PhD fellowship in coronavirus biology

Updated: 23 days ago
Deadline: 08 Nov 2020

We are offering a PhD fellowship on the analysis of animal coronavirus biology commencing 1 March 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
We work on a variety of aspects of the biology of important animal viruses. These studies range from detailed molecular characterization of viral functions to more epidemiological studies on virus distribution. The group includes postdocs and a technician and studies can involve collaborations both within the Department and with the Statens Serum Institut.

Project description

Coronaviruses can cause pandemics such as those resulting from the spread of SARS-CoV-2, however, more often, less serious infections occur. As well as circulating in humans, coronaviruses also circulate in other mammals, as well as in birds. There is a need to understand in greater depth the biology of these viruses. Aspects of interest include:

  • Applying molecular methods to investigate key features of coronavirus replication that may lead to novel approaches for development of antiviral agents
  • Studying the relationships between coronaviruses from different animal species and potential  shifts in host range
  • Investigating animal models applicable to the study of coronavirus pathogenesis

Principal supervisor is Prof. Graham J. Belsham, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, E-mail: , Direct Phone: +45 35 33 45 65.

Start:                    1 March 2021

Duration:             3 years as a PhD student

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research team
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge
  • Write a PhD thesis on your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree related to the subject area of the project e.g. veterinary medicine or a biological science

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications (if any)
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in molecular aspects of virus biology
  • Good communication skills, using English, both orally and in writing

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and access to all equipment required for the project.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years.

It is conditional upon the applicant’s success­ful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree. Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agree­ment between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around 26.755 DKK /approx. 3.567 EUR (April 2018-level) plus pension.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents in PDF format: 

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do

4. Publication list (if relevant)

Application deadline:  8 November 2020, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed 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

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held in week 50 and 51

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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