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PhD Position: Risk and Ethics in the use of Synthetic Biology to Address the Climate and Ecological Crisis
Institute for Culture and Society
Lead Researchers: Dr Josh Wodak
About the project
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology (CoESB) (opens in new window) is a new, cross-disciplinary, and national research centre, which aims to create the knowledge and strategies necessary for Australia to develop a vibrant bioeconomy building on the nation’s strengths in agriculture. The Centre will combine engineering with molecular biology to design and construct novel biological systems that can convert biomass from agriculture or waste streams to biofuel, bioplastics and other high-value chemicals.
The Centre brings together leading researchers in the humanities, social and technological sciences in an international industry, research and civil society network. Funded by the Australian Research Council from 2020 to 2026, CoESB is hosted at Macquarie University in Sydney (Australia) with nodes in seven other Australian universities. Research in the CoESB is focused upon Centre’s three capabilities: Systems Bioengineering, Industrial Translation, and Social Dimensions.
The PhD Candidate is aligned to the ‘Technoscientific Interventions in The Ecological and Climate and Crisis’ Project within the Social Dimensions capability in the CoESB. The candidate will undertake qualitative research on the ethical, social and/or cultural dimensions of technoscientific responses to the ecological crisis and the climate crisis, with a particular focus on synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation, and/or climate change mitigation.
The HDR Candidate will contribute to a number of projects within the Centre, concerning ethical issues and values, and cultural shifts with respect to synthetic biology in terms of the three interconnected streams of the Social Dimensions research program: Promises, Practices, and Policies.
The candidate will be based at the Western Sydney University node of the CoESB at the Institute for Culture & Society (ICS). The candidate will collaborate actively with researchers at ICS and the CoESB’s national and international network of participants. The HDR Candidate will also have access to the CoESB’s research training and professional development opportunities, international visiting fellowships and exchanges (travel arrangements permitting), and the Centre’s network of industry partners.
The PhD project is expected to commence in August 2021.
What does the scholarship provide?
- Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
- International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver and Overseas Student Health Cover (opens in new window) (Single Policy).
- Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by ICS.
We welcome applicants with a disciplinary background in ethics, environmental humanities, science and technology studies, history and philosophy of science, environmental sociology, or other relevant fields. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in the ethical, social and/or cultural dimensions of the application of synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation, and/or climate change mitigation.
The successful applicant should:
- hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) a Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
- demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to the project.
- have an understanding of the discourse of technoscientific responses to the climate crisis and the ecological crisis.
- be willing to learn the scientific and technical concepts and methods of synthetic biology.
- be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.
International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.(opens in new window)
How to apply
Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship(opens in new window) page.
Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.
For questions and advice about the research project, please contact the Lead Researcher;
Doctor Josh Wodak: email@example.com
For questions and advice about the application process, please contact the Graduate Research School: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications close 31 May 2021
*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
Scholarship reference code: 2021_053_ICS
Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology, Institute for Culture and Society
The Institute for Culture and Society carries out research on the transformations in culture and society in the context of contemporary global change. It operates as a leading international centre for interdisciplinary, engaged and collaborative scholarship in the humanities and social sciences for a digital age. Research at the Institute for Culture and Society is organised around an integrated program of research focusing on a number of broad themes including Automated Worlds; Borders & Diversity; Cultural Infrastructures; Environment and Technology; and Urban Futures.
The Institute is one of four Research Institutes at the University, and the only one predominantly focused on the discipline area of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS).
An important role of the Institute is to help develop the University’s overall research performance through external income generation and high-quality publications. It also conducts profile-raising activities through organising major conferences, developing a network of similar research entities nationally and internationally, hosting visiting scholars, and forging strategic partnerships with external organisations and communities. Public and community engagement is an integral aspect of the Institute’s work.
The Institute for Culture & Society hosts the Western Sydney University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology (CoESB) (http://www.coesb.com.au). The CoESB is a new, cross-disciplinary, and national research centre, which aims to create the knowledge and strategies necessary for Australia to develop a vibrant bioeconomy building on the nation’s strengths in agriculture.
The Centre will combine engineering with molecular biology to design and construct novel biological systems that can convert biomass from agriculture or waste streams to biofuel, bioplastics and other high-value chemicals. The Centre brings together leading researchers in the humanities, social and technological sciences in an international industry, research and civil society network.
Funded by the Australian Research Council for seven years from 2020 to 2026, CoESB is hosted at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, with nodes in seven other Australian universities (University of Western Australia, Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, University of Newcastle, Australian National University, University of NSW, and Western Sydney University). Research in the CoESB is focused upon Centre’s three capabilities: Systems Bioengineering, Industrial Translation, and Social Dimensions.
