PhD fellow in Early life virome development

Updated: 24 days ago
Deadline: 01 Nov 2020

Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in “Early life virome development” commencing 1.12.2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, is recognized for excellence in food research, food science education, and industry collaboration. It covers all disciplines of food science from raw materials to processing and consumption, and is organized in four sections, one of which is the section for “Food Microbiology and Fermentation”, where the position is placed. Gut microbiome research is a strong focus area and during the last 5 years bacteriophage-bacteria-host interactions has become a particular research focus. Further information about the Department can be found at  . 

Project description
Immune-mediated diseases such as asthma, allergy and eczema originate from a complex interplay between heritage and environmental factors in early life. In the COPSAC2010 mother-child cohort, it has been found that the bacterial compositions of both gut and airways in the first year of life areimportant determinants for later asthma and allergy development. The vast majority of human microbiome research has focused on the bacteria inhabiting our bodies. However, viruses are at least as abundant in the human organism and while only a fraction directly affect humans, most, socalled bacteriophages, kill bacteria. The aim of the PhD-project is to determine the full virome (all viruses) from vagina (mother) and gut and airways in the children before onset of disease to investigate how the earliest virome is shaped, how the virome affects the bacteria of the same biological compartment and whether the composition of the virome is associated with later disease development. The project will contain a strong wet-lab component, but the PhD-student is also expected to obtain strong bioinformatics skills during the project. The PhD-student will work closely together with a Post Doc, who will also be working on the project.

Principal supervisor isProfessor (MSO) Dennis S. Nielsen, Department of Food Science. E-mail:,Direct Phone: +4551330362.

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project 
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in biology, food science, biotechnology or similar with good grades and English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience. Experience with several of the research fields microbiology, molecular biology, gut microbiome research, multivariate data analysis and bioinformatics will be advantage.

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 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

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

Please include

  • Cover Letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any)

Reference letters must be uploaded by the applicant him/herself. The recruiting person must NOT  obtain reference letters which content is not known to the applicant him/herself. This is against Danish law.

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 Sunday 1st November 2020, 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. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at .

For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact Professor (MSO) Dennis S. Nielsen, Department of Food Science. E-mail:,Direct Phone: +4551330362.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at .

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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