PhD Positions in Environmental Toxicology and Endocrine Disruptors

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 24 Oct 2022

We invite enthusiastic applicants for two full PhD scholarships in Environmental Toxicology with focus on Endocrine Disruptors. The three-year scholarships are funded by research projects in the Ecotoxicology group at the Department of Biology , University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense where the primary work will also be carried out. The starting date of the PhD positions is as soon as possible and no later than December 2022. Application deadline: 24 October 2022.

Project background
The Ecotoxicology group's research projects are closely linked to the needs of the society and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The group has strong long-standing collaborations with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Miljøstyrelsen), national and international research groups, the EU, and the OECD in relation to development of international test systems for endocrine disruptors in model organisms, e.g. fish and invertebrates. The Ecotoxicology group currently consists of 12 dedicated researchers and administrative/technical staff, and the modern and well-equipped laboratory facilities feature both histology and protein labs, LC-MSMS, GC-MSMS, flow through exposure systems and high-end image analysis platform. 

The successful candidates will work on research projects funded by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (CEHOS, Danish Centre on Endocrine Disruptors) and EU (PARC, Partnership for the Assessment of Risk from Chemicals) with specific focus on investigation and development of endocrine-sensitive endpoints in the great pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) and zebrafish. The aim is to optimize existing or develop new OECD test guidelines. The work will include experimental design and setup, animal care and sampling, preparation and analysis of histological samples, behaviour analysis and video tracking, molecular and biochemical techniques as well as chemical analysis. The candidates should also contribute to dissemination of the project results by participation in scientific meetings, writing of scientific papers, and acting as instructor in our courses or co-supervisor of biology students.

The projects are led by Associate Professor Henrik Holbech and Associate Professor Jane Ebsen Morthorst.


We are looking for two enthusiastic, ambitious, and independent candidates with an MSc degree in environmental sciences, biology, or related fields. The candidates should have laboratory and/or field experience in aquatic environmental toxicology and endocrine disruption. Experience with experimental setup, aquatic animal experiments, histology, and video tracking systems as well as strong skills in molecular and chemical analysis techniques related to endocrine disruption of chemicals are preferable. Applicants must have strong English skills (written and oral) and good collaboration skills. The successful candidates will work closely together with students, lab technicians and scientific staff in the Ecotoxicology group at SDU.

The PhD scholars will be appointed to the Department of Biology, at SDU with the main supervisors Henrik Holbech and Jane Ebsen Morthorst.

For further information please contact Henrik Holbech at ) or Jane Ebsen Morthorst at ).

SDU and the Ecotoxicology group
University of Southern Denmark (SDU) was founded in 1966 as a top research and educational institution in Denmark, with strong contacts with international industries and the scientific community. It is both the third-largest and the third-oldest Danish university. Several international reports testify that SDU conducts world-class research and rank it as one of the top 50 young universities in the world. SDU now has five faculties and over 30,000 students, more than 15% of whom come from abroad. More than 1,200 researchers are divided into five faculties, 32 departments, and 11 research centres. The Department of Biology has five research groups and is highly international with 200 employees including 30 PhD students coming from >27 different countries. The PhD candidate will have strong support from the Ecotoxicology group that is well acknowledged for 20-years' research of excellence on toxicology approach development and risk assessment of environmental contaminants, covering heavy metals, endocrine disrupting chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.

Application, salary etc.
Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three years. Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary  and taxation .

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Application must be made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following:
• A research proposal/description of your approach to the above project (max one page excluding references)
• A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box "Application form")
• Detailed CV, including personal contact information
• Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades
• At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail: mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the homepage of the University .

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link "Apply online". Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.

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