H2020 project UPLIFT aims to develop and scale-up chemical- and bioprocesses to allow for the up-cycling of plastic packaging waste materials. The present study, which is integrative part of UPLIFT, focuses on transformative potential of bacteria to provide routes to convert plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to biodegradable polymers of specific characteristics, as well as other valuable molecules. This will be achieved using systems biology and metabolic engineering approach.

Start date: 1st May 2021

Studentship details: Stipend of €20,400/year plus tuition fees for 4 years

For details of requirements and application please see https://www.ucd.ie/sbbs/research/researchvacancies/fundedphdposition/



BiOrbic Commercialisation Manager

Closing Date: 5pm on 6th May 2021

Applications are invited for the post of Commercialisation Manager within BiOrbic, Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre. This is a temporary position (15 months) to fill a specific requirement identified by the Centre.

The Commercialisation Manager will be responsible for the identification and commercialisation of intellectual property arising from BiOrbic research. They will work closely with BiOrbic researchers and industry partners to advise and take action on commercial development opportunities arising from research in the Centre, both collaborative research with industry and platform (PI led) research.

The successful candidate will also work closely with BiOrbic’s partner, the Irish Bioeconomy Foundation to progress and scale commercialisation outputs from the Centre at facilities available at the National Bioeconomy Campus, where relevant and appropriate.

Interested candidates can apply via the University College Dublin vacancies page by 5pm on 5th May 2021.



BiOrbic Administration and Finance Coordinator

Closing Date: 5pm on 22nd April 2021

BiOrbic, Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre is seeking a Research Funding Manager to coordinate the Centre’s research funding activities.

Applications are invited for the temporary post of Administration and Finance Coordinator at BiOrbic, Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre. The Administration and Finance Coordinator will be a key member of the BiOrbic Operations Team and will provide administrative, finance, reporting and other supports to Centre. The ideal candidate will be proactive, enthusiastic, very organised and capable of managing a heavy and diverse workload. They will be able to work under pressure and be able to effectively manage many competing demands at the same time.

More information and application details can be accessed via the University College Dublin vacancies page.