Postdoc in Deep eutectic solvents for transdermal drug delivery: coupling solution structure with efficacy

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 14 Oct 2022

at Department of Pharmacy

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

University of Copenhagen

We are offering a two-year postdoc position in cutaneous drug delivery commencing January 1st 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The project will be carried out within the LEO Foundation Center for Cutaneous Drug Delivery, which integrates several disciplines, including physical chemistry, pharmaceutics, and molecular biology, to perform state-of-the-art research and to create innovative solutions within cutaneous drug delivery of both small and large molecules. The successful applicant will have the opportunity for cross-disciplinary research in collaboration with other researchers in the Center, as well as with external collaborators.

Project description

Effective transdermal delivery of drugs across intact skin remains a challenging and complex goal, especially for large hydrophilic molecules. The skin’s main barrier, the stratum corneum (SC), efficiently blocks mass transport due to the self-assembly of lipid multilayers. Therefore, to exploit the multiple advantages of topical delivery, new formulations are needed that overcome this barrier in a non-destructive manner, thereby improving the delivery of drugs through the skin. Recently, deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have shown great promise as solvents for topical delivery. They are able to solvate a wide range of molecules and have excellent transdermal penetration, an added bonus being that they can also show potent antimicrobial activity. In this project, we aim to understand the self-assembly of non-ionic surfactants in DESs. We will tune the physicochemical properties of the system to solubilise the maximum amount of drug into the formulation, thereby ensuring rapid and efficient API delivery both into and through the SC.

The successful candidate will be a member of the LEO Foundation Center for Cutaneous Drug Delivery. This project is directed at: (i) self-assembled structural analysis of DES formulations as drug delivery carriers (ii) analysis of transdermal drug delivery potential and refinement of formulation (iii) biological toxicity testing.

Your job

Your key tasks as a postdoc at the Faculty are to:

  • Develop, optimise, and evaluate deep eutectic solvents for transdermal drug delivery by coupling solution structure with efficiency
  • Performing research on physicochemical properties of such systems at international large-scale facilities and in collaboration with international partners
  • Write scientific manuscripts on the grounds of your research results
  • Participate in Center activities
  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings
  • Participate in teaching activities at the department
  • Co-supervise PhD and MSc students 


We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • PhD degree in chemical engineering, biophysics, physical pharmacy or related topics prior to the starting date
  • Experience of deep eutectic solvents, surfactant self-assemblies or related systems
  • Experience of physicochemical characterization of drug delivery systems
  • Experience of X-ray and neutron scattering techniques at large scale facilities 
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English skills, written and spoken

Preferred qualifications

The ideal candidate for this project has hands-on experience with research with deep eutectic solvents, particularly in physicochemical characterization of structure functionality employing state-of-the-art methodologies for such studies. Methods including scattering techniques such as light scattering, small angle X-ray scattering, neutron scattering as well as differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic and vibrational spectroscopy using large scale facilities. Experience with securing beamtime for such experiments is an advantage. Moreover, knowledge of transdermal drug delivery systems and biological evaluation hereof would be preferred.

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

Terms of employment

The employment as postdoc is a full time position for two years (there might be a possibility of one year extension). Starting date is January 1, 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter

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). Currently, the monthly salary starts at 35.700 DKK/ approx. 4,800 Euro (Oktober 2022-level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

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 you may contact Associate Professor Stine Harloff-Helleberg; or Professor Martin Malmsten; ;

Foreign applicants may find this link useful: (International Staff Mobility).

Application procedure

Your online application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  • Cover letter (approx. one page) describing your background, qualifications, interest and motivation for applying for this position
  • CV, incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement with defence date from the supervisor will do.
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications and relevant certificates
  • Names and contact details of references and/or recommendation letters

Deadline for application

October 14th, 2022, 23:59 CET.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline.

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 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held medio November.

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