211-0216/24-2N Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Climate Friendly Soil Management

Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Climate Friendly Soil Management
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen invites applications for a Tenure-track Assistant Professor position within the area of “Climate Friendly Soil Management”, starting 1 February 2025, or as soon as possible thereafter.  

Research and teaching at PLEN covers topics within agriculture, biotechnology and environment. The department is divided into nine sections dealing with a wide range of subjects. Focus is on plants, animals, soil and microorganisms – from molecules through organisms to populations and anthropogenic ecosystems. It is our vision to maintain and develop our position as one of the principle centers for plant and environmental sciences and the related areas based on excellent basic and applied research. The department hosts state-of-the art infrastructure, unique field research facilities and many opportunities for collaboration within the department.

The Tenure-track Assistant Professor will be affiliated to the Section for Plant and Soil Sciences, located at the Frederiksberg Campus, which covers research and teaching from the molecular to the ecosystem level, focusing on plant-environment interactions and soil processes as fundamental drivers for development of future systems for sustainable production of food and bio-materials.

Description of qualifications needed in terms of research and teaching

The candidate for the tenure-track Assistant Professor position should be qualified to focus specifically on climate friendly soil management, including research on alternative fertilization strategies, as well as cropping and tillage strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions and/or enhance soil carbon (C) sequestration. Furthermore, the candidate should be able to strengthen and develop teaching activities at PLEN on environmental aspects in both BSc and MSc level programmes in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Science.

The candidate should demonstrate a profound understanding of how soil nutrient and carbon turnover processes (chemical as well as biological) and GHG are affected by soil management. Based on this, the candidate should be able to develop research to establish the most optimal strategies for soil and nutrient management, minimising GHG emissions and maximising soil C sequestration. The methods applied should include advanced approaches for GHG flux measurements under laboratory and field conditions as well as various types of in situ methods for sensing key parameters such as soil oxygen, nutrient and water content, pH and soil GHG gas concentrations. In addition, the candidate should be able to deploy modelling approaches to analyse processes leading to emissions of GHG and assess the environmental impacts and benefits of soil management strategies in a wider perspective. The candidate is expected to have a publication record in recognised journals within the research field of Climate Friendly Soil Management.

The tenure-track Assistant Professor candidate should be able to develop and, over time, lead new research activities addressing the global and local challenges of sustaining or increasing agricultural productivity with minimal negative impacts on the climate.

The tenure-track Assistant Professor will be expected to collaborate closely with a recently appointed Professor of Sustainable Soil Fertility Management, but also with time to develop independent activities and research lines, eventually leading to establishment of an independent research group.

An orientation towards and motivation for engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration, both within academia but also with partners in the agricultural sector, private industry and authorities will be an advantage.  

In summary, the applicants for the Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Climate Friendly Soil Management should have strong qualifications in the following areas:

  • A Ph.D in soil and/or environmental sciences with a focus on climate change and GHG emissions from agricultural systems, and three to seven years of post-graduate research experience in this field.
  • Profound knowledge of the interactions between soil processes, nutrient turnover and fertilisation strategies on GHG fluxes and other environmental emissions
  • Experience with various laboratory and field experimental approaches, for determination of GHG fluxes and soil C and N turnover.
  • Experience in developing mitigation strategies for reducing GHG emissions, such as soil and water management, fertiliser formulation, nitrification inhibitors or application methods etc.
  • Experience with modelling of soil processes leading to the production and emission of GHGs and/or methods for assessing environmental impacts of mitigation measures in a wider perspective will be an advantage.
  • An internationally competitive research output documented by an appropriate number of first- or co-authored scientific papers in internationally recognised journals.
  • Interest and preferably experience in performing and developing teaching activities on climate- and environment-related topics.
  • Good collaborative skills and experience with academic or external stakeholder collaboration.
  • Experience with contributing to grant proposal writing to attract external funding.
  • Experience with outreach activities and communication of research to the public via e.g., popular science articles.

