PhD Fellowship in Drug Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals 2018, Denmark

University of Copenhagen


September 13, 2018


Opportunity Cover Image - PhD Fellowship in Drug Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals 2018, Denmark

PhD fellowship in Drug Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals: Mucus as a permeability barrier to peptide drug delivery

The Department of Pharmacy is offering a three-year PhD fellowship in Drug Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals in the Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery. The PhD fellowship is financed by the Department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen, and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Grand Challenge Program. The fellowship is available from 1 December 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. 
Project description 
The demand for peptide and protein therapeutics that can be used without injection is increasing. However, due to the structural properties of such biopharmaceuticals, it is extremely challenging to design drug delivery systems suitable for efficient delivery of therapeutic doses of, e.g., peptides after oral administration. Novel drug delivery systems must be tailored to the physicochemical properties of the specific drug molecules, the functional excipients and the intended route of administration.  
This interdisciplinary project will address the elucidation and mechanistic understanding of how the barrier properties of intestinal mucosa may be overcome through the design of drug delivery systems. Specifically, the impact of the mucus component will be studied and related to the use of excipients with specific properties when integrated into drug delivery systems.  
The hypothesis is that by detailed elucidation of the barrier properties of the mucus through systematic studies with selected drugs and drug delivery systems, it will be possible to obtain mechanistic insight that will aid future design of biopharmaceuticals for mucosal drug delivery. Thus, this project should study interactions with mucus and mucosal barriers analyzed by advanced analytical tools and a variety of cell-based models relating to the in vivo situation.  
Principal supervisor  
Professor Hanne Mørck Nielsen, Department of Pharmacy.  
Direct phone: +45 3533 6346. 
Required qualifications  
As an applicant you must have: 
  • Obtained a Master's degree in pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical engineering, biochemistry, or similar prior to the starting date. 
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication skills.  
  • The ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment. 
Preferred qualifications 
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a background in pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical engineering, biochemistry, or similar. Experience with drug delivery, cell culture models, relevant in vivo assessment, and biopharmaceuticals will be preferred. The candidate must be able to work independently but will also interact with a multidisciplinary project group involved in many aspects of studying and evaluating drug delivery. Extensive training in the relevant disciplines will be provided. 
Job description 
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow at the Faculty are to: 
  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision. 
  • Write scientific articles and the PhD thesis on the grounds of the research project. 
  • Complete PhD courses or another equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points. 
  • Obtain experience with teaching or another type of dissemination related to your PhD project. 
  • Participate in the undergraduate teaching of students in pharmaceutical sciences. 
  • Participate in national and international congresses and scientific meetings.  
  • Stay at an external research institution, preferably abroad.  
Key criteria for the assessment of applicants 
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme.  
  • Relevant work experience.  
  • Previous 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.
Formal requirements 
The successful applicant will be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences according to the rules stipulated in the Ministerial Order on the PhD programme at the universities (PhD order) from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education and the guidelines for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.  
The PhD student is expected to be affiliated to the graduate programme in pharmaceutical sciences, Drug Research Academy.  
Terms of employment 
The position as a PhD fellow is available for a 3-year period.
Salary and other terms and conditions of appointment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant professional organizations. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 26,454 (approx. 3,550 EUR) (taxable) plus pension. The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities (2013).   
Application procedure 
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below. 
Please note that only online applications will be accepted.
Your application must include:
  • Cover letter: Letter stating the interest in and qualifications for the project (max. one page).  
  • Full CV.  
  • Diploma and transcripts of records: Master's degree diploma (including grade transcripts for bachelor's and master's degrees). Applicants with a Master's degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used. 
  • Possible publication list.  
  • Other information to consider: Possible references and recommendations.  

Deadline for applications
13 September 2018. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.  

Post application procedure 
Shortlist: After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and 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   
Assessment: The selected applications will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities and the University of Copenhagen's guidelines 2013. The Assessment Committee makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.   
Please note that the applicant will be contacted if the assessment committee requires further documentation. 
An answer as to the granting of the fellowship can be expected approx. 4 weeks after application deadline.   
For further information, applicants may contact Professor Hanne Mørck Nielsen (see contact details above) or Administrator Marianne W. Jørgensen, e-mail:, direct phone: +45 3533 6449.  
For more information on working and living in Denmark visit Staff Mobility) and
The University of Copenhagen wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background. 

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
August 06, 2018
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