Vacancy: PhD Student - BOF-project: Exploring Raman spectroscopy


PhD Student

Last application date
Jul 31, 2023 00:00
LA23 - Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health
Limited duration
Master’s degree in bioscience engineering or sciences
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

We are looking for motivated PhD student (1+3Y) for the UGent BOF-project entitled 'Exploring Raman spectroscopy for elucidating structure-function relationships in complex lipid-rich foods' which is a collaboration between the Food Structure & Function research group (faculty of bioscience engineering, campus Coupure) and the Raman spectroscopy group (faculty of sciences, campus Sterre) at Ghent University.

Project description
Today, several societal drivers (public health, climate change, disrupting supply chains) are pushing food producers to reformulate the fat phase in their foods towards a healthier (e.g. reduce saturated fat), local and environmental sustainable (e.g. no tropical oils) and plant-based (e.g. no milk fat) profile. A prerequisite for science-driven reformulation is a thorough understanding of the structure-function relationship from the nano-, meso- and microscale levels up to macroscale level. However, there is still a lack of insight in the spatial structure of fats at the microscale level, limiting rational reformulation. Raman spectroscopy has the potential to overcome these limitations. This project thus intends to explore Raman spectroscopy and Raman mapping to elucidate the structure-function relationships of fat crystal networks in (reformulated) food matrices with increasing complexity (fat blends, emulsions and end products).

As a PhD researcher your tasks are:

  • Develop standardized protocols on Raman spectroscopy for food structures
  • Design and set-up experiments in the lab. This involves several physicochemical analytical techniques in food structure research
  • Share results with colleagues and discuss interpretations at labmeetings
  • Follow the recent literature on structure visualisation and raman spectroscopy in foods
  • Writing of reports, scientific publications, and attend international congresses
  • Guide undergraduate and internship students

Job profile

Candidates are expected to have a bioengineering or chemistry background and preferably have affinity with (food) structure evaluation by physico-chemical analytical techniques. For this project we are looking for someone who is critical, analytical and has a sense of initiative.
Other profile requirements:

  • You hold a master's degree in bioscience engineering (domains food science, food technology, biosciences), chemistry or equivalent. The degree requirements must be met at the start of the appointment.
  • You are interested in scientific research in order to obtain a doctoral degree.
  • You have good writing and presentation skills.
  • You can work accurately and are well organized
  • You have a very good oral and written knowledge of academic English
  • You live in Belgium or are willing to settle here for the duration of the appointment
  • You can socially adapt to working in an international team
  • You are flexible and communicative
  • Experience in the field of physico-chemical analysis or spectroscopy is considered a plus

How to apply

Please send an email, no later than July 31st 2023, 23:59 CEST to: Prof. Dr. ir. Filip Van Bockstaele (
The subject of the email should contain the following title: 'Application PhD Raman + family name’.
The following documents must be attached: letter of motivation, CV, a copy of the highest degree and a summary of the study results (bachelor+master).

Selection procedure:

  • Preselection based on the provided documents
  • Selection based on interviews (mid August)
  • Planned starting date doctoral position: October 1st, 2023