The Role – Research Fellow in CoESB
The Research Fellow will be actively engaged with research associated with the Social Dimensions capability, which embeds expertise and analysis from law, ethics, philosophy, the arts, political science, and the social and behavioural sciences within the science and engineering of synthetic biology. With a focus on ethical issues and values, legal frameworks and cultural shifts, this team of scholars explores some of the central questions arising from the CoE, such as what problem are we trying to solve and is synthetic biology even the right solution? And how does the promise translate into practice, policy and benefits for society? The Research Fellow will work with Dr Josh Wodak, the CoESB node leader at Western Sydney University.
The position will conduct and manage primary research on ethical issues and values, and cultural shifts with respect to synthetic biology, with a particular focus on biodiversity conservation and/or climate change mitigation; publish research in high-quality outlets; engage and translate research with collaborators, international colleagues and industry partners; assist with project management and administration of project research; supervise research assistants and, where appropriate, co-supervise PhD students. This research-focused role does not include a teaching load, but opportunities for developing and maintaining a teaching profile may be available during the course of the Research Fellowship.
This is a Full-Time, Fixed-Term position for 3 years based at the Parramatta Campus.
Remuneration Package: Academic Level B $125,306 to $147,860 p.a., (comprising Salary of $105,885 to $125,030 p.a., plus Superannuation and Leave Loading)
Position enquiries: Dr Josh Wodak via email J.Wodak@westernsydney.edu.au
Closing Date: 8:30pm, Monday 31 May 2021.
For application information please visit:
Western Sydney University is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.
PhD Posotion: ARC Linkage Collaborative grant between MQU, UQ and Bondi Bio – Engineering cyanobacteria for high-value flavours and fragrances production
PhD Project Description
Distinguished Professor Ian Paulsen’s laboratory in the Department of Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University has funding for a PhD candidate to contribute to work-related to engineering the metabolism of cyanobacteria for industrial production of bioproducts with high commercial potential. Due to their native metabolism and capacity to express complex plant proteins, cyanobacteria represent an attractive Synthetic Biology platform for the biomanufacturing of high-value products, such as terpene pathway metabolites used for flavours and fragrances. In order to engineer a new generation of improved cyanobacteria production strains, the PhD student will work on physiological strain characterisation and multi-omics studies at MQU that will be used for building metabolic models in collaboration with researchers at the University of Queensland to inform large-scale genomic modifications to strains by industry collaborator Bondi. This project provides an excellent opportunity for a PhD student to work closely with a multi-disciplinary team under expert supervision and industrial guidance to develop an understanding of the complete characterise-model-engineer cycle from culturing and physiological analysis, through multi-omic analytics and genome-scale modelling, to advanced model-guided strain engineering. The training uniquely prepares the PhD candidate for working in the industry through a six-month-long internship opportunity at Bondi, one of Australia’s leading Synthetic Biology start-ups.
The PhD program at MQU is a 3-year, full-time equivalent candidature that requires the submission of a written thesis of original research carried out during this period. Criteria for admission requires a MRes or equivalent.
Email: Lisa Moore at email@example.com for more information.
PhD student in Synthetic Glycobiology, University of Gothenburg
We are seeking a PhD student to join our new group at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology & the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Glycans or complex carbohydrates constitute the capsules of bacteria, fungi, as well as plant cells, and adorn all kinds of other biomolecules such as proteins, lipids, or RNA. The specific glycan sequence that is physically attached to a protein fundamentally alters its properties and capabilities, fine-tuning stability, structure, and function. We recently demonstrated that – using machine learning – this rich information can be leveraged to predict glycan properties and, in turn, characteristics of the organisms exhibiting these glycans, opening up the potential of glycobiology to facilitate a new understanding of biology and enable future biomedical therapies.
In this project, we will use synthetic biology / genetic engineering to understand and modify the role of glycans in biological systems. With a main focus on mammalian cells, this project will entail state-of-the-art genetic engineering methods, including CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, as well as systems biology methods such as RNA-seq or glycomics. Further, we will leverage the synergy achieved by the glycan-focused bioinformatics and machine learning expertise in our group to achieve predictive modifications of glycans and analyze their effect on biological systems.
We especially value open-minded, innovative, and mission-driven researchers that are willing to learn. Openness to learning computational analyses (or experience in that area) will be seen as a plus.
For more information visit the link below.
PhD studentship i-Bio PhD program, Sorbonne Université
The i-Bio initiative, supported by the French Excellence initiative granted to Sorbonne University Alliance, aims at promoting interdisciplinary research projects at the interface between biology and other disciplines. In 2021, the competition-fundedi-Bio PhD program will offer 4 fully funded three-year PhD grants among fifteen selected projects proposals. A PhD studentship is available in the group of Dr. Stéphane Lemaire (Sorbonne Université, CNRS) in collaboration with the group of Dr. Boris Vauzeilles (Univ Paris-Saclay, CNRS). We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate a good background in chemical biology and biochemistry and interested by interdisciplinary research at the chemistry/biology interface. Candidates should have, or be studying for a master’s degree or equivalent in biology or chemistry. Studentship starting date: September-October 2021.
