PhD fellowship in PGC Heterogeneity at Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine

A PhD fellowship is available in in the Stewart-Morgan group at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (ICMM) within the University of Copenhagen. Information on the group can be found at: entering the 3-year fellowship, the successful candidate will have an initial employment as a research assistant for 1 year scheduled to start 1 May 2023 or after agreement.

Our group and research

The focus of the Stewart-Morgan group is epigenetic dynamics and function in germ cell biology. We use both in vivo and in vitro systems of mammalian gametogenesis to study the role of the epigenome in germ cell fitness and elucidate general epigenetic principles using this unique biological system. We strive for an open, collaborative, and collegial work environment that provides ample mentorship and training opportunities to further each members’ individual career goals.

Project description

A cell’s epigenome is composed of its cell type-specific chromatin landscape and acts to preserve cell identity. In mammals, primordial germ cells (PGCs), the precursors to male and female gametes, experience the most extensive epigenetic reprogramming of any cell type. This reprogramming erases the chromatin landscape that defines somatic cells and prevents deleterious epimutations from being passed to the next generation.This project will investigate PGC reprogramming in the mouse. The successful candidate will have opportunity to learn embryology, mouse genetics, stem cell culture, cutting-edge genomics, and bioinformatics, as well as participate in development of imaging and flow cytometry methods.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Kathleen Stewart-Morgan, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (ICMM), e-mail:

  • Start:            1 May 2023 or after agreement
  • Duration:      1 year as a research assistant + 3 years as a PhD student

Job description

During the first year as a research assistant, the candidate will formulate a PhD project, help with research tasks, become familiar with the group’s research interests, and apply for enrollment as a PhD fellow.

Your key tasks as a PhD student at SUND are to:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision.
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis based on your research project.
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points.
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project.
  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings.
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine or similar (equivalent of the Danish candidate, 3 + 2 years) related to the subject area of the project.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: note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Other important criteria are

  • A highly collaborative mindset and ability to work independently.
  • Fluency in English and excellent written and oral communication skills.

Desired qualifications

We are especially interested in candidates with:

  • A background in chromatin biology, developmental biology, or gametogenesis.
  • Previous experience in next generation sequencing, imaging, flow cytometry, stem cell culture, and/or mouse genetics is an advantage. All necessary training will be provided to help you succeed.

Place of employment

The place of employment is at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (ICMM), University of Copenhagen. Our lab at the ICMM offers a creative and ambitious scientific environment, with nine different nationalities presently represented and English as the working language. We strive to produce research results with high international impact, focusing on the functional cell, its genetic components, and molecular cellular mechanisms in a medical context.The ICMM currently comprises five research programs, three high profile Research Centers as well as a number of internationally renowned research groups.

The scientists at ICMM are involved in high quality research based undergraduate and graduate teaching programs at the University of Copenhagen. More information can be found at

Terms of employment

The employment as a research assistant is full time (37 working hours per week in average) and for 1 year. 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 begins at DKK 30,562 /approx. EUR 4,102 (October 2022-level) plus pension.The employment as a PhD fellow is full time (37 working hours per week in average) and for 3 years.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 begins at DKK 28,448 /approx. EUR 3,818 (October 2022-level) plus pension.

It is conditioned upon the applicant’s successful enrollment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, as well as a positive assessment of the 1-year research assistant position. Enrollment at the Graduate School requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant (for more information, please see

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.


For specific information about the positions, please contact the principal supervisor Kathleen Stewart-Morgan by e-mail:

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 (applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted). 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. Master of Science diploma and transcript of records. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor will do.
  4. Publication list (if possible).

Application deadline: Tuesday 31 January 2023, 23.59 p.m. 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 formal 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 7,823 students, 1,886 PhD students and 5,100 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.


Kathleen Stewart-Morgan



  • Application deadline: 31-01-2023
  • Employment start: 01-05-2023
  • Working hours: Full time
  • Department/Location: Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine