PhD fellow in Neuroendocrinology and Physiology

Updated: 29 days ago
Deadline: 15 Apr 2021

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Neuroendocrinology and Physiology commencing 1 July 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The Halberg lab at the University of Copenhagen is looking to recruit a highly talented and motivated PhD student to join our group. Our lab is interested in how endocrine messengers (neuropeptides and hormones) coordinate organ functions by relaying information about the internal state or external environment in a manner that allows the organism to adapt and survive. We use the model organisms Drosophila melanogaster and Tribolium castaneum to explore these questions because they allow us to adopt an integrative approach; we use genetic and molecular tools to interfere with the function of molecules, cells or organs in order to study the impact on the whole organism. Beyond gaining insights into the basic underpinning biology, our research may be important for understanding human diseases and for developing novel insect pest control agents.

The Halberg lab currently consists of Associate Professor Kenneth Halberg (Principal Investigator), one Assistant Professor, one Postdoc, one Research Assistant, 3 BSc/MSc students and one Lab manager.

For more information, see our lab homepage: or follow us on twitter: @HalbergLab

Project description
Novel mechanisms of osmosensation and systemic osmoregulation
Animals continuously face harmful changes in ion and water balance as they interact with their environment. Most organism therefore engage active osmoregulatory responses that oppose these perturbations in order to survive. These responses involve the coordinated actions of organs with specialized functions, which in turn are modulated by systemic signals communicated by other organs to ensure an appropriate physiological response by the animal. Molecular osmoreceptors lie at the heart of the mechanisms coordinating these processes. Yet, the molecular identity of such osmosensitive molecules, and how they modulate the release of known neuroendocrine factors that control systemic osmoregulation, remain unknown. In this project, we will perform an in-vivo RNAi screen to systematically uncover novel osmosensory molecules, which regulate the release of hormonal factors from cells in the brain to control systemic osmoregulation. Follow-up studies on genes of interest will further involve CRISPR-mediated genomic manipulations; live bioimaging of genetic reporters; transcriptomics; mass spectrometry analyses as well as cell and organ assays.

Principal supervisor isAssociate Professor, Kenneth Veland Halberg, Department of Biology, ,  Direct Phone: +45 26810458.

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
We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious person who possesses most of the following qualifications:

  • MSc degree in Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, Genetics, Biochemistry or similar field
  • Obtained high grades/test scores
  • Experience with genetics and molecular cell biology
  • Experience with Drosophila or other model systems is an advantage
  • Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English
  • Good interpersonal skills, well-organized and independent
  • Preference will be given to candidates with a record of peer-reviewed publications

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 330,817 (approx. €44,108) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,761). 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 (max 2 pages), stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • 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

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 Thursday the 15th of April 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 Associate Professor, Kenneth Veland Halberg, Department of Biology, ,  Direct Phone: +45 26810458.

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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