Tenure-track Assistant professor in Plant Diversity and Ecology
Department of Plant and Environmental Science

Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen

The Department of Plant and Environmental Science (PLEN), University of Copenhagen invites applications for a Tenure-track Assistant Professor within the field of Plant Diversity and Ecology with start1 May 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is in the Section for Organismal Biology (SOBI), https://plen.ku.dk/english/research/organismal_biology .

Basic and applied knowledge in plant diversity, ecology, and systematics are increasingly important to develop sustainable green solutions, environmentally friendly plant production, management of natural and semi-natural ecosystems, and to understand the effects of climate change.

We are seeking a candidate with a research background in plant diversity, plant ecology or plant systematics, with a focus on organismal knowledge of plants and their interactions with other organisms. Examples of such research could be within, but not limited to the following research areas: 1) interactions between plants and animals/microbes, 2) plant-plant interactions, 3) organism-based community and biodiversity analyses of specific habitats, agricultural systems, landscapes, urban nature or fallow areas, 4) phylogeny and systematics of plant families, 5) DNA barcoding of plants, and 6) restoration ecology and management. Candidates must show an interest in developing research within the broad mission of PLEN (https://plen.ku.dk/english/about/).

The successful candidate is expected to show strong potential to establish a productive research program, supported by external funding, which will complement and enhance existing strengths of the section and department. The candidate is expected to have teaching experience from relevant courses and an interest in further developing his/her teaching qualifications and contribute to teaching activities at PLEN. It is also expected that the candidate has or is willing to develop leadership skills with the aim to take on the role as research group leader.

Research and teaching at the Department of Plant and Environmental Science, focus on plants, animals, soil, and microorganisms – from molecules through organisms to populations and anthropogenic ecosystems. The institute hosts state-of-the-art infrastructure, field research facilities, and many opportunities for collaborations within the department. It is our vision to maintain and develop our position as one of the principal centres for plant biology based on excellent basic and applied research.

The Section for Organismal Biology studies plants, animals and fungi based on the overall hypothesis that biodiversity, interactions and diversity among organisms form an underutilized resource in the development towards sustainable food production, ecosystem management, and health. We work with a range of terrestrial organisms and systems (natural and anthropogenic) and employ a spectrum of methods ranging from classical sampling in the field to advanced, molecular methods to study biological interactions, diversity and systematics.


– Ph.D. in plant ecology, plant systematics or a related field.

– Preferably experience from one or more post doc positions, as assistant professor or similar.

– Track-record of publications in relevant high-impact international journals.

– Documented research experience in plant diversity, ecology or systematics.

– Documented ability to attract external funding and lead research projects.

– Good collaborative skills and a record of collaborative projects with academic or external stakeholders.

– Experience with outreach activities and communication of research to the public via e.g., popular science articles.

– Teaching experience with documentation of teaching quality in relevant courses (e.g., plant diversity, basic ecology, plant systematics, plant determination and field trips) is strongly desired.

– Commitment to and interest in the continued development of existing plant courses, and supervision at the BSc and MSc level.

– Experience with supervision or guidance of BSc-, MSc-, PhD students or post docs.

– Commitment to and interest in taking on administrative duties as required, e.g., as research group leader and other departmental services.

– Fluency in English, both spoken and written.

– Commitment to achieve proficiency in teaching in Danish as soon as possible and preferably within 3 years (BSc level courses are taught in Danish).

The main duties of the position include the applicant’s own research and research development, teaching in existing courses in basic botany and ecology, and supervision of students, in addition to associated tasks like grant applications, research management, supervision and training of research fellows and other staff, preparation and participation in examinations, and other tasks requested by the Department.

The candidate is expected to be enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary, academic environment conducting research and teaching at the highest international level. The position requires a highly motivated scientist who is comfortable working in teams, has good interpersonal skills, as well as a collaborative and open mind-set.

Assessment of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented, internationally competitive research reflected by significant research impact through high research quality and/or many citations in recognized journals and/or books. The ability to attract external funding will be considered together with outreach qualifications. Participation in national and international scientific networks and mobility are prioritized. Teaching qualifications and teaching experience will be considered and are highly prioritized. The assessment includes an evaluation of the teaching portfolio that documents teaching experience and reflections on teaching skills and an ongoing development of pedagogical and didactic skills. Applicants who have not conducted a formal education for teaching at the University level are expected to finalize this within the first year of their employment.

Six overall criteria apply for Assistant professor appointments at the University of Copenhagen. The six criteria (research, teaching, societal impact, organizational 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.

Further information on the Department can be found at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/. Inquiries about the position can be made to Head of Department Svend Christensen (+4551489421, svc@plen.ku.dk), or Head of Section Brian Lund Fredensborg (+4535332676, blf@plen.ku.dk).

The University of Copenhagen 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 Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for a salary supplement is possible.

The tenure-track programme
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 the assistant professor will be promoted as associate professor. Performance and progression towards the criteria below will be evaluated with due consideration of differences between research fields.

Criteria for promotion

After a 6-year tenure-track period tenure-track assistant professors are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • A strong publication track record within the specific field of research, including a significant number of corresponding authorships and at least some publications in  high-ranked journals based on work carried out during the tenure-track period
  • Strong external network of collaboration, including joint publications
  • A significant track record of successful external research funding
  • Establishment of a strong and internationally competitive research group demonstrating clear independence of former supervisors/mentors, or/and major contributions to the development of an existing research group demonstrating an ability to collaborate within the research group
  • Completed https://www.ind.ku.dk/english/course_overview/up/ and established a teaching portfolio via participation in teaching, including preparation and development of departmental courses
  • Successful supervision/co-supervision of MSc and PhD students

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

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae including information about external funding
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Description and documentation of teaching experience and qualifications according to the university guidelines
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 5 relevant publications

The deadline for applications is 28 November 2021, 23:59 GMT +1.

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 30 March 2022.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0104/21-2NAPPLY NOW

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Brian Lund FredensborgE-mail: blf@plen.ku.dk


Application deadline: 28-11-2021Employment start: 01-05-2022Working hours: Full timeDepartment/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

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