PhD fellowship in Chemistry/ fluorescent organic nanoparticles

Copenhagen University
January 14, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Department of Chemistry Faculty of SCIENCE University of Copenhagen

Fluorescence bioimaging plays an increasingly important role in revealing biological processes and medical diagnosis. Bright fluorescent markers will bring the application of fluorescence bioimaging to the next level. Take part in the exciting development of ultrabright full-organic fluorescent nanoparticles and apply them for targeted bioimaging.

The Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Chemistry/fluorescent organic nanoparticles.

Start date is 1st April 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Background The research group of Assistant Professor Junsheng Chen at Nano-Science center and Department of Chemistry invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in development of fluorescent nanoparticles. The project is part of the research project “Subcellular multiplex imaging with ultrabright fluorescent nanoparticles”, start in January 2023, led by Assistant Professor Junsheng Chen, financed by Novo Nordisk Foundation. The project The project aims at developing biocompatible organic fluorescent nanoparticles for bioimaging. Recently, we have achieved a breakthrough by developing the brightest full-organic fluorescent nanoparticles based on a molecular self- assembly approach, called: Small Molecule Ionic Isolation Lattices (SMILES).1 This gives us a unique opportunity to implement these bright nanoparticles for bioimaging. In this project, we will be working with the surface chemistry of the full-organic fluorescent nanoparticles. This includes: 1) developing and optimizing new SMILES nanoparticles with different emission colors across the whole visible spectral region and different fluorescent lifetime (nanosecond to microsecond); 2) developing new strategies to encapsulate the fluorescent nanoparticles that conjugate the nanoparticles' surface with functional groups for targeting biomolecules (e.g. proteins, DNAs and RNAs): 3) using these ultra-bright nanoparticle with surface modification for bioimaging applications.

Our research project is highly interdisciplinary including collaborations with physicists, chemists, medical researchers, and biologists in the industry and at universities. Throughout the project, the candidate will be trained to be truly an interdisciplinary researcher in a creative and cross-disciplinary environment.

Whom are we looking for? We are looking for a talented, highly motivated, and creative scientist who is interested in working with fluorescent nanoparticles for bioimaging.

The ideal candidate will have a strong material chemistry background, in particular fluorescent nanomaterials and bioconjugation chemistry are relevant topics. Experience relevant to the project topic and methods will be considered when selecting candidates. Relevant experience includes fluorescent dyes, bio-conjugation, fluorescence spectroscopy, DLS, TEM, organic nanoparticles, fluorescence bioimaging.

Our group and research- and what do we offer? Light induced processes make the world bright and colorful. Furthermore, innovative ways of utilizing such processes have broad application possibilities in modern technology such as: bioimaging, solar cells, communication and photocatalysis.

Our group studies both the fundamental and applied aspects of the interactions between light and materials. In particular, we explore functions, underlying photophysics and photochemistry of fluorescent molecular materials and semiconductor nanomaterials.

We develop fluorescent materials and methods for bioimaging applications. We use femtosecond optical spectroscopy to reveal fundamental photophysical processes in these materials and provide a thorough understanding and guidance for developing new materials with improved performance. We carry our interdisciplinary research projects by collaborating with physicists, chemists, medical researchers, and biologists in the industry and at universities.

We offer a creative and exciting research atmosphere at the vibrant border between chemistry, physics and biomedicals. The PhD fellowship is given in accordance with Danish legislation and will typically run for 3 years. The salary is set accordingly to Danish Union Contracts which are quite competitive on an international scale.

Further information can be obtained via email to Assistant Professor Junsheng Chen:

Further information about the research group can be found at: https: //

Further information about the Nano-Science Center can be found at: https: // and Department of Chemistry at: https: //

Supervisors: Assistant Professor Junsheng Chen and Professor Bo W. Laursen, Nanochemistry Section, The Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. E-mail:

The PhD programme

A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master's degree.

Qualifications needed for the regular programme To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master's degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. chemistry. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision

  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE

  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project
  • We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • 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 fluorescent nanoparticles and bioimaging
  • Language skills
  • The successful candidates must have excellent English skills, both written and oral. The successful candidate must hold a Master's degree in chemistry, biochemistry, material chemistry, biophysics or related disciplines. Please note that your master's degree must be equivalent to a Danish master's degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

    Place of employment The place of employment is at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and research infrastructure.

    Application and Assessment Procedure Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

    Please include:

  • Cover Letter, detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project
  • Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another 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.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Reference letters (if available)
  • Application deadline: The deadline for applications is 14th January 2023, 23:59 GMT+1.

    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 deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment. The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above-mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at https: //

    Questions For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor. General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School's website: https: // www.

    The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.


    Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe's top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


    1. Chen, J.; Fateminia, S. M. A.; Kacenauskaite, L.; Baerentsen, N.; Gronfeldt Stenspil, S.; Bredehoeft, J.; Martinez, K. L.; Flood, A. H.; Laursen, B. W. Ultrabright Fluorescent Organic Nanoparticles Based on Small- Molecule Ionic Isolation Lattices. Angew. Chem., Int, Ed. Engl. 2021, 60 (17), 9450-9458.

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