PhD fellow in Experimental Biophysics

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Aug 2021

Department of physics, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in experimental biophysics commencing 01.12.2021.

Description of the scientific environment
The experimental biophysics group at the Niels Bohr Institute constitutes several postdocs and PhD students and a number of master students who carry out research in diverse areas of biophysics. The main focus is physics of the cell surface including membrane biophysics and biomechanics of the cell surface. More information about the group can be found on this link:

Project description
Virus budding from the surface of infected cells is a key step in the spreading of pathogenic viruses.
Despite its simple composition, the seemingly simple virion particle still remains a threat to humanity as evident from the 500.000 annual deaths resulting from flu epidemics and the recent outbreaks of coronaviruses, COVID-19 and SARS. This project aims at understanding the fundamental physical mechanism behind the enigmatic virus budding and release from the infected cell by addressing how physical interactions between the proteins and membrane facilitate the release of new virions. Physical properties of virus proteins and their interaction with cell membranes have been poorly studied despite the common assumption that viruses bud from raft domains and virus proteins have affinity for cholesterol enriched domains. These assumptions lack solid evidence which can be collected with new technologies as presented in this project. Furthermore, the physical forces involved in the budding process have not been studied and the mechanism behind ESCRT independent viral budding remains elusive. The generic approach presented here to tackle these questions will provide a new understanding of how proteins in general remodel membranes during viral proliferation and other biological functions.

Principal supervisor isAssoc. Prof., Poul Martin Bendix, biophysics department at the Niels Bohr Institute, , Direct Phone: 35325251.

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 physics, nanoscience or similar with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

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 333,464 (approx. €44,461) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 54,191). 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, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • 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 15 August 2021, 23:59 GMT+2.

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 the principal supervisor Assoc. Prof., Poul Martin Bendix, biophysics department at the Niels Bohr Institute, , Direct Phone: 35325251.

General information about PhD programmers 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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