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Join the RecaP Team

Are you interested in being part of an interdisciplinary team addressing the Global Phosphorus Challenge, including agri-food, waste and environmental sectors (capture, recovery, utilization, cycling, and transformation of Phosphorus)?

Prof. Julia Martin-Ortega © RePhoKUs Project Report, October 2020

15 PhD positions available in the RecaP Project

Do you see yourself at the cutting edge of Phosphorus technologies, policy and governance?

The RecaP training network will bring together 15 PhD students in both industrial and research positions to ensure sustainable P changes across the EU and globally. Click on the position title below to learn more about the position.

All PhD students in the RecaP Project will be expected to:

  • work in a multidisciplinary team
  • in an international environment and to work independently
  • have a strong interest in research and science
  • possess an excellent academic record in disciplines related to the selected ESR project, and
  • have excellent communication skills in English, verbally as well as in scientific writing

Please note: these expectations provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable expectations and duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post. 

Details about the application and selection process can be found here.

ESR - PhD Descriptions

Focus: Biopolymers to trap P in Dairy waste

Planned Secondments:

 1. SDU (Denmark) 31P NMR analysis and sequential P extraction on recovered P products to assess P speciation.
2. NUI Galway (Ireland) Test of alternative materials for the in-reactor biofilter.
3. NVP Energy Ltd (Ireland) Optimization of reactor configurations on a range of agri-food feedstocks with the aim to produce a recovered P product for agronomic testing.

Principle Supervisor: John McGrath

Main hosting site: Queen's University of Belfast (United Kingdom)

This position has closed.

Focus: Develop materials for P binding in different systems

Planned Secondments:

1. QUEENS (United Kingdom) Test of LDHs in wastewater.
2. SEGES, Danish Agriculture & Food Council F.m.b.A. (Denmark) Test of LDHs in constructed wetlands.
3. FVB-IGB (Germany) Full scale testing of filter material in natural freshwater systems.
4. Smallmatek (Portugal) Large scale synthesis of P binding filter.

Principle Supervisor: Ulla Gro Nielsen

Main hosting site: University of Southern Denmark (Denmark)

This position has closed.

Focus: Combined removal and recovery of phosphorus using iron, via vivianite or adsorption on ironoxides

Planned Secondments:

1. Smallmatek (Portugal) Laboratory-scale synthesis of Fe-coated grids.
2. UOULU (Finland) Development of ironoxide adsorbents for P binding.
3. Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) Mössbauer spectroscopy to isolate and identify vivianite.
4. SDU (Denmark) P adsorption tests in different freshwater systems.

Principle Supervisor: Leon Korving

Main hosting site: Wetsus (Netherlands)

This position has closed.

Focus: Develop separation/crystallization processes for high purity phosphates

Planned Secondments:

1. AAU (Denmark) Membrane separation of P from WWTP effluents.
2. WETSUS (Netherlands) Test of P recovery in freshwater
3. KRÜGER (Denmark) Modelling of P flow through a wastewater treatment plant with P crystallization.

Principle Supervisor: Haiyan Qu

Main hosting site: University of Southern Denmark (Denmark)

This position has closed.

Focus: Understanding interactions between Fe, P, S and organic matter in manure to stimulate vivianite formation in manure (and other matrices: sludge, sediments).

Planned Secondments:

1. Kemira (Finland) Study influences of different Fe salts for vivianite formation.
2. Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) Magnetic separation and Mössbauer spectroscopy to isolate and identify vivianite.
3. SDU (Denmark) Chemical analysis of separated P by 31P NMR analysis.
4. Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) Develop an engineering design for the proposed technology.

Principle Supervisor: Leon Korving

Main hosting site: Wetsus (Netherlands)

This position has closed.

Abstract:

The principal aim of present ESR project is to find opportunities to recover P and Fe from the waste water sludge. Fe-P is a relevant recovery product from sewage sludge, either in the form of P-containing Fe-hydroxides or vivianite, when iron salts are used as coagulant chemicals in water treatment processes. The work will develop new approaches to separate Fe from Fe-P from wastewater by improving known alkaline and acid treatments procedures to produce Fe suitable for reuse as a valuable raw material in Fe coagulant production or other novel applications, and simultaneously recover P as a valuable fertilizer or other advanced end-uses.

