Central Denmark Region, Denmark
Date Posted
15 Jan 2018

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PhD Project
Aarhus University

Plasmonic sensors to measure single molecule binding events

Central Denmark Region, Denmark
15 Jan 2018

Position Description

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Nanoscience programme. The position is available from 1 May 2018 or later.
Plasmonic sensors to measure single molecule binding events
Research area and project description:
The project aims to use nanoptical structures to study multivalencey and pattern recognition in biomolecule interactions. Plasmonic nanostructures can act as refractive index sensors with very small detection volumes down to the size of individual proteins, however developments are required to make them suitable as single molecules tools for studying molecular recognition. This PhD project will make use of novel concepts in nanoscale physics and cleanroom fabrication to design and test multifunctional and localized sensing devices. The developed devices will be functionalized with molecular patterns and metallic nanoparticles via for example DNA origami using existing designs. By placing metallic elements and ligands via self assembly onto lithographically prepared nanosensors a hybrid device with single macromolecule sensitivity is envisaged. A goal of the work will be to apply such nanosensors systems to study the dynamics of binding and unbinding of macromolecules relevant for immune recognition. This PhD project is part of the large DG center CellPAT: Center for Cellular Signal Patterns (started 1st November 2017) (, which aims to understand the role of multivalency and patterns in immune recognition, cell adhesion and signaling and disease. The student will collaborate with other more biologically oriented students and post-doc’s within the project and apply the plasmonic devices to study molecular interactions in different biological systems.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants to the PhD position must have a relevant Master’s degree in Nanoscience, Chemistry or Physics, or equivalent. Competences in materials fabrication and protein level interactions will be an advantage but not obligatory.
Place of Employment and Place of Work:
iNANO, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (, was established in 2002 and at present is a major research and education center based at Aarhus University hosting 60 senior scientists, ~100 PostDocs and ~130 PhD students. The center combines expertise and faculty from Physics, Chemistry, Molecular biology and Medicine to carry out world class interdisciplinary research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. The center gives access to a broad range of infrastructure, tools and expertise including clean-room facilities. With a 5 year undergraduate nanotechnology programme and nanoscience graduate programme ( the center provides a full educational environment. In addition to the large base of basic research, the center has a large number of ongoing industrial projects and partnerships.
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Duncan Sutherland
Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO)
Aarhus University
Gustav Wieds Vej 14
DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Mobil tlf.: +45 23385789

How to Apply

Application procedures Before you apply Information and attachments: Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go. Documentation of language skills: The English language requirement at Graduates School of Science and Technology is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”). English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” is documented by one of the following tests: • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test) • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points • Cambridge ESOL Examinations: Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE) Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) When to take the test and how to upload the documentation: The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application. The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form. It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to no later than one month after the application deadline. The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test: • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden). • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”. • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at Aarhus University for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”. • Applicants able to document that English was the language of instruction during the whole period of their Bachelor’s and/or Master’s programme. This must be documented by uploading an official document from the institution stating this under “language skills documentation”. The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview. How to apply: 1) Find the application form: Go to Choose Feb 2018 Call with deadline 1 February 2018 at 11.59 PM MET. You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme Nanoscience 2) Fill in the following information: • Personal information • Academic background • Admission • Financing (DGF) • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: " Plasmonic sensors” • Source (how you found out about the call) Some of the information fields in the application have a little number outside of them to the right. By clicking on the number, you can find further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed. 3) Application attachments: Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded. If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available. Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English. As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip): • one reference (template for references) • curriculum vitae, • motivation (max. 1 page) • transcripts and diploma(s) • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. • Documentation of language skills if required. After submission of the application you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. In case of significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline. GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts: • Request additional information to verify an application. • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST application guide here Please note: The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

Position Category: Chemical Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Salary: €40'000 - €50'000.

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