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PhD fellowship in Biology, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Biomedicine – UCPH, Denmark, 2022

Denmark, University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

We are offering a rare PhD fellowship opportunity in studying the microbiomes of Arctic food webs at The GLOBE Institute, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen in close collaboration with The University of Greenland, Ilisimatusarfik, commencing 1 April 2022.

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General Info

Position: PhD fellowship
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Joining Date: Apr 01, 2022
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: 27,871 DKK/Month

ASI Inuit Microbiology Lab
Greenland and The Center of Evolutionary Hologenomics (CEH), GLOBE Institute
University of Copenhagen (UCPH)
Copenhagen, Denmark

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Qualification Details

Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree Biology, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Biomedicine or similar (equivalent of the Danish candidate, 3 + 2 years) related to the subject area of the project.

The applicant is expected to be trained in the biological and/or computational sciences with experience in bioinformatics, preferably with shotgun metagenomics.

A familiarity with the Arctic and Indigenous peoples is highly prioritized. This project must be conducted in such a way that the science is built on an understanding of Indigenous knowledge and world views, and aligns with such views, rather than using Indigenous knowledge to promote the science.

You must be sincerely interested in working with, by, and for Inuit in Greenland.

As an applicant you must be willing to spend 1.5 years in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the GLOBE Institute and 1.5 years in Nuuk, Greenland, at Ilisimatusarfik. This is a non-negotiable requirement but the timing of the stays is flexible.

Responsibilities/Job Description

Your key tasks as a PhD student at Ilisimatusarfik and GLOBE 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 and ambitious research environments in Greenland and Denmark with potential for international travels as well
  • Obtain experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to the PhD project. The teaching and dissemination efforts will be targeted towards the education sector in Greenland.
  • Teach and disseminate your knowledge with emphasis on dissemination in Greenland.
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
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Documents Required

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.
  4. Publication list (if possible).
  5. Recommendations as desired.

About the Project

Gastrophagy, the consumption of prey intestines and their content, has been widespread among hunter-gatherers including the Inuit. Despite its potential to transfer large numbers of live microorganisms between prey and predator, there is limited research on the microbial dynamics of gastrophagy. This PhD project centers around the gut microbiome of Arctic food webs, from plankton through fish and seal and finally to humans. It pursues to understand the dynamics between the gut microbiomes of different levels in the food web. Using high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing and computational biology the project works with the following hypotheses:

  1. Gastrophagy is a source of intestinal microbial diversity to the predator
  2. Gastrophagy can be a source of health-promoting molecules to the predator
  3. Gastrophagy can be a source of metabolic diversity that aids the predator's digestion

The Gastrophagy project will assess these hypotheses within an Arctic One Health framework that acknowledges the importance of environmental health for human health. The research will add important pieces to our understanding of where intestinal microbial diversity can come from. While also allowing us to gain new insights into the evolution of zoonoses. In addition to data-intensive computational biology the project has an applied component, where the PhD student will ferment Arctic fish that are traditionally consumed in Greenland and assess the potential for the development of health-promoting molecules through the fish microbiome.

About the Department

The PhD fellowship will be equally anchored at the ASI Inuit Microbiology Lab, Ilisimatusarfik, Nuuk, Greenland and The Center of Evolutionary Hologenomics (CEH), GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The ASI Lab is a newly established radically interdisciplinary research group at Ilisimatusarfik led by Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann. The work of the ASI Lab revolves around Inuit foodways, the microbiological connections between human and environment using a culturally appropriate and metagenomics approach. The ASI Lab is currently being established and will in 2022 be comprised of the PI, two PhD students, and an administrative person.

The CEH was recently funded by the Danish National Research Foundation to develop and implement state of the art ‘omics and associated computational techniques, to address the relationship between a host’s genome and the functional and taxonomic makeup of its associated microbial metagenome and consequently the long-term effect on ecological and evolutionary processes in the host. 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.

About the Employer: University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

Note or Other details

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. 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 University’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 DKK 27,871 / approx. EUR 3,741 (October 2021-level) plus pension.

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Contact details

Inquiries can be directed to Aviaja Hauptmann, Ilisimatusarfik, at (telephone +1 530 608 9686) or Anders Johannes Hansen (

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences is available at the Graduate School’s website:

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