Glutathione (GSH) is a crucial tripeptide (γGlu-Cys-Gly) present in almost all living organisms. GSH can form a disulfide bond on protein cysteines, a redox post-translational modification favored under changing environmental/stress conditions and called S-glutathionylation. This dynamic modification is mainly controlled by glutaredoxins (GRXs) and constitutes a molecular switch with regulatory and signaling roles involved in numerous fundamental processes and in a wide range of human diseases.
The project aims at dissecting glutathione signaling pathways in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using a bioorthogonal chemo-biological strategy. We will employ a multidisciplinary approach combining chemistry, protein engineering, synthetic biology, genetics and cell biology to develop a genetic circuit enabling the biosynthesis of a clickable analog of GSH in a photosynthetic organism. By engineering a Chlamydomonas strain able to synthesize metabolically a clickable analog of GSH, proteins undergoing S-glutathionylation will be efficiently and selectively enriched using Copper(I)-catalyzed Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. Combined with quantitative mass spectrometry, this click-chemistry based approach will allow determining the in vivo dynamics of S-glutathionylation in a photosynthetic model organism as well as the specificities of this redox modification in response to physiological stresses. Moreover, in this engineered strain, selective inactivation, using CRISPR-Cas9, of genes coding for the major GRXs will allow to decipher their specific roles. Combining the identity of glutathionylated cysteines experimentally determined by this innovative chemo-biological approach with protein structural analyses will allow a better understanding of the structural determinants governing both glutathionylation and de-glutathionylation processes. Overall, this project will shed light on the importance and the role of glutathionylation in eukaryotes.
Detailed project available at: http://ibio.sorbonne-universite.fr/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/LEMAIRE_iBIO_PhD_2021.pdf
The candidate must be pro-active, team-oriented and interested in the molecular aspects of stress responses in photosynthetic organisms as well as conducting interdisciplinary research. Ideally, the candidate should have a strong background in biochemistry and chemical biology. Good knowledge in redox signaling or plant biology as well as some experience in proteomics, click chemistry or microalgae manipulation would be highly appreciated.
This doctoral project is a collaborative project between the team “Synthetic and Systems Biology of Microalgae” from the Laboratory of Computational and Quantitative Biology (http://www.lcqb.upmc.fr) at Sorbonne Université in Paris center and the team “Probes and Modulators for Biology” from Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles at Université Paris-Saclay in Gif-sur-Yvette (https://icsn.cnrs.fr). The work will be carried out in both laboratories.
Supervisors: Dr. Stéphane Lemaire (LCQB), Dr. Christophe Marchand (LCQB), Dr. Boris Vauzeilles (ICSN), Dr. Aurélie Baron (ICSN).
Procedure to apply
Applications must be submitted online before the 26th of February 2021.
All details can be found at: http://ibio.sorbonne-universite.fr/application-procedure/.
Interested candidates should contact the supervisors by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Synthetic Biology Postdoctoral Research Associate (University of Florida – Horticultural Sciences Dept)
A synthetic biology postdoctoral position is open in Andrew Hanson’s group at University of Florida https://www.adhansonlab.org/
The Hanson group is applying synthetic biology approaches to engineering plant and microbial metabolism. Their research aims for utility to agriculture and the bioeconomy. Ongoing projects include:
– Developing new-to-nature synthetic metabolic pathways that benefit agriculture and the environment
We collaborate extensively (via joint Federally-funded projects) and publish with groups at UF, in other US institutions, and in Europe. These groups include synthetic biologists, metabolic engineers, computational scientists, and plant biochemists.
For our publications see https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=NMKoQqEAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao
The position involves contributing to lab management, e.g. by overseeing ordering or coordinating performance of everyday tasks by other lab members.
– PhD degree in biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry, synthetic biology, or a related discipline
– Proven organizational, time-management, and communication skills (oral and written)
– Experience with E. coli and preferably also yeast as genetic and metabolic platform organisms
– Strong interest in applying synthetic biology to metabolic engineering
– An interest in plants and plant improvement is essential but prior experience in plants is not needed
Starting salary: $47,476/year. Fringe benefits include health insurance.
