PhD position available – University of Copenhagen

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StemPhys > Openings > PhD position available

08 September 2017

PhD position available

The Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) annonces the availability of Ph.D. Fellow position in biophysics at the Danish National Research Foundation Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Decision Making (StemPhys).

About the Project: the role of temperature oscillations in differentiation and inflammation

Cells under external stresses often respond by oscillatory behavior of important transcription factors. This project, which is both theoretical and experimental, will in particular deal with the transcription factor NF-kB which is essential for regulation of inflammation and diabetes. The project lies in the interdisciplinary field between physics and biology and is based on novel biophotonical techniques paralleled by front-line mathematical modeling. In order to experimentally control the cell dynamics and evolution, we shall induce an accurately controlled external oscillating temperature. The temperature will be controlled by laser irradiated plasmonic nanoparticles endocytosed by cultured stem cells. In the theoretical part the candidate shall work on the genetic networks of NF-kB dynamics under external oscillating signal. A main focus is to understand how the internal biochemical oscillator couples to the external temperature variations and how this influences development and survival of the cells.

About the candidate

We are seeking a candidate with a background in physics or related technical disciplines who is interested both in modeling and in experiments with a focus on the exciting physics of biological systems.

The project is anchored under the Danish Research Foundation center grant Center for Stem Cell Decision Making at the Niels Bohr Institute. NBI constitutes the physics department in the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen with a faculty of ~70 professors and associate professors, ~100 PhD students and ~60 postdocs.

StemPhys's research focuses on unreveiling the mechanisms underlying stem cell decision making, controlling specification and on a biomechanical characterization of stem cells, developing tissue, organs and whole living organisms with an emphasis on synergistic interdisciplinary collaboration. Details of the Centre's research areas can be found at

Principal supervisors are Professor Lene B. Oddershede and Professor Mogens Høgh Jensen The position is open from 15 November 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description

For applicants holding a MSc, the position is available for a 3-year period, and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department as a teaching assistant

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in physics or biophysics with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

4- or 5-year PhD position: Integrated MSc and PhD Scheme (4+4 and 5+3 schemes)

The position is also available for candidates who are (or are eligible to be) enrolled at one of the faculty’s master programmes in Physics. The duration of the integrated programme depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. For further information about the Integrated MSc-PhD scheme, please see:, “Study Structures”.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

  • Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.
  • The starting salary for the 3-year Ph.D. is currently at a minimum DKK 312.879 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 43.219). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Salary and terms of employment for the 4- and 5-year, integrated PhD schemes are described here:

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include (PDF only):

  • Cover Letter stating your research interests and background as they relate to this PhD project
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees

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

The deadline for applications is 10 October 2017, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at


Contact StemPhys Coordinator, Michelle Cumming Løkkegaard, - General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at

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.