Call for applicants


1 PhD position in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Project C-PlaNeT

ESR 03: Design for Circularity: Importance of material properties for the recyclability of plastic products (prof. Astrup, Technical University of Denmark)

Applications are invited for 1 PhD positions (“Early Stage Researcher”) to be funded by the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “C-PlaNeT – Circular Plastics Network for Training” within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. C-PlaNeT is a consortium of high-profile universities, research institutions and companies located in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark and Greece.

The Department of Environmental Technology at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Environment) has an open position as a PhD student in Design for Circularity: Importance of material properties for the recyclability of plastic products

The position is part of the EU ITN program C-PlaNeT, and is a double degree PhD in collaboration with University of Ghent.

The position is placed in the section Residual Resource Engineering

The objective of the PhD is to investigate the requirements for real circularity of plastic materials and products. The focus will be placed on plastic recyclability and material functionality based on physico-chemical characterization of selected plastic, quantification of circularity and recommendations for design in view of collection and recovery strategies. The position has three overall aims:

  • The first aim is to identify key barriers for circularity of plastics with regards to functionality, legal requirements and recovery options.

  • Secondly, chemical and product design requirements for an increased circularity potential in future products will be investigated.

  • Finally recommendations for improved design of collection and recovery options will be provided, potentially based on system level modelling.


Responsibilities and tasks

The PhD involves the following type of activities:

  • Literature review

  • Methodology development

  • Experimental research

  • Writing of articles

  • Teaching

  • Participation in courses and ITN workshops

  • Dissemination of research at seminars, workshops and conferences



Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

We expect the candidate to have:

  • Good analytical skills, research potential, be well-organized and enterprising and possess good interpersonal skills needed to collaborate with other university departments, authorities and private companies.

  • The applicant must master spoken and written English.

  • The candidate should have relevant laboratory experience within material and/or waste characterization, as well as lab investigations on material properties and functionality. This includes representative sampling, sample processing, physico-chemical analysis, material property testing and evaluation.

  • The candidate should be able to put the above into a larger system perspective.

Key dates

Application deadline: 15.10.2020

 When you apply for this position, your application may be circulated within the consortium members as part of the hiring process.


Please submit your online application no later than 15 October 2020 (23:59 local time) via the following link:


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma

  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)


This is a re-advertisement. As the ITN program have already started, availability for immediate hire will be considered positively.

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.


Applicants need to fully respect three eligibility criteria (to be demonstrated in the CV):

  1. Early-stage researchers (ESR) are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.

  2. Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

  3. English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.

Secondment and internship


Each ESR must participate in:

  • An academic secondment (min. 6 months) to one of the partner universities, wherein they will acquire complimentary skills such as a specific scientific expertise, the use of unique equipment or the exploration of a different scientific discipline entirely.

  • At least one training internship (min. 2 months) at one of the non-academic partners, wherein they will be able to taste the industrial perspective, consider upscaling of technology or frame their research against existing business models.

Selection procedure

The selection and recruitment processes of the ESRs will be in accordance with the European Charter and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The recruitment process will be open, transparent, impartial, equitable, and merit-based. There will be no discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability or age.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Thomas Astrup & Senior Researcher Anders Damgaard (DTU Environment), as well as Professor Kim Ragaert (University of Ghent) and approved by the Head of Section (DTU Environment)

Benefits and salary

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Action regulations for Early Stage Researchers. 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). In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

For further information, please contact the central secretariat (c-planet@ugent.be).