To Apply: Please send a letter of application, a detailed CV, and names and email addresses of three referees to firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty Positions: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
We are conducting a global talent search in Synthetic Biology. HKUST is setting up the city’s first institute of synthetic biology, with the vision to develop technologies and solutions in the era of new bioeconomy to improve human conditions.Noted you are in the field, we will be very grateful if you could alert your students, postdocs and colleagues to this very unique career opportunity. We are looking for candidates applying synthetic biology for fundamental scientific investigation or innovative technology development in thematic applications in biomedicine, health technology, sustainable living, and food. Faculty at all ranks are welcome, and we are particularly interested in recruiting a Director of the Institute!
If you know a senior faculty who might be interested, discreet inquiries can be made at email@example.com.
Besides, HKUST will open its new Guangzhou campus in September 2022. The new campus plans to recruit 400 regular faculty in the next 4 years in all research areas, in addition to over 160 new regular faculty in our current Hong Kong campus. More about our recruitment can be found at https://gz-faculty-recruitment.hkust.edu.hk/.
Founded in 1991 as the first research university in Hong Kong, HKUST consistently ranks among the top 50 universities in the world and the world’s best young university in Times Higher Education and QS ranking. With a strong focus on innovation, HKUST graduates were ranked 10th worldwide in the Global University Employability Survey 2019 by the New York Times.
Both HKUST and HKUST(GZ) offer very competitive starting salaries (comparable to the US) with generous retirement, medical and other benefits such as sabbatical leave and waterside campus housing. They are also among the most beautiful campuses in the world.
For any inquiry, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Biofoundry Positions at the NNF Centre for Bio-sustainability – Denmark
1 analytical chemist – to be advertised
3 postdocs in Computational Strain Design (part of design unit) – about to be advertised
1 postdoc in Metabolic Engineering (part of Design Unit) – about to be advertised
8 Computational Scientists for Microbial Reconstructions at PhD, Postdoc and senior researcher level – about to be advertised
We will also be looking for a Biofoundry manager to coordinate this large group and manage the substantial resources.
I am reaching out because we are about to launch CFB 2.0 in January and I would really appreciate your help in promoting our new positions. Continuing our tradition for excellence in cell factory engineering, the next iteration will push hard on Big Data generation and analytics. As a result, we have a number of new positions associated with the Biofoundry either already open or about to open. The positions can all be found on https://www.biosustain.dtu.dk/about/job.
Here are some of the positions already or about to be advertised:
· 4 scientists and/or RAs to our DNA foundry:
· Postdoc and PhD student for our Genome Engineering group
· Postdoc for Streptomyces Strain Engineering (part of Design Unit)
Ph.D Position at The University of Queensland
Contact: Professor Elizabeth Gillam: email@example.com
Project Title: Development of Nano-scale Biocatalysts from Cytochrome P450 Enzymes Attached to Virus-Like Particles, for Environmentally Friendly Fine Chemical Production
Description: The project will involve the development of reusable, nano-scale biocatalysts for use in fine chemical synthesis. We will use virus-like particles (VLPs) as scaffolds for attaching cytochrome P450 enzymes to create nano-catalysts for diverse applications in green chemistry, including the sustainable production of bioplastics from seed oils. The research is aimed at gaining a fundamental understanding of the way in which P450s can be immobilised in VLPs as well as how such systems can be customised for industrial applications. The research is to be undertaken in collaboration with CSIRO Biocatalysis Group and will run in parallel with several industry-funded collaborations, offering the successful student the opportunity to be involved in frequent interactions with the industry partners.
Preferred Experience: A working knowledge of molecular biology techniques or HPLC/GC-MS analysis of small molecules would be of benefit to someone working on this project. The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biotechnology, Structural Biology, Synthetic Biology, Molecular Biology or Plant Biology and the potential for scholastic success. Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.
*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 3, 2021. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.
Treatment of multi-drug resistant infections using a novel, rapid, and customised synthetic phage therapy platform.
If you’re looking to be the next potential pioneer in phagetherapy, consider applying for a Ph.D. with Karen Weynberg (University of Queensland) & Paul Jaschke (Macquarie University) to work on synthetic biology tools to fight UTI bacteria
Description: Antimicrobial resistance is increasing at an alarming rate globally. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop alternative, and potentially complementary, therapeutics to combat pathogenic microbes. The use of phage therapeutic methods in a variety of environments is poorly explored. This project aims to explore further the use of phage therapy by establishing an innovative synthetic biology platform to engineer phage therapy candidates within a biofoundry and will leverage the candidate’s skills in one or more of the following areas – microbiology, molecular biology, genetic engineering and laboratory automation. This project will focus on treating multi-drug resistant uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), which is responsible for one of the most common illnesses – urinary tract infection – and is increasingly associated with antibiotic resistance. Successful outcomes of this project will be peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals, intellectual property, and the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of people chronically infected by UPEC pathogens.
Preferred requirements: First class Honours/ Masters in a related discipline such as Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, or Virology
*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2021. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.