PhD fellowship in Chemical Biology at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

Copenhagen University
October 06, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term position
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
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We are offering a three-year PhD fellowship in Chemical Microbiology commencing 1st January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project description Our laboratory has recently developed technology for identifying the chemical messenger molecules responsible for quorum sensing and crosstalk between staphylococci within the microbiome. These messenger molecules are called autoinducing peptides (AIPs). In this interdisciplinary and highly collaborative project, we will perform a substantial structure–activity relationship (SAR) study, building on our novel discoveries. Your tasks will thus include synthesis, assay development, and biological compound evaluation, including work performed in the laboratories of our collaborators at Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UCPH) and at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Principal supervisor Professor Christian Adam Olsen, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

Start 1 January 2024

Duration 3 years as a PhD student

Our group and research With a foundation in chemical synthesis, the Olsen Lab seeks to explore the function of small molecules, peptides, peptidomimetics, and proteins in biological systems. Thus, working in the interdisciplinary interface between chemistry and biology. We are focusing on peptidomimetic secondary structures with potential for supramolecular assembly and multivalent display. We are also exploring naturally occurring macrocyclic peptides and analogues thereof for development of class- or isoform-selective HDAC inhibitors and quorum sensing modulators, as well as investigating substrate-specificity of the human lysine deacylase enzymes using chemical biology tools. The laboratory is currently comprised of about ten M.Sc. students and Ph.D. students of various nationalities, with backgrounds in chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering. We take pride in working as a team and have a balanced gender composition.

Our department Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology is committed to research-based teaching and interdisciplinary research that supports the development and understanding of chemical and pharmacological properties of drugs and drug targets. We work as part of a dynamic academic community of research, education and innovation within the Pharmaceutical Sciences bridging Health Sciences and Life Sciences.

Information about the Department can be found at https: //

Job description Your key tasks as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team, preferably abroad
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching of undergraduate students in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project
  • Key criteria for the assessment of applicants Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master's degree related to the subject area of the project, e.g. chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, or cand.polyt. (chemistry). Please note that your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree (two years).

    Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Previous publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in the organic chemistry of biologically active compounds
  • Language skills
  • Place of employment The place of employment is at Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment.

    Terms of employment The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week. The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years.

    The employment is conditioned upon the applicant's successful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project to the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences.

    The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty's rules on achieving the degree.

    The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.

    Salary, pension, and terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 28,896 DKK/roughly 3,877 EUR (April 2023 level) plus pension.

    Application procedure Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and must include the following documents in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: https: // Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)
  • The deadline for applications is 6th October 2023 , 23.59pm CET We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    The further process After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorised recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills, and other requirements listed in the advertisement. Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

    The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

    Interviews are expected to be held in the last week of October.

    You can read about the recruitment process at https: //

    Questions For further information, applicants may contact the principal supervisor Christian Adam Olsen, e-mail: [email protected], phone: +45 3532 6708 or PhD coordinator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail: [email protected], phone: +45 3533 6449.

    General information about PhD studies at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School's website: https: //

    For more information on working and living in Denmark visit https:// (International staff mobility) and https: // www.

    The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.

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