PhD fellowship in nutritional management of feline diabetes at Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 27 Jan 2021

We are offering a PhD fellowship in nutritional management of feline diabetes commencing April 1st 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
Our research group focuses mainly on obesity related metabolic derangements in dogs and cats, in particular focus on glucose homeostasis and diabetes mellitus.

Project description
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a common feline endocrinopathy and is believed to be increasing in prevalence. Most cases of feline DM resemble type 2 DM in humans, which result from a combination of peripheral insulin resistance and abnormal insulin secretion secondary to pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction. Diabetic cats require daily insulin injections and frequent veterinary attention, causing emotional stress and financial implications for the owner. Luckily, in some cats, it is possible to achieve diabetic remission with adequate insulin treatment and dietary management.  Adequate dietary management of feline diabetes is believed to include high protein/low carbohydrate diets in combination with body weight management. However, the optimal composition of a diabetic diet for cats as well as how to implement a safe and effective weight loss plan is currently unknown. This project will investigate the effect of different dietary interventions including controlled caloric restriction on remission rate and glycemic control in diabetic cats. Metabolomic and microbiomic analyses will be an integrated part of the project to achieve an in depth understanding of the underlying metabolic mechanisms supporting the clinical effects.

Principal supervisor: Professor Charlotte R. Bjørnvad email:

Co-supervisor: Dr. Ruth Gostelow, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, United Kingdom, Professor Lucy Davison, Royal Veterinary College, University of London and Welcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Start: Date 1st of April 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

We offer

  • A highly important research topic, aiming to improve the management and understanding of feline diabetes mellitus  
  • A scientific environment with highly dedicated colleagues from wide academic backgrounds
  • A research environment that strives to make a scientific and applied difference in veterinary diabetes research

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
The applicant should hold a veterinary degree and authorization to practice veterinary medicine within the EU.

Other criteria which are evaluated.

  • The grade point average achieved in relevant University degrees
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme
  • Previous publications (if any)
  • Relevant work experience
  • Knowledge within the field of companion animal internal medicine and clinical nutrition
  • Language skills, including English. Because this position require communication with Danish pet owners and reading of Danish patient journals, fluent Danish both oral and written is a requirement.
  • Personal recommendations
  • Understanding that international stays are a key part of the PhD fellowship

The successful candidate is also required to be resourceful and to possess good interpersonal skills

Place of employment
The place of employment is atDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

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

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 27.523,70 DKK /approx. 3.700 EUR (February 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: 

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

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

3. Veterinary 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:  27th January 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 February 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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