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Korea-Tübingen PhD Program: Project 10/2024: PhD Project Title: Production of glycerol from CO2 using engineered E. coli

Topic Description: Glycerol, a sustainable feedstock for many bio-based products, is currently a byproduct of biodiesel production—a source that's expected to deplete in the future. This research aims to engineer E. coli bacteria to fixate CO2 and introduce a synthetic pathway for enhanced glycerol production. The glycerol pathway, originally developed by the Link group in E. coli (Wang et al, Nature Comm.) is being refined using a synthetic autotrophic E. coli as a production host. We will employ cutting-edge genome engineering to create superior production strains and utilize metabolomics for in-depth examination.

Faculty: Faculty of Science
Institute/Section/Subject: Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen/Bacterial Metabolomics/ Synthetic Biology

Supervising Professor(s): Prof. Dr. Hannes Link

About the Supervisor(s): Prof. Link’s research aims to advance knowledge and innovation in synthetic microbiology, addressing global challenges like sustainable production of chemicals and combating antibiotic resistance. More information at

Requirements for the application:
Required Degrees: M.Sc. in biotechnology, microbiology or a related field
Language Requirements: English (IELTS 6,5 or TOEFL equivalent)
Notes: See our papers on, e.g. Wang et al. in Nature Communications (2021) for the glycerol production strain.

For further instructions on how to apply, more information on the program and contact details please see below.
Korea-Tübingen PhD Program
The University of Tübingen have established a PhD Program which supports Korean nationals from partner Universities wishing to carry out all or part of their PhD study in Tübingen.

  • Cheju National University
  • Chonbuk National University
  • Chungnam National University
  • Ewha Womans University
  • Hanyang University
  • Korea University
  • Pusan National University
  • Seoul National University
  • Sogang University
  • Sookmyung Women's University
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Yonsei University

  • Aims:
    • providing high quality research training to qualified students from Korean universities
    • developing education and research collaborations between the University of Tübingen and Korean universities and research institutions

    Target group:
    Excellent postgraduate and doctoral students from Korean partner universities who are citizens and permanent residents of the Republic of Korea at the time of application

    Application Process:
    • June 30: Application deadline. Applications must be handed in through the online application system of the University of Tübingen
    • between July 4 and 7: round of interviews in English
    • by July 30: Successful applicants will be officially informed and provided letters of admission.
    • by Oct 1: Program participants arrive in Tübingen

    • How to Apply:
      In order to apply you need to upload the following documents combined in 1 PDF
      • Cover/Motivation letter with the description of academic characteristics that qualify you to complete the PhD project successfully
      • CV
      • Academic transcripts*
      • Proof of proficient English language skills - TOEFL iBT 95 or IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

      *List of required Academic transcripts (including official translation into German or English for documents issued in Korean)
      1) Bachelor’s Degree Award Certificate / Bachelor Gradverleihungsurkunde
      2) Transcript of the subjects and marks / Fächer- und Notenübersicht for your Bachelor’s degree/ für das Bachelorstudium
      3) Master’s Degree Award Certificate / Master-Gradverleihungsurkunde
      4) Transcript of the subjects and marks for your Master’s Degree / Fächer- und Notenübersicht für das Masterstudium

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