The work will address the fate of iron phosphates along the wastewater treatment process, Fe phosphate processing and recovery of Fe and P when Fe based coagulants are used in wastewater treatment. Special tasks are to i) Develop a technology to separate Fe and P from the recovered iron-phosphates ii) Identify methods on how the Fe and P can further be processed to valuable products iii) Evaluate methods to recover Fe in a quality that allows its reuse as a valuable raw material in Fe coagulant and other products, iv) summarize Fe recycling technologies.

Planned Secondments:

1. Kemira (Finland) study and initiate development of a process to recover Fe and P from Fe-P
2. WETSUS (Netherlands) Testing the recovery process on Fe-P recovery products from wastewater.
3. SDU (Denmark) Knowledge sharing on P recovery techniques and short-term test of the recovery process on Fe-P recovery products from lake water.

Principal Supervisor: Henrikki Liimatainen

Main hosting site: University of Oulu (Finland)

This position has closed.

Focus: Plant availability of different recovered P products in soils. P/Fe characterization by various techniques. Potential leaching of P from recovered products

Planned Secondments:

1. BOKU (Austria) P visualization in the rootzone.
2. QUEENS (United Kingdom) Plant availability tests on soils with recovered P fertilizers.
3. The James Hutton Institute (Scotland) Lab-scale P leaching experiments on different soil types.
4. SEGES, Danish Agriculture & Food Council F.m.b.A. (Denmark) Evaluation of nature-based solutions for minimizing P leaching from agricultural soils.

Principal Supervisor:  Sander Bruun and Dorette Sophie Müller-Stöver

Main hosting site: University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

This position has closed.

Abstract: In this PhD project, the successful candidate will be investigating the potential of cover crops for rendering inaccessible soil P fractions (i.e. legacy P) accessible for plant production. Therefore, cover crop mixtures will be optimized for high P solubilization and uptake capacity, aiming at enhancing P cycling in the soil- cover crop - cash crop system.

The experimental work comprises of testing cover crop species and species mixtures in greenhouse experiments and conducting a field experiment with the best performing mixtures. The successful candidate will be trained in and perform soil and plant chemical analyses for this purpose.

Planned Secondments:

1. SDU (Denmark) Visualisation of P-solubilisation activity of cover crops (e.g. pH changes).
2. UCPH (Denmark) Characterization of P in soils with cover crops.
3. AGRANA Group (Austria) Field trials for testing P uptake of selected cover crop mixtures.
4. PROMAN (Austria) Learning smart regulation from the leaders and conceive transfer to other member states.

Principal Supervisor:  Jakob Santner

Main hosting site: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria)

This position has closed.

Focus: Identify market needs, and new value chains engage stakeholders

Planned Secondments:

1. UNIVLEEDS (United Kingdom) Cost-optimization, cost-benefit analysis and identify willingness to utilize recovered P in a participatory process with stakeholders.
2. Linköping University (Sweden) Contrast of legal and advocacy framing of recycled products for urban and peri-urban agriculture to ID opportunities.
3. BOKU (Austria) Crop specific fertilization strategies.

Principal Supervisor:  Ludwig Hermann

Main hosting site: Proman GmbH (Austria)

This position has closed.

Focus: Microbiological and chemical investigations of poly-P formation in sludge from EU

Planned Secondments:

1. SDU (Denmark) 31P NMR and sequential P fractionation study of P speciation in wastewater sludge.
2. Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) Identification of PAOs and P speciation in lab-scale reactors.
3. KRUGER (Denmark) Process optimization of full-scale EBPR plants.

Principal Supervisor:  Per Halkjær Nielsen

Main hosting site: Aalborg University (Denmark)

This position has closed.

Focus: P dynamics and speciation in Wastewater Treatment Plants including digesters e.g. role of ions in the inlet, mass balance of digesters, dewatering of sludge, availability of P for precipitation.

Test of a BioP-control module and implementation of results in a model program for BioP-design.

Planned Secondments:

1. SDU (Denmark) P speciation in sewage sludge from differently operated EBPRs.
2. AAU (Denmark) Effects of different plant operations on PAO´s and poly-P formation in different WWTPs.
3. WETSUS(Netherlands) Role and identity of metal-ion bound P in WWTPs.

