PhD fellowship in Biochemistry

Sep 01, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
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The Department of Biology invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in structural and functional characterization of newly discovered macro-conotoxins. The project is part of the research project “Unravelling the universe of macro-conotoxins”, which is financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Start date is (expected to be) November 1, 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

In recent years, we have developed E. coli expression systems for the production of disulfide-rich animal venom proteins and peptides. Such venom-derived proteins represent a vast library of bioactive compounds for biomedical applications and the development of novel therapies. The current project concerns the biochemical, structural, and functional characterization of large toxins from predatory marine cone snails, i.e., macro-conotoxins. The project will focus on toxins from previously uncharacterized superfamilies for which the functions are unknown and will be conducted in close collaboration with labs at the University of Utah, USA.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates with an educational background in biochemistry, biology, molecular biomedicine or molecular biology and hands-on experience with protein expression and purification (i.e., different chromatography methods), as well as standard techniques in protein characterization and molecular biology. A background in animal venom research will be considered beneficial, but is not a prerequisite. The most important personal qualifications are good communication and collaboration skills, flexibility, a curious mindset, and the ability to work independently in an organized manner.

Our group and research – and what do we offer?

Principal supervisor is Prof. Lars Ellgaard, Department of Biology, E-mail:, Direct Phone: +4535321725.

The Ellgaard lab is based in a highly collaborative environment in the Section for Biomolecular Sciences, which is composed of 11 strong research groups. The lab is located at the Copenhagen Biocenter in central Copenhagen, Denmark, where we have modern laboratory facilities and state-of-the-art instrumentation for protein expression, purification, characterization, and structure determination by NMR spectrometry as well as animal cell culture. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a vibrant and international research environment. Your work be multi-faceted with plenty of possibilities to develop professionally as well as personally.

The PhD programmethree year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Qualifications needed

To be eligible for the PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. biochemistry, biology, molecular biomedicine or molecular biology. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the PhD programme

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrollment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Carry out an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • MSc in biochemistry, biology, molecular biomedicine or molecular biology
  • Experience with protein expression, purification and characterization
  • Curious and independent mind-set with a strong interest in animal venom research
  • Good language, communication and inter-personal skills


Application and Assessment Procedure

 Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another 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)
  5. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2023, 23:59 GMT +2.

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 deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.