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UCPH, PhD Vacancy in Medicinal Chemistry, G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), Oct 2021

University of Copenhagen (UCPH)


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Oct 24, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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The University of Copenhagen invites applications for Ph.D. Fellowship in Medical chemistry  – Project aimed at identifying therapeutics for fibrosis by targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) at Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Denmark – Oct 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD Fellow
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: October 24, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: Dec 31, 2021 
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: 27,871 DKK/Month

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology
University of Copenhagen (UCPH)
Copenhagen K,

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Qualification Details

Required qualifications

As an applicant you must have:

  • Qualifications corresponding to a master’s degree in organic or medicinal chemistry or closely related areas prior to the starting date
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Solid and documented experience in organic synthesis, including design of efficient synthetic routes and broad experience with various reactions, purification and characterization
  • Experience relevant for other parts of the project, such as cell handling, GPCR assays, physicochemical characterization, computational chemistry, molecular modeling, machine learning, fibrosis and epidemiology, will be considered an advantage but will not be required.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • Language skills
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills

Responsibilities/Job Description

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences are to:

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Obtain experience with teaching and other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Participate in national and international conferences and scientific meetings
  • Write a PhD thesis on the grounds of your research project

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and must include the following documents in PDF format:

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • A graphical summary of experience with organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry
  • 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: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should enclose a short description of the grading scale used
  • Publication list (if relevant)
  • References and/or recommendation letters (if possible)

The deadline for applications is 24 October 2021, 23.59pm 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.

About the Project

The PhD project will be part of a larger project aimed at identifying therapeutics for fibrosis by targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Fibrosis is essentially formation of scar tissue as a result of inappropriate healing following inflammation and can form in any tissue and cause dysfunction. Fibrotic disease is responsible for an enormous and increasing burden to our society and an estimated 45% of deaths in the developed world. Liver and lungs are examples of organs where fibrotic disease is especially problematic. Liver fibrosis is a serious condition that recently was found to affect 21% of diabetic patients. Lung fibrosis, an important component of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and COVID-19, is equally important. No effective therapeutics exist for these diseases.

In this project, several GPCRs will be selected, based on analysis of patient databases, expression, signalling, available tools and starting points for development of ligands with desirable properties. Agonist or antagonists of targeted receptors will be tested in GPCRs and cellular fibrosis assays, and in models of liver and lung fibrosis. Successful compounds will serve as starting points for drug discovery.

This particular PhD project will focus on identification, design, synthesis and characterisation of agonists and antagonists for selected GPCRs. The work will be performed in close collaboration with pharmacologists and data scientists.

Principal supervisor

Professor Trond Ulven, Department of Drug Design and PharmacologyE-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6045.

About Group and Research

The core work of the PhD project will take place in our medicinal chemistry focused research group. We work on ligand design, structure-activity relationships analysis, organic synthesis and synthetic method development, pharmacological ligand testing, and computational modeling in the area of metabolic and inflammatory diseases. The group includes a varying number of PhD students, postdocs and MSc student. The PhD student will be associated with the GPCR Research Cluster ( and the Metabolism and Inflammation Research Cluster (

About the Department

The Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology ( delivers drug-related research and research-based teaching within a wide range of drug-related disciplines, spanning the molecular, cellular, and pharmacological levels.

Information about the Department can be found at

About the Employer: University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

Other details

Terms of Employment

The employment as PhD fellow is full time (37 working hours per week in average) and for 3 years.

It is conditioned upon the applicant’ successful enrolment 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 to the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences.

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. The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.

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 3,747 (taxable) (October 2021-level) plus pension.

The Further Process

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorised recruitment manager selects applicants for 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.

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

You can read about the recruitment process at

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Contact details

For further information, applicants may contact the principal supervisor Professor Trond Ulven, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6045, or PhD coordinator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6449.

For more information on working and living in Denmark visit (International staff mobility).

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