PhD fellow in Host-pathogen co-evolution

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Aug 2017

The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Host-pathogen co-evolution to work in the Section for Organismal Biology. The 3-year position is expected to commence 1 December 2017.  

Description of the scientific environment  

The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN) constitutes a highly competitive, stimulating, and international research environment. The PhD project will be carried out within the research theme Host-pathogen co-evolution in the research group of Insect-Pathology and Biological Control affiliated to the Section of Organismal Biology (SOBI). SOBI provides a highly dynamic environment with a long history of studying host-pathogen interactions in a number of systems, ranging from insect, mammal and plant hosts to pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and macroparasites. We pursue internationally competitive excellence in a multinational research environment where English is the working language. The PLEN research laboratories are located at the Frederiksberg Campus of the University, close to the centre of Copenhagen, one of the most liveable cities of the World.  

Project description  

Transmission to new susseptible host is crucial for a pathogen, and the biological world is rife with examples of pathogens that manipulate host behavior to enhance host transmission.This mind-control can go beyound the infected host and for example exploit the mate-seeking behavior of healthy males that becomes significantly more attracted to infectious females than uninfected females. The project will use a newly established laboratory host-pathogen system of the fungal pathogen Entomophthora muscae and Dipteran insect hosts for exploring the pathogen induced alterations in host chemistry, including chemical analysis and electro-antennal responses to -volatile compounds and dual-transcriptomics of host and pathogen. The research is fundamental with considerable applied potential in attract-and-kill biological control strategies.  


The principal supervisor is Associate Professor Annette Bruun Jensen. The daily supervisor is Assistant Professor Henrik H. De Fine Licht (

, phone +45 35320097).  

Job description

  • The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:  
  • Manage and carry through your research project  
  • Attend PhD courses  
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis  
  • Teach and disseminate your research  
  • Work for the department  
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad  

Formal requirements  

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Biology or equivalent, 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 312.879 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43.219). 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  
  • 1-2 page research plan based on the project description  
  • 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)  
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees

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 15 August 2017, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.  

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 Assistant Professor Henrik H. De Fine Licht,

, phone +45 35320097.  

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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