The tenure-track assistant professor’s duties

The tenure-track Assistant Professor’s duties will primarily include i) research, including obligations with regard to publication/scientific communication and ii) research-based teaching with associated examination obligations within climate friendly soil management and related topics; research and teaching are equally prioritised. For details on the tenure-track Assistant Professor programme at University of Copenhagen, please see details at the end.

The tenure-track Assistant Professor’s will be expected to teach at both BSc and MSc level programmes in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Science. The candidate should therefore have some teaching experience and be interested in developing own teaching skills, e.g. by participation in didactic training and courses. Earlier teaching training will be considered, but the candidate will be offered formal teaching training within the first part of the tenure-track appointment. As PLEN BSc courses are taught in Danish, the candidate should be committed to teach in Danish within 2-3 years. The tenure-track Assistant Professor is expected to prioritise teaching and educational development as well as BSc, MSc and PhD student supervision and be willing to receive feedback from colleagues and students and collaborate with colleagues on teaching activities. To a limited extent, the position may also include other duties.

The tenure-track Assistant Professor is expected to have potential for attracting funding and must have an academic standing showing internationally competitive research, and/or have internationally recognised high potential to make a future impact.

The tenure-track Assistant Professor is expected to contribute to the departmental forums and seek collaboration within the section and across the department. In addition, experience with collaboration with external partners in the agricultural sector, private industry and authorities is valued.  Experiences from other research environments and mobility is prioritised e.g. sabbatical stay of shorter or longer duration.  

Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, internationally competitive research, reflected by significant research output and impact within the topic area of the position, as well as teaching qualifications and experience. The potential or demonstrated ability to attract external funding will be considered together with outreach qualifications. Formal teaching qualifications are not mandatory, but documented teaching qualifications and experience will be considered.

University of Copenhagen’s criteria for recognising merit

Six overall criteria apply for tenure-track Assistant Professor appointments at the University of Copenhagen. The six criteria (research, teaching, societal impact, organisational contribution, external funding and leadership) are considered a framework for the overall assessment of candidates. Furthermore, each candidate must be assessed according to the specific requirements stated in the job advertisement. Please read more at https://jobportal.ku.dk/videnskabelige-stillinger/kriterier-for-videnskabelige-stillinger/dokumenter-til-meritering/5a_Criteria_for_recognising_merit_-Assistant_professors.pdf.

The tenure-track programme
The tenure-track programme is a career programme and an assigned mentor will provide the tenure-track assistant professors with guidance related to career development, other academic topics and administrative procedures.

Performance of the tenure-track assistant professor will be followed via internal yearly evaluations and a mid-term and final international evaluation by an assessment committee. If the ‘final appraisal’ is positive you will be promoted as associate professor. Performance and progression towards the criteria below will be evaluated with due consideration of differences between research fields.

After a 6-year tenure-track period tenure-track assistant professors are expected to meet the criteria for appointment of associate professors at the University of Copenhagen.

Further information on the Department is linked at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/. Inquiries about the position can be made to Head of Section, Professor Lars Stoumann Jensen (lsj@plen.ku.dk or +45 35333470).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae including:
    • Educational background
    • Positions held at universities/research institutions outside Denmark
    • International network and relations
    • Internationally based activities
    • Outreach activities, i.e. popular lectures or other activities in the media
    • Grants held, personal or in part. Career development grants.
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan - description of current and future research plans
  • Description and documentation of teaching experience and qualifications https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/job-application-portfolio/ including teaching and supervision (BSc, MSc students) experience, any formal pedagogical training
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of up to 5 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 25 August 2024, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews/trial lectures will be held on 6 January 2025.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0216/24-2N.



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Lars Stoumann Jensen
E-mail: lsj@plen.ku.dk


Ansøgningsfrist: 25-08-2024
Ansættelsesdato: 01-02-2025
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

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