PhD fellowship on experimental hologenomics at the GLOBE Institute

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 06 Aug 2021

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic candidate to fill a 3-year PhD fellowship to work on zebrafish hologenomics at the Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics, GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen.

Our group and research
The Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics was recently funded by the Danish National Research Foundation to develop and implement state of the art ‘omics and associated computational techniques, to address through experimental and theoretical research, four key themes underscoring life on earth. Specifically, these are: What is the relationship between a host’s genome and the functional and taxonomic makeup of its associated microbial metagenome? Does this relationship explain ongoing ecological and evolutionary processes in the host? Could this relationship provide an alternate explanation to some of life’s big transitions? And, how have we humans exploited this relationship? The Centre is embedded within the GLOBE Institute that is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The Institute’s main purpose is to address basic scientific questions through interdisciplinary approaches. The institute operates at the intersection of natural sciences, medical sciences and the humanities.

Project description
The gut microbiome shapes the phenotype of vertebrate hosts, with profound consequences for their growth and health. There is now also an increasing interest in studying how the host genome may control the composition of its associated microbiome community. This project will use a zebrafish model system to study if certain host genes play a role in controlling the zebrafish microbiome. The project will include a collaboration with Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at University of Copenhagen including the application of CRISPR/Cas to generate novel gene knockout mutant lines of zebrafish. The student is then expected to apply a hologenomics approach to study the effect of specific genes on the resulting microbiome dynamics. This PhD fellowship will be supervised by Assoc Prof Morten Limborg, Assist Prof Miyako Kodama and Assoc Prof Louise von Gersdorff Jørgensen.

Principal supervisor isAssoc. Prof. Morten Limborg, Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics, the GLOBE Institute, , +45 61 28 29 84

Start:                1 November/December 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. evolutionary genomics and experimental microbial analyses. In this regard they must have demonstrable expertise with tissue sampling, generation of NGS based datasets, and use of for example Illumina or BGISeq technologies. They must also have prior experience in cleaning and analyzing NGS data, using server-based software.

Other criteria of relevance are:

  • The final assessment of their MSc thesis
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience, including in experimental biology and genomics data generation
  • Other professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in fish health, evolutionary biology and hologenomics
  • Language skills.

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.

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the GLOBE Institute, 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 laboratories for the preparation of genomic scale datasets from modern and historic materials, as well as computational servers for the analysis of such data.

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 27,780 DKK (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: 

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

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

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.

4. Publication list (if possible)

Application deadline: 6 August 2021 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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