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PhD position in Industrial Biotechnology - Austria

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Graz University of Technology, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology is a participant in the EU project BIOCASCADES, a MSCA-ITN-EID project in the frame of Horizon 2020.  This project provides a PhD training programme in the field of industrial biotechnology / biocatalysis within a network of academic and industrial partners. As a PhD student (ESR, “Early Stage researcher) of this programme you will be supervised by an academic and an industrial partner and will perform part of their work at the laboratory of the industrial partner. You will also be required to participate in the training and workshop organized by the ITN-EID.  As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fellow, you are also expected to contribute your time in the dissemination of your project’s result through public engagement and other scientific platforms.
The specific topic of the PhD position available at TUG is “Widening the substrate scope of transaminases by protein engineering”. This project will be performed a the TUG in close cooperation with the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB) on the one hand and with the industrial partner DSM (Netherlands), a leading company in fine chemicals production.   

This PhD project will focus on analyzing previously identified transaminase structures for restrains for binding of functionalized bulky or bulky-bulky ketones.  It also focuses on widening the substrate scope and improving the activity of transaminases by protein engineering. The expected outcome is a toolbox of optimized amine transaminases with complementary enantioselectivities.    
Supervision at TU Graz: Prof. Dr. Helmut Schwab
Supervision at acib: Dr Kerstin Steiner
Supervision at DSM: Dr. Martin Schürmann

Job Requirements:

If you who have the acumen, enthusiasm and motivation to make a significant contribution to a challenging research in the development of sustainable (chemo) enzymatic cascade reactions, and have successfully finished a master/diploma study programme in Biotechnology, Biochemistry or Chemistry, please send your application including copies of your relevant documents, your CV and a motivation letter (all pdf files).


Contact detail

How to apply:
To apply for the position, kindly provide: (i) a letter of motivation including a 1-page statement of your research interests, relevant skills and experience; (ii) a CV including publication list; and (iii) names and contact details of three referees willing to write confidential letters of recommendation.  All materials should be attached as a single PDF file (max. size 5MB).  The PDF file name should include your first name and last name.

The closing date for all applications is 9th January 2015.

Send your applications to: 

Send application to
Prof. Dr. Helmut Schwab


Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Austria (Steiermark)
Working place
8010 Graz
Area of expertise
Biotechnology, Biology & Life Sciences, Chemistry