PhD fellowship in Structural Biology at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research

Updated: 28 days ago
Deadline: 30 Sep 2021

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are offering a PhD fellowship in Structural Biology commencing in January 2022.

Our group and research
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research ( ) at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND), University of Copenhagen, performs basic and applied discovery research on human proteins of biomedical relevance. The Center comprises a wide range of expertise and resources, from in silico target identification, mass spectrometry based proteomics, structural biology, protein production and charac terization to elucidation of various disease mechanisms.
The Montoya Group ( ) works in the interface between biology, physics and chemistry and uses molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to dissect the working mechanisms of the macromolecules that constitute the cell’s machinery.

Project description
CRISPR-Cas is an adaptive immune system that has been adapted to be used as a genome editing tool. In this project, the PhD candidate will carry out structural and biochemical characterization of an unstudied CRISPR-Cas multiprotein complex. You will express and purify the proteins as well as prepare samples for structural determination by Cryo-Electron Microscopy. Based on bioinformatical and structural data, relevant biochemical assays will be performed to uncover catalytic functions.

Principal supervisor is Professor Guillermo Montoya ( )
Start:     1 January 2022
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. Structural Biology, Biochemistry or similar.

The successful candidate will have strong qualifications or experience within the following areas: 

  • Recombinant DNA techniques and cloning
  • Protein chemistry and protein expression and purification
  • Protein crystallization and structure determination
  • Data management
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills
  • Knowledge about genome editing and CRISPR systems is an advantage

Our group is highly multidisciplinary and collaborates with many other research groups nationally and internationally. Strong networking and team player skills are therefore preferred. Strong organizational skills and the ability to keep an overview are important.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein 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 and a number of facilities providing unique resources to help our scientists develop their research methods and build up their expertise.

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 during an initial three-month employment as a research assistant.

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 DKK /approx. 27.788) 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 
  • 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

  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Application deadline: 30 September 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. 

    The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences comprises approximately 7500 students, 1500 PhD students and 3200 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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