Get free PhD updates, every week | SIGN UP NOW Get free PhD updates, every week | SIGN UP NOW

Funded PhD Position in Microalgae Bioremediation of Brewery Waste

   School of Biosystems Engineering

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Ronald Halim  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Application deadline: 17th February 2022, 5 p.m. Irish Standard Time.

Funded PhD project (EU students and international)

Start date: April – May 2022

Expected interview date: late February, 2022

Academic supervisor: Dr. Ronald Halim

Background: Beer production generates large amounts of nutrient-rich waste products. The conventional way of handling waste is costly and environmentally unsustainable. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (ω-3 PUFAs) are essential for the immune system and widely used in dietary supplements for human and animals. Commercial ω-3 PUFA production, however, relies on fish oil derived from wild-caught fish and places an enormous strain on the ocean ecosystem. A group of microalgae known as Nannochloropsis are naturally enriched in ω-3 PUFAs. These microalgae can therefore be exploited to treat brewery waste products, assimilating nutrients from the waste into its own biomass, while producing ω-3 PUFAs. This will decrease the environmental impacts of both breweries and ω-3 PUFA producers and promote a circular bioeconomy.

AlgaeBrew, an H2020 project funded under the ERA-NET COFUND on Food Systems and Climate, aims to develop scalable processes that use Nannochloropsis to bioremediate brewery waste products into high-value ω-3 PUFAs for the feed industry. The project will be undertaken by seven universities, a beer producer and an animal feed producer across seven countries (Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Turkey and the UK).

Project aims:

The specific objectives of the PhD studentship based at UCD are:

-       To develop optimal strategies for the cultivation of Nannochloropsis on brewery waste to achieve maximum bioremediation of the waste products and biomass productivity.

-       To develop a novel and low-cost biorefinery process for maximum PUFA recovery from Nannochloropsis biomass, while allowing the residual biomass to be repurposed for biofertilizer applications.


Project details:

The PhD will be conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ronald Halim at UCD Biosystems and Food Engineering ( The student will gain extensive training/experience in microalgae cultivation, biorefinery processing and bioanalytical techniques (e.g., microscopy, GCs) and have access to core technologies in genomics, electron microscopy, and flow cytometry at UCD Conway Institute.

Scholarship details:

The scholarship provides a yearly stipend of €18,000 and contribution to university fees for three years. The position is expected to start as soon as possible.

Stipend for each scholarship: €18,000 (tax-free) p.a. plus fee contribution of €7,000 p.a.

Project Duration: 3 years


The successful candidate will meet the following requirements:

-       have a strong primary degree (First-class Honours or equivalent) and/or Master’s in Biotechnology, Chemical/Bioprocess Engineering, Food Technology, or related disciplines.

-       be highly motivated, passionate about sustainability and committed to work in an international and multidisciplinary atmosphere

-       have excellent communication, organisation and interpersonal skills as demonstrated by previous records in report writing and delivering presentations.

-       Applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of English proficiency to meet UCD entry requirements.  

The following attributes are also desirable (but not mandatory):

-      Previous research/lab experience in microalgae or related biotechnology/food areas.

-      Previous track record of peer-reviewed publications in microalgae or related biotechnology/food areas.

-      Previous experience in academic-industry partnerships

Application procedure:

To apply, please email

1) a full CV (including education and employment backgrounds, contact details of 2 referees)

2) a cover letter detailing your motivation to apply to the project and how you meet the selection criteria for the project (maximum 2 pages)

3) copies of degree transcripts

by the deadline to [Email Address Removed] for the attention of Dr Ronald Halim.

Informal queries on the project can be made to Dr Ronald Halim ([Email Address Removed]).

Website links:

Further details on the PhD position can be found at:


Further details on AlgaeBrew can be found at:

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs