PhD fellowship in Stress Neurobiology at the Department of Neuroscience in Copenhagen

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 18 Oct 2022

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

We are offering a fully-funded 3 years PhD fellowship in stress neurobiology starting 15 February 2023 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Our group and research
We are a systems neuroscience laboratory focusing on understanding the mechanisms by which neural circuits and behaviors are affected by stress, to better understand the etiology of mental disorders. Our expertise includes behavioral assays, neuronal tracing, in vivo calcium imaging of large populations of neurons (2 photon & light sheet microscope), opto/chemogenetics. We use transparent, transgenic larval zebrafish as a vertebrate model amenable to whole brain imaging at cellular resolution in vivo.

You will work under the supervision of Associate Professor Florence Kermen and receive active support in designing, discussing and publishing the results of your research project.

We are located in beautiful and well-connected Copenhagen. Frequent scientific and social events at the institute contribute to a collaborative and enjoyable work atmosphere.

Project description
You will use repeated stressor exposure or pharmacological manipulation of stress level, combined with quantitative behavioral assays and physiological measurements (e.g. ELISA) to characterize the immediate and long-term outcomes of early-life stress. Following this, you will use neurophysiological approaches (immunohistochemistry, in vivo calcium imaging) to investigate the adaptations taking place in neuromodulatory circuits.

Principal supervisor isisAssociate Professor Florence Kermen,Department of Neuroscience, E-mail:, Direct Phone: +45 22550187

Start:                15 February 2023

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

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

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points.
  • Participating in active research environments including a stay at another research team.
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching and disseminating your knowledge.
  • 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. human biology, neuroscience, molecular and cellular biology, animal physiology, or medicine. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (two years).

Other important criteria are:

  • A high grade point average achieved
  • A certificate in Laboratory Animal science (FELASA)
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in scientific research and stress neurobiology and prior experience with practical lab work relevant to the project
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Department of Neuroscience, 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, zebrafish research facility, and microscopy facility (

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 start date is 15 February 2023.

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 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 Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 27,800 DKK / Roughly 3,700 EUR (October 2021 level) plus pension.

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

General information about PhD studies 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, research experience, language skills and the contact details of 2 academic references

3. 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

4. A copy of your Master’s thesis. If the thesis is ongoing, a draft or a 2-page summary of your work.

5. Publication list (if relevant), including a brief description of your contributions to joint works.

Application deadline: 18 October 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 find information about the recruitment process at:

The applicants 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 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.

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