Principal Supervisor:  Aviaja Anna Hansen

Main hosting site: Krüger A/S (Denmark)

Deadline to apply, 1 October: https://kruger.career.emply.com/da/ad/phd-position-available-in-the-phosphorus-dynamics-of-wastewater-treatment-plants/a3npvl

Abstract: The PhD project will focus on the interplay of microbial and geochemical processes to forming stable phosphorus forms in lake sediments during early diagenesis. The study is based on the hypothesis that processes occurring under optimised conditions in wastewater treatment plants also contribute to the formation of mineral forms in lake sediments. The process studies are to be carried out both on a laboratory scale and under field conditions. Various freshwater systems will be screened for Poly-P storing bacteria and their role in promoting mineral P formation. The results serve as basis for innovative managing of eutrophication and phosphorus recovery from natural and engineered systems. For the analysis of the phosphorus forms and their transformation, advanced analytical methods including NMR spectroscopy or X-ray diffraction will be used in close cooperation with interdisciplinary project partners from other research institutions and private companies.

Planned Secondments:

1. SDU (Denmark) 31P NMR analysis on sediment samples to identify poly-P.
2. AAU (Denmark) Screening for PAOs by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and Raman microspectroscopy.
3. QUEENS (United Kingdom) Enzymatic analysis on sediments known to contain poly-P.
4. Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) Study biogeochemical and microbial induced phosphate immobilisation mechanisms.

Principal Supervisor: Michael Hupfer

Main hosting site: Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (Germany)

This position has closed.

Abstract:

Phosphorus is essential to crop production, but globally, phosphorus availability is under pressure. While there are increasing efforts to recycle phosphorus, the use of such products in agriculture lags behind. To foster circularity of phosphorus in Europe, better understanding is needed of the demand for recycled phosphorus in European agriculture, and the real-world social, economic and environmental factors constraining and enabling adoption of P recycling products. 
This PhD will analyze the spatial and temporal dynamics of demand for recycled phosphorus under scenarios that account for different developments in European agriculture. This includes 1) assessing the spatial variation and development in agricultural systems with respect to their phosphorus demand. 2) identifying barriers and enables for uptake of recycled phosphorus, through document analysis and stakeholder interaction. 3) quantify potential of use of P recycling across a range of food systems and 4) Building on plausible scenarios of sustainable agriculture in Europe (expansion organic sector, increasing circularity), explore consequences for demand and potential recycling of P.  

Planned Secondments:

1. Linköping University (Sweden)
2. University of Technology, Sydney (Australia)
3. UCPH (Denmark)
4. PROMAN (Austria)

Principal Supervisor: Peter H. Verburg

Main hosting site: Stichting - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands)

This position has closed.

Focus: Explore the causes of chaotic P governance and how it can be transformed by conceptualizing P sustainability issues as policy problems. It will explore processes of P framing and problem definition leading to success or failure of attempts to improve P governance

Planned Secondments:

1. University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) Case study P governance (policy failure).
2. STICHTING VU (Netherlands) P governance in organic farming.
3. Linköping University (Sweden) Case study P governance (policy failure).
4. PROMAN (Austria) Investigating the impacts of regulations in place in selected member states and their potential for transfer to other member states.

Principal Supervisor: Julia Martin-Ortega

Main hosting site: University of Leeds (United Kingdom)

This position has closed.

Focus: Explore the scope of transdisciplinarity in the economic analysis of the P challenge by integrating the understanding of P processes with their socio-economic consequences and stakeholder participation at the catchment level

Planned Secondments:

1. University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) Transdisciplinary frameworks for P sustainability
2. The James Hutton Institute (Scotland) P process modelling and optimization strategies.
3. Linköping University (Sweden) Coupling qualitative and quantitative information to uncover novel intervention points.
4. PROMAN (Austria) Transdisciplinary organisation of business model transition.

Principal Supervisor: Julia Martin-Ortega

Main hosting site: University of Leeds (United Kingdom)

This position has closed.

The host organisation appoints each eligible researcher under an employment contract for 36 months. The ESR fellows are expected to join their host organizations starting from September 2021 (estimated). The ESR is covered under the social security scheme that applies to employed workers within the country of the host organization, covering the researcher in every place of implementation of the project activities. Any deviations are arranged by host organisations, outlined in their specific recruitment documents (see links, above).

The Living Allowance amount is €3,270 per month (basic gross salary, before taxation and compulsory deductions for contributions to social insurance schemes according to national law). To ensure equal treatment and purchasing power parity, this amount is then multiplied by the correction coefficient applicable to the country where the ESR will be hosted.

A mobility allowance of €600 per month contributes to the private expenses of the researchers. A Family allowance of €500 per month is provided based on family status at time of (first) recruitment.

 

The RecaP project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skƚodwska-Curie grant agreement No 956454.

Department of Biology University of Southern Denmark
  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: +45 6550 2720

Last Updated 31.05.2021