Postdoc in Comparative Epigenomics

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 05 Apr 2020

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research

University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen seeks a highly skilled postdoctoral fellow to begin on October 1, 2020 at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen.

The postdoctoral fellowship is part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research International Postdoctoral Program .

About Us
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that will transform our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. We were established in 2010, and in 2017 we moved into new laboratories, offices and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower .

The Center has around 200 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. You can read more about us here: .

Our Research

The Barrès Group research focuses on understanding how lifestyle (particularly diet and exercise) influences our epigenetic profile and how this can be passed on to offspring, especially regarding increased risk of developing obesity. The successful applicant will work within the Barrès Group and also be a member of an international consortium – ‘GECKO’ (Gametic Epigenetics Consortium Against Obesity) - with partners at the University of Chicago and the University of Sydney.

We are an international lab group with a focus on hypothesis-driven research who are driven to make discoveries of high societal impact.

The Barrès Group has discovered that genes controlling brain development carry hotspots of epigenetic variation in sperm after lifestyle intervention. The purpose of the project is to determine if the epigenetic variation in spermatozoa at genes involved in brain development is a unique feature of Homo sapiens using a comparative biology approach of sperm epigenomes from multiple vertebrate phyla. Addressing this question will allow us to understand the mechanisms of intergenerational phenotypic plasticity in response to nutritional stress, and consequently to address the heritable causes of obesity.

Job Description

The selected postdoctoral applicant will be a trained bioinformatician with experience in comparative genomics. There will be access to sperm samples held at Copenhagen and Taronga Zoo (Sydney, Australia) from many different species. In combination with the bioinformatic analyses, an interest in participating in the collection of sperm samples will be highly regarded.

This project involves close collaboration with staff at the Single Cell Sequencing Platform at CBMR, as well national and international collaborations with Dr. Mads Bertelsen at Copenhagen Zoo, Dr. Justine O’Brien at Taronga Zoo in Sydney (through the GECKO consortium led by Prof. Barrès), and with bioinformatics expert A/Prof Christopher T. Workman (Co-PI) from the Technical University of Denmark.


The fellowship is aimed at early career researchers with experience in comparative genomics, ideally with knowledge of vertebrate phylogenetics and diversity. The Barrès group currently employs 4 bioinformaticians so the ability to work in a team is crucial.

Essential criteria:

  • PhD in bioinformatics, comparative genomics or a related field
  • Very strong experience in R and/or Python programming languages, Linux/UNIX and high-performance computing environments
  • Experience with next generation sequencing (NGS) analyses (e.g. Bisulfite-seq (WGBS, RRBS), Hi-C, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq) and their applications in comparative genomics/epigenomics
  • Demonstrated capacity for effective teamwork
  • Knowledge of vertebrate phylogenetics and diversity
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral


The CBMR International Postdoctoral Program is open for applicants that hold a PhD degree awarded from a university outside of Denmark. The program is also open for applicants with a Danish PhD degree who can document at least 12 months full-time research experience from outside Denmark. You are not eligible to apply for the program if you have been employed in a postdoctoral position for more than one year at the University of Copenhagen prior to the commencement of the fellowship.

Terms of Employment

The employment as postdoc is a full-time position for 3 years. Starting date is October 1, 2020.

Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated.

Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.


For further information about the position, please contact Professor Romain Barrès at . Questions regarding the CBMR International Postdoctoral Program must be directed to . For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact HR at .

The University of Copenhagen International Staff Mobility office offers support and assistance to all international researchers on all issues related to moving to and settling in Denmark. Read more at .

Application Procedure

Your online application must be submitted in English via the ‘Apply now’ link below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  • Cover letter addressing point by point the essential criteria above (max 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of the PhD degree certificate and the Master degree certificate. In case the PhD has not yet been completed, a written statement from the supervisor is acceptable.
  • List of publications
  • References (name and contact details of at least two references)

Application Deadline: April 5, 2020, 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 authorized 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. 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.
You can read about the recruitment process at .
The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of March 13, 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their personal background.

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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