Open Positions

Open positions at Fraunhofer IVV

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PhD Positions

PhD position in RASOPTA

A 3-year PhD fellowship is available at the Chair of Aroma and Smell Research, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany, with an expected start January 1st 2022. The fellowship is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956481.


The RASOPTA consortium consists of enthusiastic academic researchers and innovative non-academic partners, which together will train a new generation of scientists with expertise in sustainable and healthy fish production with minimum water consumption. Production of fish in recirculated aquaculture systems (RAS) requires experiences from several scientific disciplines, but there is need to bridge existing knowledge gaps between these disciplines to ensure a high water quality, healthy and non-stressed fish, and a supreme consumer quality of the fish. Therefore, in RASOPTA state-of-the-art training in important disciplines within RAS technology will be provided by 10 universities and research institutes and 8 non-academic partners in 8 countries. Primary goals of the training are to improve microbial processes to maintain a high water quality, to identify flavour compounds that may affect consumer preference for fish from RAS, and to ensure an optimum health and welfare of the fish. The research also aims at developing a DNA-based chip for early warning of quality and health of the fish. To reach the interdisciplinary goals in RASOPTA, the consortium will train 12 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in disciplines ranging from chemistry, microbiology and molecular biology, to physiology and pathology of fish. More information about RASOPTA can be found at

About your project:

Together with three other Early Stage Researchers (to be recruited by the University of Copenhagen and the Fraunhofer IVV (Freising, Germany), you will contribute to RASOPTA’s work package 2 which focuses on the investigation and the development of managing strategies regarding off-flavours in fish and water of RAS. You will identify off-flavour hotspots in freshwater RAS systems, develop strategies to avoid off-flavour formation, and evaluate consumer acceptance of RAS fish. You will apply analytical methods such as gas chromatography-olfactometry/mass spectrometry to investigate water samples obtained from different sites of the RAS, and determine the influence of biofilters and microbes on off-flavour formation. Moreover, you will study the organoleptic properties of the fish and its acceptance by sensory evaluation and consumer testing of fish. You will work in close collaboration with the Early Stage Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and at Fraunhofer IVV, who will work on additional aspects of off-flavour generation in different RAS systems. Mobility within RASOPTA is of high importance and you are therefore expected to spend two months at University of Copenhagen, and two months at RAS production units in Denmark and France. You will be enrolled as a PhD at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg and are expected to participate in the training programme of RASOPTA with at least 12 ECTS. At FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, a comprehensive training programme is also available, offered by the Graduate Centre of FAU.

Eligibility criteria:

  • The researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of his/her host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment – unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention(1).
  • The researcher must be Early Stage Researcher (ESR): at time of recruitment he/she must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience)(2) of his/her research careers and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

(1) 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol
(2) This is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.
We are looking for a dedicated and skilled individual with the following qualifications:

  • Obtained a Master’s degree, preferably within chemistry, chemical sensing and chemical sensor technology, food chemistry, food technology, sensory evaluation, or related fields. To be considered for the position, it is a condition that your Master’s degree is considered to be equivalent to a German Master’s degree.
  • Sound knowledge or prior experience in analytical chemistry, aroma chemistry, organic chemical synthesis, chemical sensing and chemical sensor technology, food chemistry, or related fields.
  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • Strong team player skills and enthusiasm about working self-dependently in interdisciplinary environments

Terms of employment:

Employment is expected to start on January 1st, 2022. The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Action regulations for Early Stage Researchers and according to the rules and regulations laid down by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action European Training Network. The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on local tax regulations and on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on the local Supervisor, and in accordance with the regular PhD time in the country of origin).

More information:

More information about the Chair of Aroma and Smell Research can be found at For further information about the position, applicants may contact Helene Loos ( or Nadine Goldenstein (


The application must include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, as well as possible letters of recommendation and diplomas.
The closing date for applications is September 15th, 2021. Candidates must submit their application electronically via an e-mail to

If you are interested in working in RASOPTA, there are more positions available in our partner institutions:


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HiWi/Student Assistants

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In our working group, we offer a wide range of topics for Bachelor, master, diploma and state exam theses for students from the fields of Chemistry (especially Food Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry), Molecular Sciences, Food Technologies, Nutrition Sciences and related programs. In general, we offer theses in the various areas.


Synthesis and Characterization of Odor Active Substances, Examination of Structure-Odor Relations

The aim of the work is the synthesis of structurally related volatile compounds potentially included as odorants in food, plant materials or even synthetic materials (such as plastics). The synthesized target components are characterized by analytical parameters such as mass spectra, NMR spectra, retention indices. In addition, their odor properties are recorded and possible structure-odor relationships identified. Furthermore, the human sensory evaluation of the compounds and the determination of odor thresholds are performed.

Applicants need in-depth knowledge of the synthesis of organic compounds and must have sufficient laboratory experience to ensure safe and independent work. Experience with sensory examinations and analytical methods, in particular gas chromatography, as well as MS and NMR would be an advantage.

For queries and applications, please contact

Nadine Goldenstein,


Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Odorous Substances

The aim of the work is the analytical characterization of odor-active substances, which are potentially important in food, plant materials or synthetic materials such as plastics for the aroma or the smell of the product. The target components are identified and quantified in the respective materials by analytical methods, in particular gas chromatography olfactometry or GC-MS. In order to be able to quantify the substances in the respective materials by means of GC-MS, the synthesis of stable isotope-labeled analogues of the odor-active substances will – if necessary – also be the subject of the work.

Applicants must be able to work independently and safely in chemical laboratories and must have in-depth knowledge of the analysis of organic, in particular volatile compounds.  Initial experiences with gas chromatographic analyses as well as experiences in sensory examinations and other analytical methods, in particular MS and NMR, is preferable.

For queries and applications, please contact

Nadine Goldenstein,