PhD fellowship in Drug Delivery: Determining the utility of dendron-capped porous silicon nanoparticles for enabling oral delivery of challenging biological drugs (DenCap)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 01 Jul 2022

at Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

We are offering a three-year PhD fellowship in oral drug delivery of biological drugs commencing 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Project description

Biological drugs (BD) are increasingly important for patients and industry due to their application in common and life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Despite much research, the vast majority of marketed BD today are injectables. In this project, the potential of a novel approach for BD delivery via the oral route will be explored. By developing and employing novel surface coated porous silicon nanoparticles, we hypothesize that the mucoadhesion can be increased as well as the drug stability in the gastrointestinal tract; both facilitating delivery of intact BD. By creating a library of dendrons characterized by different functional groups we will leverage the current understanding of how such excipients interacts with the mucus barrier using a biophysical approach and utilize this knowledge to develop a new generation of delivery systems for oral delivery of BD. This work will include use of neutron and synchrotron methods and therefore will include travel activities to large scale synchrotron facilities. The long-term effect of this project is knowledge generation on development of novel strategies for oral administration of BD.

Professor Ben Boyd, Department of Pharmacy

Assistant Professor Stine Harloff-Helleberg, Department of Pharmacy
E-mail:, direct phone: +45 2398 3044

1 October 2022

3 years as a PhD student

Our group and research

The successful applicant will be a member of the LEO Foundation Center for Cutaneous Drug Delivery (LFCCDD) and will have opportunities for cross-disciplinary research in collaboration with the Structured Biointerfaces group and Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery at Department of Pharmacy as well as Department of Chemistry at the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, as well as external collaborators.

Our department

The mission of Department of Pharmacy is to advance the pharmaceutical sciences by performing drug-related research and research-based teaching in topics including pharmaceutical technology and formulation, drug delivery, advanced drug analysis, and clinical and social pharmacy.

Information about the Department can be found at

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points
  • Participating in research environments including a stay at Prof. Nicolas Voelcker’s research group at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching of undergraduate students in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of 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. pharmaceutical sciences, biophysics, nanoscience, chemical engineering, or similar. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree.

Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Previous publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in working interdisciplinary focusing on the interface between physical chemistry, biophysics, biology, and pharmaceutical sciences
  • Previous experience with scattering methods such as X-ray and neutron scattering is advantageous
  • Language skills

Terms of employment

The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years.

The employment is conditioned 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 to the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences.

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.

The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy .

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 starts at approximately 28,300 DKK/roughly 3,770 EUR (April 2022 level) plus pension.

Application procedure

Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and must include the following documents in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.

As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: . Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used

  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)

The deadline for applications is July 1st 2022, 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 authorised 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.

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 31-33.

You can read about the recruitment process at


For further information, applicants may contact the supervisor Stine Harloff-Helleberg, e-mail: , direct phone: +45 2398 3044 or PhD coordinator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail: , direct phone: +45 3533 6449.

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

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit (International staff mobility) and

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.

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.

View or Apply

Similar Positions