PhD fellowship in Biophysics and Cellular Biology

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 15 Jun 2019

Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology 

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND) 

University of Copenhagen 

Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology is offering a three-year PhD fellowship in biophysics and cellular biology. The PhD fellowship is financed by Dr Céline Galvagnion. The fellowship is available from 1 August 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. 

Project description 

Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons and the presence of protein deposits in the brain of patients. These deposits are mainly composed of the protein α-synuclein but can also contain other molecules such as lipids. Moreover, increasing evidence points towards a link between changes in lipid homeostasis and α-synuclein and PD pathology. However, the mechanism by which these lipid changes may influence the propensity of α-synuclein to form aggregates in the cells and in vivo remains to be addressed. 

The advertised research project aims at studying the interplay between changes in lipid metabolism associated with PD and the propensity of α-synuclein to form toxic aggregates in different cellular models of the disease. In particular, lipid changes associated with PD will be investigated in dopaminergic-like cells using biochemical and chemical assays including mass spectrometry analyses. Once identified, the influence of these lipid changes on the lipid-binding and aggregation propensity of α-synuclein will be investigated at the molecular level using a range of biophysical methods including circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, calorimetry and microscopy. 

More information on the research activities of the group can be found here: 

We are looking for a highly motivated and independent PhD student with an expertise in cellular and molecular biology and an experience with cell culture, RNAi, protein (Western blotting) and RNA analysis (RT-qPCR), immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. 

Principal supervisor

Dr Céline Galvagnion, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology,  

Required qualifications  

As an applicant you must have: 

  • Obtained a Master´s degree in biophysics or cellular biology or related areas prior to the starting date 
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills  

Preferred qualifications 

  • biophysics 
  • cellular biology 

Job description 

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty are to: 

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision 
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project 
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points 
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project 
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences 
  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings  
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad  

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants 

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project 
  • Relevant work experience  
  • Publications  
  • The grade point average achieved  
  • Other professional activities  
  • Language skills  
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills

Formal requirements 

The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree. 

The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial order on the PhD programme at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the

PhD programme

at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.  

The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences,

Drug Research Academy


Terms of employment 

The position as a PhD fellow is available for a 3-year period.

Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organizations. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 26,887 (approx. 3,585 EUR) (taxable) plus pension. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2013).   


Application procedure 

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

Your application must include:  

  • Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page)  
  • Full CV  
  • Diploma and transcripts of records: Master´s degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor´s and master´s degrees). Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used 
  • Possible publication list  
  • Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations  

The deadline for applications is 15 June 2019, at 23:59 GMT.

Please note that only online applications will be accepted. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.  

The further process 


: After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorised recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process at


Assessment: The selected applications will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines 2013. The Assessment Committee makes a non-prioritised assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.   

Please note that the applicant will be contacted if the assessment committee requires further documentation. 

University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

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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