PhD fellowship in Genomics of Metabolic Disease

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 29 Jan 2022

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Genomics of Metabolic Disease commencing April 1, 2022, or after agreement.

Our group and research
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie metabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. We were established in 2010 and in 2017, we moved into new laboratories, offices and meeting rooms in the Maersk Tower .

The Center has around 260 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. You can read more about us here: .

The Group
The Kilpeläinen Group investigates the influence of genes on obesity and metabolic health to find new ways to prevent obesity-related metabolic diseases. More information about the group can be found here.

Project description
We seek an enthusiastic, passionate researcher to carry out a PhD project in genomics of metabolic disease. The project will focus on multi-trait analyses to identify genetic variants that show distinct patterns of association with adiposity and metabolic traits. By applying a range of bioinformatics methods and tools, the student will seek to identify the causative variants and genes, the relevant cell types and the states, and the physiological mechanisms by which the genetic variants may alter the phenotypic traits. The overall vision is to open avenues for translating genetic findings to new ways to prevent and treat obesity-related metabolic disorders. The PhD fellow will carry out the project as part of an international and interdisciplinary team comprising bioinformaticians, epidemiologists and molecular biologists.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Tuomas Kilpeläinen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, e-mail:

Start:                April 1, 2022, or after agreement

Duration:         3 years as a PhD fellow

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow 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. bioinformatics, biostatistics, human genetics, genetic epidemiology, computational biology, etc.

Other important criteria are:

  • Experience with population genetic and association analyses of human complex traits
  • Experience in managing and analyzing genome-wide genotype data
  • Basic understanding of the biology of obesity and metabolic disorders
  • Pronounced experience in the programming languages R and/or python
  • Experience from Linux/UNIX environment and high-performance computing
  • Familiarity with bioinformatics approaches to integrate human genetic associations with biological information
  • Experience of multi-trait genetic association analysis, polygenic risk scores, and/or Mendelian randomization is an advantage
  • Demonstrated scientific productivity, such as previous research publications
  • Excellent written and spoken English language skills

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, 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, bioinformatics and statistic guidance, and access to big data from multiple cohorts.

Terms of employment
The employment as a PhD fellow is full time (37 working hours) and for 3 years. The starting date is April 1, 2022, or after agreement.

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 27,871 DKK/approx. 3,745 EUR (October 2021-level) plus pension.

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities of December 11, 2019.

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
  • A 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
  • Publication list (if possible)

As a prerequisite for a PhD 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.

Application deadline: 29 January 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 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.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates 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.

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