PhD fellowship in epitope based malaria vaccine development at Department of Immunology and Microbiology

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 23 May 2021

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in the Epitope team, at Centre for medical parasitology (CMP) commencing 1 of September 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
The PhD student will be part of the Epitope Team at The Centre for Medical Parasitology (CMP). The research at CMP is mainly focused on malaria and is predominantly supported by external grants. All activities are organised in thematically defined teams, each led by a senior scientist. The research in the Epitope team is conducted in close collaboration with researchers at University of Oxford, The Sanger Institute in Cambridge, and the University of Ghana. In the team, we have weekly meetings and journal clubs. Furthermore, we are fond of social activities – enjoying each other’s company makes for a better working environment and, as a plus, better scientific work.

Project description
For this project, the PhD student will be involved in our ongoing work to identify the best-suited epitopes from Plasmodium falciparum malaria antigens to be used in a second-generation malaria vaccine. We are currently focused on producing monoclonal antibodies against the antigens RIPR, Rh5 and CYRPA that are involved in the invasion of red blood cells so as to guide vaccine development. Further, we have identified protective epitopes on CYRPA and aim to test these in a trial vaccine, which will be the starting point for the PhD student project. The PhD students will further identify additional epitopes on CyRPA and additional antigens in order to strengthen the vaccine. The methods we expect you to apply during the project are phage display library panning, cloning of novel vaccine constructs, protein expression and purification, protein analysis (eg. ELISA, western blot and SDS-PAGE), mouse immunizations and malaria growth inhibition assays.

Principal supervisor isAssociate ProfessorLea Barfod, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen. E-mail: Direct Phone: +4535326485. .

Start:                  1 September 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 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. preferably a degree in Molecular Biomedicine or similar. It is a condition that your Master’s degree is considered to be equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree.

Other important criteria are:

  • The grade point average achieved
  • Experience with relevant experimental methods (see methods mentioned above)
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications
  • Other professional activities
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in malaria and vaccine development
  • Language skills: English

Place of employment
The place of employment is at Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories at the newly build Maersk Tower.

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years and to commence 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

It 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 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 27,780 DKK /approx. 3,730 EUR (April 2021-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: 

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • 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
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Application deadline:  23 May 2021, 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 June 2021.

    The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7850 students, 1700 PhD students and 4800 employees. The Faculty advances the field of health sciences through its core activities: research, teaching, knowledge sharing and communication. With basic research fields ranging from molecular studies to studies of society, the Faculty contributes to a healthy future through its graduates, research findings and inventions benefitting patients and the community. The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

    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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