Postdoc of Biophysics/Biocomplexity/Universal Biology, Niels Bohr Institute

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 30 Nov 2023

We are looking for a talented, highly motivated and creative scientist who is interested in exploring questions at the interface between physics and biology.

The project aims at uncovering universal characteristics and laws in life systems, in particular in adaptation, development, and evolution with the spirit of theoretical physics, by focusing on consistency between hierarchical levels – molecules, cells, organisms, and ecosystem. The ideal candidate will have a strong theoretical physics background, in particular statistical physics and dynamical systems. Previous knowledge of biology is not necessarily required, although high motivation and passion to understand a life system with willingness to learn is needed. Our research project is theoretical, by taking also numerical, or data-driven approaches, with possible collaboration with experimental groups.

Throughout the project, the candidate will be trained to be truly an interdisciplinary researcher in a creative and cross-disciplinary environment.   

The project is part of the research project “Universal Biology”, led by Professor Kunihiko Kaneko financed by Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The postdoc’s duties will include research as well as teaching. The post may also include performance of other duties.

Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Kunihiko Kaneko, e-mail: [email protected]

We are part of the Center for Models of Life in the Biocomplexity section at the Niels Bohr Institute, Biocomplexity and Biophysics – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen
We conduct research searching for possible answers to the fundamental question “what is life?”, based on theoretical physics, with the emphasis on the field of non-equilibrium phenomena, statistical physics, non-linear dynamics. The emerging field, Universal Biology aims to unveil universal characteristics in life systems and universal laws in adaptation, development, and evolution, with the spirit of physics (in particular, statistical physics and dynamical systems), by noting consistency between hierarchical levels – molecules, cells, organisms, and ecosystem. For instance, the consistency between molecule-cell concerns with the origin-of-life problem, whereas the ecosystem level concerns with resilience of diverse organisms. We formulate models based on physical and mathematical principles, intending to extract general laws. We have close international collaboration with many labs, in particular, with the Universal Biology Institute in Tokyo, About UBI|UBI (u-tokyo.ac.jp

For more details of the project, see: Universal Biology Group – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen (ku.dk)

Also, for the flavor of Universal Biology studies, you can read some of Kunihiko Kaneko´s publications here: chaos.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp  and Kunihiko Kaneko - Research outputs

The position is open from 1 April 2024or as soon as possible thereafter. The duration of the position two years with a possible extension.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

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 Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The salary range starts at DKK 36,400 (EUR 4,883) + a 17,1 % contribution to the pension scheme. Negotiation for salary supplements is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and past research and your vision about how you experience further the Universal Biology project described above (2-3 pages)
  • Complete publication list
  • 2-3 reference letters (if available)

The deadline for applications is 30 November 2023, 23:59 GMT +1.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/


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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