A PhD position is available from October 1st, 2017, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark under the NordForsk funded project “The structure of membrane proteins under solution conditions”. The goal of the project is to obtain insight into subtle interplay between a membrane protein and its local lipid membrane and aqueous environments. The project combines molecular biology, molecular dynamics simulations and small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering to investigate their molecular structures.
The Nordforsk project is executed collaboratively between the research groups of Assoc Prof Marie Skepö (MS), Department of Chemistry at Lund University, Prof Jens Preben Morth (PM), Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway at Oslo University, Prof Lise Arleth (LA), Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen and Prof Kresten Lindorff-Larsen (KLL), Department of Biology at University of Copenhagen.
The candidate will work with all four groups but be anchored at the Structural Biophysics group at the Section for X-ray and Neutron Science at the Niels Bohr Institute, with Prof Lise Arleth as the main supervisor and Prof Kresten Lindorff-Larsen as the co-supervisor. The four groups combine membrane protein molecular and structural biology (PM), X-ray and neutron small-angle scattering methods, SAXS and SANS (LA and MS), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, NMR (KLL), and atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics, MD, simulations to simulate structure and dynamics of biological molecules (KLL and MS).
The key molecular target of the project is the ATP driven magnesium transporter A, MgtA, from E. coli, which is one of the P3B-type ATPases. The functioning of MgtA is, like for most other membrane proteins, closely linked to the properties of the surrounding lipid membrane and aqueous environments. The PhD project will combine experimental data, obtained in collaboration with PM’s group with molecular simulations conducted in parallel by the LA/KLL and MS groups to shed further light on the relevant processes. The project will focus on MD supported model development of membrane-solvent interaction and development of approaches for validation of the simulations against combined SAXS and contrast variation SANS on e.g. phospholipid bilayer vesicles and nanodiscs. The project will then expand this such that the SAXS/SANS data analysis and modelling of the MgtA can be handled, including incorporation of correct descriptions of protein-water, membrane-water and membrane-protein interfaces.
Outstanding candidates with a strong background in physics, chemistry or biochemistry are preferred. The candidate will be based in the research group of Prof Lise Arleth, Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen.
The ideal candidate has one or more of the following qualifications:
-Experience in computational aspects of protein chemistry, including hands-on experience in molecular dynamics simulations (atomistic and/or coarse-grained)
-Numerical competences, including programming experience and ability to set up advanced computer-simulations and handle large data sets
-Research experience with small-angle X-ray or neutron scattering on biological samples, preferably membrane protein systems
Applicants must document their successful MSc studies by a high grade point average. If the applicant’s MSc work has resulted in a publication (accepted or in draft) this is considered a strong advantage. Candidates must have good interpersonal and communication skills. Excellent English writing skills are a requirement.
PhD supervisors: Prof Lise Arleth (main supervisor), Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen (email@example.com), and Prof Kresten Lindorff-Larsen (co-supervisor), Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Your key tasks as a PhD student at Science are:
Manage and carry through your research project
Take PhD courses
Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
Participate in workshops and conferences
Stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
Teach and disseminate your research
Key criteria for the assessment of candidates:
A master’s degree related to the subject area of the project (Biophysics, Biochemistry, Chemistry or related fields).
Specific competences relevant to the project. See above list.
The grade point average achieved
Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme
Relevant work experience
Other professional activities
Formal requirements: The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master’s degree.
The successful applicant of the PhD scholarship must pass an enrolment in the SCIENCE Graduate School before the Faculty of Science can complete the letter of employment.
Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.
The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 312,879 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43,219). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW
Cover Letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),
Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees
Documentation of English language qualifications, cf. general rules and guidelines, p. 5
Please note that applicants must upload the full application including all of the above sections as a single .pdf file, even if the on-line application system does not explicitly ask this. Please choose the section “application” for upload of the full application
The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Executive Order no. 1039 of 27 August 2013 PhD Order.
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.
The deadline for applications is August 23th, 2017. Applications received later than this date will not be considered
Procedures and shortlisting:
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant himself/herself.The final selection of successful candidates will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee.
General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at PhD Regulations.
For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact main supervisor, Lise Arleth at email@example.com
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.
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